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Picks and Pans Main: Music

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SONGS OF SUMMER ’10

From dance-pop divas (Gaga!) to hip-hop heavyweights (Eminem!), these 10 tunes make our midseason playlist.

KATY PERRY FEATURING SNOOP DOGG

“California Gurls”

This No. 1 single makes everyone want to rock Daisy Dukes and bikinis on top.

LA ROUX

“Bulletproof”

A synth-pop bull’s-eye for dancing the hurt away.

SHAKIRA FEATURING FRESHLYGROUND

“Waka Waka (This Time for Africa)”

The official World Cup theme song is almost as hot as Cristiano Ronaldo. Almost.

LADY GAGA

“Alejandro”

Conjures up visions of being on a tropical island.

ALICIA KEYS

“Un-Thinkable (I’m Ready)”

Captures the sweet surrender of giving yourself over to summer love.

DRAKE

“Find Your Love”

His tender croon goes straight to the heart. Sigh.

EMINEM FEATURING RIHANNA

“Love the Way You Lie”

A blockbuster pairing from the smash CD Recovery.

B.O.B FEATURING HAYLEY WILLIAMS

“Airplanes”

After his spring No. 1 “Nothin’ on You,” the breakout hip-hopper soars again, this time with Paramore’s lead singer as copilot.

PARAMORE

“The Only Exception”

Williams again softens her rock edge on this exceptional, acoustic-laced ballad.

BRAD PAISLEY

“Water”

A fun, beach-ready splash with the country star to end your summer ’10 playlist.

CRITIC’S CHOICE

Tom Jones

Praise & Blame |

GOSPEL-BLUES

After proving he still had it with 2008’s 24 Hours, Tom Jones continues his late-career renaissance with another praiseworthy effort that finds the 70-year-old veteran taking on traditional gospel and blues. With Ethan Johns (Kings of Leon, Ryan Adams) producing, the inspired results bring to mind the work Johnny Cash did with Rick Rubin. Best is a haunting rendition of Bob Dylan’s “What Good Am I” that leaves no doubt how good Jones is.

Tracy Bonham

Masts of Manhatta |

ALT-POP

It’s been 14 years since Tracy Bonham’s Grammy-nominated hit “Mother Mother.” But the singer-songwriter shows she’s far from washed-up on Masts of Manhatta. Bonham displays a rich, eclectic musicality-from the instruments she plays (guitar, piano, violin, claves, even spaghetti pot) to the genres she explores (folk, blues, country, classical, tango)-while addressing both city and country life.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Devil’s Got Your Boyfriend,” a slinky, jazz-kissed seduction

Rick Ross

Teflon Don |

RAP

If there were a Grammy for Best Guest List, it would surely go to Teflon Don. The fourth disc from Miami rapper Rick Ross boasts a sick lineup of contributors from the worlds of hip-hop (Jay-Z, T.I., Drake) and R&B (John Legend, Erykah Badu, Ne-Yo). With all that star power, it’s hard to go wrong. The top collaboration? “Live Fast, Die Young,” featuring a lively Kanye West.

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