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Lady Gaga

The Remix |

DANCE

You are a truly major dance-pop diva when you can release a remix album. Pretty much all the really big ones have done them, from Madonna and Britney to J.Lo and Janet (although hers only came out overseas). Heck, even Paula Abdul did one when she was on top. Now it’s Lady Gaga’s moment. But this disc, featuring remixes of songs from The Fame and The Fame Monster, is mostly for diehards and deejays. The originals, already club-ready, are all better than these. One possible exception? A pumped-up take on “LoveGame” featuring ghoulish guest vocals from Marilyn Manson.

Arcade Fire

The Suburbs |

CRITIC’S CHOICE

ALT-ROCK

After being hailed as the future of alt-rock with their debut album, 2004’s Funeral, Arcade Fire didn’t ignite as much heat with 2007’s Neon Bible. Consider that a sophomore stumble: This Montreal septet is back with an epic set that is one of the best rock albums you’ll hear all year. Inspired by the suburban origins of the group’s members, the disc covers richer musical and emotional terrain than you might expect to find from the land of soccer moms. This shows that yes, they really could be the next (or the new?) Radiohead.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Suburban War,” a nostalgic, dreamily atmospheric reflection

Marc Cohn

Listening Booth: 1970 |

POP

Proving there’s life after Grammy’s Best New Artist curse, Marc Cohn hits his soft-rock stride on these remakes of songs from 1970. Veering from Simon and Garfunkel to Smokey Robinson, he also tackles tunes by two Beatles-John Lennon (“Look at Me”) and Paul McCartney (“Maybe I’m Amazed”)-in back-to-back highlights.

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