1. Gil Scott-Heron, "I'm New Here"

    February 19, 2010 3:08 PM EST 0 0 0 Since the release of his last album, "Spirits," in 1994, hip-hop pioneer Gil Scott-Heron has struggled with drug addiction and prison. The neo-soul shimmer of his 1970 recordings may be absent on his latest release, "I'm New Here ...

  2. Jaheim, "Another Round"

    February 19, 2010 3:05 PM EST 0 0 0 Jaheim may have traded his braids for a close-cropped look, but one thing thankfully remains the same: his warm, sensuous vocals you want to wrap yourself in like a blanket. That soulful voice is in fine form on his new outing, "Another Round,& ...

  3. Reba McEntire, "I Keep on Lovin' You"

    February 19, 2010 3:04 PM EST 0 0 0 It's been 26 years since Reba McEntire first topped the charts with "Can't Even Get the Blues," and her last single, "Consider Me Gone," is her most successful ever. It topped Billboard's Hot Country Songs chart fo ...

  4. HIM, "Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice"

    February 19, 2010 2:58 PM EST 0 0 0 On HIM 's latest album, "Screamworks: Love in Theory and Practice," the Finnish rock band's frontman Ville Valo sings, "I'm not afraid to say I love you." That's not the only thing that doesn't scare him. ...

  5. Alicia Keys, "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)"

    February 19, 2010 2:56 PM EST 0 0 0 In 2003, a gutsy Alicia Keys asked her love interest for a date on "You Don't Know My Name." On "Un-thinkable (I'm Ready)"-the standout song from her latest album, "The Element of Freedom"-the singer/pianist g ...

  6. Lightspeed Champion, "Life Is Sweet! Nice to Meet You"

    February 19, 2010 2:55 PM EST 0 0 0 Devonté Hynes, who performs under the name Lightspeed Champion , first detached himself from dance-punk outfit Test Icicles with the modest folk-pop on his 2008 debut, "Falling Off the Lavender Bridge." For Lightspeed Champion's secon ...

  7. Nick Jonas & the Administration, "Who I Am"

    February 19, 2010 2:51 PM EST 0 0 0 For his solo detour from blockbuster boy band Jonas Brothers , 17-year-old Nick Jonas recruited a dream team of veterans who nail the pop-soul stylings that he's chosen for this grown-up pursuit. But "Who I Am" is so polished and adul ...

  8. She & Him, "In the Sun"

    February 19, 2010 2:50 PM EST 0 0 0 The appeal of She & Him 's first album mostly derived from M. Ward 's musicianship, but on "In the Sun"--the duo's first single from its forthcoming "Volume Two"--Zooey Deschanel matches her partner's song ...

  9. V.V. Brown, "Travelling Like the Light"

    February 19, 2010 2:46 PM EST 0 0 0 If Shirley Bassey recorded at Memphis' Sun Records studios with Phil Spector producing and Dr. Dre mixing, you'd probably get something that sounds like V.V. Brown 's debut release, "Travelling Like the Light." The British v ...

  10. B.o.B. featuring Bruno Mars, "Nothin' On You"

    February 19, 2010 2:45 PM EST 0 0 0 The debut single from rising Atlanta rapper B.o.B . (aka Bobby Ray Simmons), "Nothin' on You," finds its protagonist renouncing the days when he would "chase skirts, live in the summer sun" and deciding that his new love int ...

  11. Kevin Rudolf featuring Lil Wayne, Birdman and Jay Sean, "I Made It"

    February 19, 2010 2:39 PM EST 0 0 0 Kevin Rudolf and guests gloat about their rise to the top on the producer/singer's new single, "I Made It." "I look up to the sky/ And now the world is mine/ I've known it all my life/I made it, I made it," Rudolf belts ...

  12. Usher featuring Plies, "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)"

    February 12, 2010 4:10 PM EST 0 0 0 Usher 's last album failed to meet critics' expectations, and plenty counted him out because of it. But his latest single, "Hey Daddy (Daddy's Home)," is a clear indication that the R&B crooner is bringing sexy back. &qu ...

  13. John Mayer, "Heartbreak Warfare"

    February 12, 2010 4:08 PM EST 0 0 0 John Mayer is back, and as broken-hearted as ever. The second single from his new album, "Battle Studies" (and the follow-up to the meandering, blues-inspired "Who Says"), "Heartbreak Warfare" is also a throwback to May ...

  14. Danny Gokey, "My Best Days Are Ahead of Me"

    February 12, 2010 4:05 PM EST 0 0 0 Danny Gokey placed third on the 2009 season of "American Idol" and inked a deal in Nashville to pursue a country music career. He's off to a great start with this buoyant single that showcases his strong, soulful voice and upbeat pers ...

  15. Pearl Jam, "Just Breathe"

    February 12, 2010 4:01 PM EST 0 0 0 "Just Breathe," the second single from Pearl Jam 's "Backspacer," finds Eddie Vedder at a crossroads between weathered rock stalwart and lovelorn troubadour. The song strays from the well-worn guitar riffs and wild growls of ...

  16. Jay-Z featuring Swizz Beatz, "On to the Next One"

    February 12, 2010 3:48 PM EST 0 0 0 More than any of its predecessors, "On to the Next One" best accomplishes what Jay-Z set out to do with "The Blueprint 3": stay the course of trendsetter. The veteran rapper explains why all should continue to follow his lead wit ...

  17. Hot Chip, "One Life Stand"

    February 12, 2010 3:35 PM EST 0 0 0 No act seems to purely embody the rise of "indietronica" the way that Hot Chip does. The London-based quintet in 2010 is something like the more serious, experimental cinematic adaptation of Erasure 's heart-on-sleeve Broadway bombast ...

  18. Camila, "Dejarte de Amar"

    February 12, 2010 3:33 PM EST 0 0 0 The cover art of Camila 's second album, "Dejarte de Amar," is tasteful and sparse, with the Mexican pop group's three members pictured suspended over the water at a distance, their features indistinguishable. But the music itsel ...

  19. Johnny Cash, "American VI: Ain't No Grave"

    February 12, 2010 3:22 PM EST 0 0 0 Some guys just know the right way to say goodbye. Johnny Cash couldn't have known exactly when he'd be exiting the mortal coil (he died in 2003), but the Man in Black had just buried his wife, June Carter Cash , and was in poor health as h ...

  20. Various Artists, "Crazy Heart: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack"

    February 12, 2010 3:15 PM EST 0 0 0 The latest soundtrack album from Hollywood roots-music maven T Bone Burnett pairs original tunes sung by "Crazy Heart" stars Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell with classic country cuts by such artists as Buck Owens ("Hello Trouble") ...

  21. Beach House, "Teen Dream"

    February 12, 2010 3:01 PM EST 0 0 0 Baltimore-based dream-pop duo Beach House continues to master its craft of producing ethereal melodies and reverberating background instrumentation on its third album (and Sub Pop debut), "Teen Dream." The result displays a level of songwr ...

  22. The Album Leaf, "A Chorus Of Storytellers"

    February 12, 2010 2:49 PM EST 0 0 0 The calming electronic drones and soothing melodies that one can expect from an Album Leaf release can again be found on the project's newest set, "A Chorus of Storytellers." But the San Diego-based post-rock act's founder Jimmy ...

  23. BT, "These Hopeful Machines"

    February 12, 2010 2:32 PM EST 0 0 0 Listening to BT 's music makes it seem as if the last decade of development in electronica never happened. And coming from him, you wouldn't want it any other way. The man who kick-started the trance genre still does it best, whether it� ...

  24. Omarion, "Ollusion"

    February 12, 2010 2:29 PM EST 0 0 0 Six years after the dissolution of R&B boy-band B2K , 25-year-old singer Omarion describes his third solo album, "Ollusion," as proof that he's all grown up. But the set comes off more like a bid for street cred than maturation. L ...

  25. Corinne Bailey Rae, "The Sea"

    February 12, 2010 2:26 PM EST 0 0 0 Grief isn't the only thing that runs deep through Corinne Bailey Rae 's sophomore effort, "The Sea." In grappling with the sudden death of her husband in 2008, the U.K. singer/songwriter has crafted a remarkable set that includes ...

  26. Nneka, "Concrete Jungle"

    February 12, 2010 2:23 PM EST 0 0 0 Nneka 's new album, "Concrete Jungle," may be her stateside debut, but this globetrotting R&B maverick-a Nigerian who is based in Germany-has already earned comparisons to such established artists as Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill , ...

  27. Allison Moorer, "Crows"

    February 05, 2010 2:57 PM EST 0 0 0 Trying to pigeonhole the restlessly creative Allison Moorer remains as gratifyingly fruitless as ever. Her latest release (and Ryko debut), "Crows," finds the erstwhile Nashville fixture moving further away from country music and the roots ...

  28. Yeasayer, "Odd Blood"

    February 05, 2010 2:54 PM EST 0 0 0 Brooklyn-based rock act Yeasayer gained acclaim with its 2007 debut, "All Hour Cymbals," by achieving an impressive balance between world-influenced, experimental noise and disciplined, memorable pop-rock. For its sophomore effort, "O ...

  29. Massive Attack, "Heligoland"

    February 05, 2010 2:47 PM EST 0 0 0 Throughout the '90s, "trip-hop" was the best anyone could do to describe Massive Attack and the head-nodding family of talents it inspired, like Portishead and Tricky . But following the recent paths of those acts, Massive Attack' ...

  30. Taylor Swift, "Today Was a Fairytale"

    February 05, 2010 2:44 PM EST 0 0 0 On the heels of winning an album of the year Grammy for "Fearless," Taylor Swift has scored another hit in "Today Was a Fairytale," a new song written for the film "Valentine's Day." The lyrics are driven more by s ...

  31. TobyMac, "Tonight"

    February 05, 2010 2:42 PM EST 0 0 0 TobyMac has always delivered sonically inventive and lyrically substantive music that appeals to a wide fan base. On his fourth studio set, "Tonight," he continues to serve up what he calls "musical gumbo-hip-rock, funk and soul." ...

  32. Dee Dee Bridgewater, "Eleanora Fagan (1915-1959): To Billie With Love From Dee Dee"

    February 05, 2010 2:37 PM EST 0 0 0 No stranger to musical experimentation, Dee Dee Bridgewater mixed jazz with West African rhythms on her 2007 multicultural expedition "Red Earth: A Malian Journey." She brings the same no-holds-barred approach to her latest project, " ...

  33. Gil Scott-Heron, "Me and the Devil"

    February 05, 2010 2:36 PM EST 0 0 0 Gil Scott-Heron comes to grips with a decade of incarceration and tribulation on this captivating number, a variation of blues giant Robert Johnson 's "Me and the Devil Blues." The lead single from the legendary spoken-word laureate&# ...

  34. Los Campesinos!, "Romance Is Boring"

    February 05, 2010 2:33 PM EST 0 0 0 On its third album, "Romance Is Boring," the members of seven-piece rock act Los Campesinos! expand their musical range by utilizing more instrumental and melodic variety than found on the band's 2008 sophomore effort, "We Are Be ...

  35. Midlake, "The Courage of Others"

    February 05, 2010 2:31 PM EST 0 0 0 With its layered melodies and gentle guitar progressions, Midlake 's 2006 breakout album, "The Trials of Van Occupanther," was a hypnotizing riff on classic-rock conventions. For third album "The Courage of Others," the Texa ...

  36. Green River Ordinance, "Come On"

    February 05, 2010 2:30 PM EST 0 0 0 With the steadily growing appeal of its single "Come On," Green River Ordinance establishes itself as a pop-rock act to keep an eye on in 2010. Singer Josh Jenkins' yearning, honest vocal tone bears a resemblance to that of Counting C ...

  37. The Magnetic Fields, "Realism"

    February 05, 2010 2:28 PM EST 0 0 0 The Magnetic Fields ' latest studio album, "Realism," is the final--and most convincing--installment of the band's "no synth" trilogy, which began in 2004 with "i." On the new set, Magnetic Fields founder Step ...

  38. The Black Eyed Peas, "Imma Be"

    February 05, 2010 2:25 PM EST 0 0 0 With three hits from "The E.N.D." already under their belts, the Black Eyed Peas are ready to pack dancefloors again with the album's fourth single. The group sounds as unabashedly confident as ever here, and yet it manages to keep it ...

  39. Reckless Kelly, "Somewhere in Time"

    February 05, 2010 2:23 PM EST 0 0 0 It takes a certain amount of belief in one's own abilities to attempt an album of covers, let alone a tribute to a musical hero. And it takes talent to actually pull it off. Meet Austin-based country-rock band Reckless Kelly -a group that has t ...

  40. Alan Jackson, "It's Just That Way"

    February 05, 2010 2:19 PM EST 0 0 0 The first single from this country veteran's forthcoming "Freight Train" sounds like classic Alan Jackson -a beautiful, understated love song with a gentle melody and heartfelt lyric. Though he wrote every track on his previous album, ...

  41. Josh Turner, "Haywire"

    February 05, 2010 2:18 PM EST 0 0 0 Josh Turner 's 2004 breakthrough hit, "Long Black Train," reminded country fans how rare and celebrated such thrilling, deep-baritone voices have been throughout the genre's history. And while Turner is a worthy heir to such barr ...

  42. Spoon, "Transference"

    January 29, 2010 4:08 PM EST 0 0 0 Spoon 's seventh studio album, "Transference," strikes a balance between its early angsty indie-rock and the soulful deconstructed pop of its 2007 release, "Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga." The battered piano keys, jagged guitar riffs and c ...

  43. Lady Antebellum, "Need You Now"

    January 29, 2010 4:04 PM EST 0 0 0 When Nashville-based Lady Antebellum won vocal group of the year at the 2009 Country Music Assn. Awards, it both ended Rascal Flatts ' six-year reign in that category and accelerated the trio's journey into country music stardom. Indeed, L ...

  44. Sade, "Soldier of Love"

    January 29, 2010 4:00 PM EST 0 0 0 Suave production? Check. Heart-piercing lyrics? Check. Sensual, husky-voiced singer? Check. Those are just some of the things Sade fans can expect from the group's new album, "Soldier of Love." The release is Sade's first new mat ...

  45. Freedy Johnston, "Rain on the City"

    January 29, 2010 3:58 PM EST 0 0 0 Singer/songwriter Freedy Johnston 's moment as a critical supernova passed quickly enough during the '90s that probably few have noticed he hasn't released an album of new material since 2001. But his richly written and confidently pe ...

  46. The Soweto Gospel Choir, "Grace"

    January 29, 2010 3:55 PM EST 0 0 0 The Soweto Gospel Choir 's latest album, "Grace," is easily as exuberant and inspired as any of its past efforts. The aptly titled 19-song set-the South African group's fourth release on Shanachie Records-is a creative blending o ...

  47. Vampire Weekend, "Contra"

    January 29, 2010 3:51 PM EST 0 0 0 Vampire Weekend 's second album, "Contra," finds the New York-based band pushing its eclectic, intellectual indie rock further using a mash-up of musical genres, clever wordplay and emotional heft. The group even adds some internation ...

  48. Justin Bieber featuring Ludacris, "Baby"

    January 29, 2010 3:51 PM EST 0 0 0 Unlike Justin Bieber 's first few singles, "Baby" recognizes that young relationships can result in unhappy endings. "We're just friends? What are you saying?," the 15-year-old heartthrob asks of his young love interest ...

  49. Lifehouse, "Halfway Gone"

    January 29, 2010 3:47 PM EST 0 0 0 A decade into its career, Lifehouse is on the verge of releasing its fifth studio album, "Smoke & Mirrors"-the follow-up to 2007's "Who We Are," which had three top 40 hits. "Halfway Gone," the set's lead ...

  50. OK Go, "Of the Blue Colour of the Sky"

    January 29, 2010 3:46 PM EST 0 0 0 The members of OK Go have always been known more for the zaniness of their music videos (remember their treadmill-based YouTube favorite "Here It Goes Again" in 2006?) than for the zaniness of their music. Working with Flaming Lips produce ...

Pages