Stars Dance |
After three albums fronting Selena Gomez & the Scene, the former Disney Channel star scored a quick hit with her first solo single, “Come & Get It,” a frothy summer confection that, with its breezy tropical feel, casts her as the good-girl answer to Rihanna. It’s not the only song on Gomez’s solo debut that evokes lighter shades of Ri-Ri. There’s also “Like a Champion,” a reggae-style midtempo on which she unconvincingly plays the island rude girl. But Gomez also knocks off more pop starlets here. Other tracks find her mimicking Ke$ha (“Birthday”), Katy Perry (“Stars Dance”) and Lady Gaga (“B.E.A.T.”). Her lack of identity, though, won’t stop you from twirling to “Forget Forever.”
Court Yard Hounds
It’s been seven years since the last Dixie Chicks album, 2006’s Grammy-winning Taking the Long Way, but a reunion will have to wait: Sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire have released their second set as Court Yard Hounds two months after Natalie Maines’s solo debut. Thankfully the music on Amelita is a lot better than this duo’s unfortunate name. There’s an unassuming appeal coming from two women who are used to taking a backseat to the feisty Maines. Robison sings lead on most tunes but lends harmony to Maguire’s tender comfort on “Gets You Down.”
Marc Anthony 3.0 |
Although it was fun to hear Marc Anthony partying with Pitbull on “Rain over Me” (from 2011’s Planet Pit), J.Lo’s ex gets back to doing what he does best: salsa. In fact 3.0 is Anthony’s first album of original salsa music since 2004’s Valió la Pena, and you can hear the singer letting all that pent-up pasión loose here. The exuberance extends to the musicians—from piano and horns to the rhythm section—who succeed in creating an infectious live vibe on Spanish-language tracks like “Vivir Mi Vida” (translation: Living My Life), the No. 1 Latin single that is guaranteed to get the fiesta started.
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