Zero 7, "Yeah Ghost"
What is Zero 7 without its unofficial, clear-voiced frontwoman Sia Furler, who left amicably last year to pursue a solo career? The answer: something very different yet unmistakably Zero 7. Singer/songwriter Eska takes over the alpha woman role on "Yeah Ghost," the fourth studio album from production masterminds Sam Hardaker and Henry Binns. From her first appearance on the overtly funky song "Mr McGee," Eska diverts the duo from its usual path of heady atmospherics into earthier sounds and tones. The first single, "Medicine Man," struts like Sam Sparro's "Black and Gold" and calls out a lover's lies as "simply outrageous," while the more adventurous "Sleeper" is half hooky pop refrain and half minimal synth smudges. The music on "Yeah Ghost" is still Zero 7-but after a few cans of musical Red Bull. For proof, check out the lush textures and brushed snares on "Pop Art Blue," which features wide-eyed vocals from Martha Tilston. -Kerri Mason