Adam Lambert’s comeback bid — “Ghost Town,” his first single since 2012’s underrated Trespassing LP — starts not with a bang but with a Wild West whistle, which laces together guitar balladry and EDM drops courtesy of Max Martin. The track could use a bigger energy boost, although the dark house beats suit Lambert well. –– Jason Lipshutz
Seventeen years after their masterwork The Shape of Punk to Come, punk-rockers Refused return with “Elektra,” a pummeling mix of guitar hooks and cries that “Nothing has changed!” One thing has, though: Shellback (Pink, Kesha?) co-wrote, though his usual sheen didn’t dull their bite. — Chris Payne
Prone to shout-singing on her more upbeat singles, Jessie J dials back her vocal force on the tepid “Flashlight,” off the Pitch Perfect 2 soundtrack. The more subtle delivery would be welcome if the track weren’t so paint-by-numbers — it plays like a pantomime of a Sia ballad, but without the emotive edge. — Steven J. Horowitz
Lianne La Havas
Lianne La Havas emerges from her shell on the Paul Epworth-produced “Unstoppable,” fulfilling the promise of 2012 debut Is Your Love Big Enough? The song, reminiscent of Jill Scott‘s early jazz/soul mix, sees the U.K. singer donning a new confidence, asserting to an off-and-on beau, “There is nothing left holding us down,” before exploding on the hook. — J.L.
This story originally appeared in the May 9 issue of Billboard.