This album from British newcomer James Morrison is what blue-eyed soul should be. He was originally tagged as the new James Blunt, but Morrison's work is significantly more listenable from the first time through. The young singer manages to turn nearly every song into something much more than the sum of its initial parts.
This is both one of the most maddening and most rewarding major releases so far this year. Riding on success as one of the top producers in popular music, Timbaland released a solo album that veers from the brilliantly skeletal public diss of a hit "Give It To Me" to an ill-conceived collaboration with Fall Out Boy. However, even Timbaland's failures at this point in time can sound exhilarating in their reach.
At age 65 Sir Paul McCartney proved there is still plenty of musical fire left in him. This collection of catchy pop brought home his biggest sales figures in decades and deservedly so.
This album nearly got entirely lost in the shuffle of releases this past spring, but it is well worth seeking out. Adam Schlesinger and Chris Collingwood are one of the best pop songwriting pairs working today. Traffic and Weather is a true pop gem abundantly demonstrating the talents of Fountains of Wayne that extend far beyond the hit single "Stacy's Mom."
Accompanied by a crush of questioning press, Kelly Clarkson's latest album proved she is pop powerhouse to be reckoned with. The album may have some commercial difficulties, but this hard rocking set proved Clarkson is still several artistic steps ahead of the rest of the American Idol alumni.