February 10, 2014 12:00 PM

Hot Singles Blowout!

SHAKIRA FEATURING RIHANNA

“Can’t Remember to Forget You”

Shakira could use a hit, and Rihanna is a hit magnet. Although this doesn’t rank with the best of Ri-Ri’s collaborations, it’s another winner with its guitar-pop bounce and reggae-lite vibes. And hey, it’s at least as good as “Beautiful Liar,” Shakira‘s duet with Beyoncé.

TIM McGRAW

“Lookin’ for That Girl”

Perhaps hanging out with Taylor Swift for “Highway Don’t Care” has made McGraw want to take a pop detour, as he ditches country on this bland ballad.

CANDICE GLOVER

“Cried”

As the new season of American Idol kicks in, last year’s champ brings her soulful wail to this big ballad off her debut album, Music Speaks, out Feb. 18.

BECK

“Blue Moon”

On the first single from Morning Phase, due Feb. 25, Beck still oozes his own brand of trippy hipness, mixing folkie strumming and spaced-out airiness.

ENRIQUE IGLESIAS

“I’m a Freak”

Enrique teams with Pitbull again for more dance-floor fun. It’s no “I Like It,” but if you need to feel like it’s spring break already, this just might do the trick.

HUNTER HAYES

“Invisible”

Venturing a long way from “I Want Crazy” on the first single from his upcoming second album, the country heartthrob turns serious with this uplifting ballad for outcasts everywhere. It’s a little preachy, but Hayes delivers it all with such earnestness, it’s hard not to be a believer.

A GREAT BIG WORLD

Is There Anybody Out There? |

POP

Having scored a great big hit with “Say Something,” their heartbreaker of a breakup ballad featuring Christina Aguilera, the duo of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino faced the pressure of what they’d do for an encore. But while nothing on the rest of AGBW’s full-length debut captivates quite like “Say Something,” there’s a fresh energy and Glee-fulness. Actually, their upbeat anthem “This Is the New Year” was performed by the cast of Glee, and like other songs here, it carries on in the power-pop spirit of Fun. Occasionally they get too show-tuney (see “Everyone Is Gay”) but still do musical-theater nerds proud.

People FAVE

JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW

Post Tropical |

ALT-POP

“I want to go south of the river/ Glacier slope in the heart of the winter,” sings James Vincent McMorrow in his spine-tingling falsetto on “Glacier.” But Post Tropical, his absolutely gorgeous second album, provides the sweetest of escapes from the winter blahs. With his haunting voice and otherworldly atmospherics, the Irish singer-songwriter brings to mind such other dreamy dudes as Bon Iver and James Blake. From start to finish, this is an absorbing song cycle that proves he is a master of creating the mesmerizing mood.

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