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Picks and Pans Main: Music

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CHUCK’S PLAYLIST

WHAT I’M ROCKING NOW!

WHITNEY HOUSTON

“How Will I Know” (a cappella version)

Stripped down to her soulful essence on this take-featured on the deluxe edition of her self-titled debut-you can feel Houston reaching for heaven. Now it’s truly as if that voice, resplendent in power and purity, is coming from above.

MADONNA

“Over and Over”

Whitney’s death makes me want to appreciate this other ’80s icon even more, but frankly, I’m underwhelmed by “Give Me All Your Luvin’.” While awaiting the rest of MDNA, due March 26, I’ve rediscovered this giddy 1984 gem.

LANA DEL REY

“Video Games”

Before you pass judgment on this polarizing newcomer, listen to this haunting highlight from Born to Die. You may rethink that whole SNL controversy.

RUMER

“Aretha”

A ’70s-soaked standout from this Brit’s debut, Seasons of My Soul, that does Miss Franklin proud.

GRAFFITI6

“Free”

More irresistibly charming retro pop from the U.K. It’s on Colours, the vivid debut album by this duo.

CRAIG FINN

“No Future”

Going solo on Clear Heart Full Eyes, the Hold Steady singer makes this garage rocker stomp.

FOO FIGHTERS

“These Days”

The second-biggest winners at the Grammys (after Adele) bring muscle and melancholy to their latest hit off Wasting Light.

TIM MCGRAW

“Better Than I Used to Be”

From Emotional Traffic, this reflective ballad is one of the best songs McGraw has ever done.

LEONARD COHEN

“Crazy to Love You”

Hard truths are dispensed via the 77-year-old’s unflinchingly tough delivery on this country-style ballad from Old Ideas.

WHITNEY HOUSTON

“Greatest Love of All”

(1990 live version) Also on her debut’s deluxe edition, this performance at Manhattan’s Radio City Music Hall is simply majestic. Brava.