Juliette Commagere — The Procession (Manimal/Aeronaut)
This is the sophomore effort for dark dream-pop singer , and for some reason it’s got me thinking about my high school days. There’s a lightness to her songs that balances the gothic undertones really nicely. Oh, and she knows how to play the keytar, which is totally neat.
Paula Cole — Ithaca (Decca Records)
When I think Paula Cole, I think Dawson’s Creek, and those are good memories from back when Katie Holmes wasn’t bizarre and was actually really cute. Anywho, Paula hasn’t lost her powerful voice and her raw rock prowess. If you were into her before you’ll be into her now. For you young’uns who haven’t heard her before, she’s worth getting to know, even if she’s starting to sound a bit more religious.
Selena Gomez — A Year Without Rain
Of all the Disney and Nickelodeon stars who have put out albums, I think Selena is my favorite. She’s cute, she’s poppy, she’s not Miley Cyrus – all of these are great. In all seriousness, she does a really nice job of going electro-pop and I’m not ashamed to admit I’ve watched The Wizards of Waverly Place.
Eartha — Ink Dry Blue (AFRT MUSIC)
I’m putting this up here only because I’m not really sure what to do with it. I can’t tell if I like it or absolutely hate it. For starters, it’s an alternative album but has elements of metal and R&B. Eartha’s voice reminds me a bit of Kelis – which in general is a big bonus for me. But, if Kelis and Marilyn Manson had a baby, I’m not sure how cute the baby would be (listen to “Hearts of Stone”). But then if Kelis and the Red Hot Chili Peppers had a baby, it might be kind of cute (listen to “What How Why When). Ok, enough of the baby references; check out the music for yourself.
Kaci Battaglia — Bring It On (Curb Records)
This is pop a la Xtina Aguilera and I’m not hating – especially since Kaci happens to be incredibly easy on the eyes. Trust me, I’ve seen her in person. Will this be album of the year? Probably not – but, there are plenty of club songs that are ripe for the dance floor and the remixing.
Honorable Mentions: Maroon 5, The Hundred in the Hands, Thievery Corporation, Wisin & Yandel, James McCartney, Maximum Balloon (GET THIS ALBUM IT IS SO GOOD), Klaxons, John Legend & The Roots, Margot and the Nuclear So and Sos.