April 16, 2007 12:00 PM

JACK INGRAM This Is It: While the country singer’s aw-shucks tone on songs like “Measure of a Man” seems disingenuous, there’s honest affection in “Maybe She’ll Get Lonely.” And “Easy as 1,2,3 (Part II)” has a contagious energy. The highlight: “Hold On,” a poignant duet with Sheryl Crow.

MARQUES HOUSTON Veteran: At 25, this R&B singer is indeed an old pro, having begun his recording career as a tween in the group Immature. He brings a newfound maturity to his third solo CD, a solid if unspectacular set of smooth soul that will please ladies of all ages.
DOWNLOAD THIS: “Always & Forever”

VARIOUS ARTISTS Interpretations: Celebrating the Music of Earth, Wind & Fire: This loving tribute shows how important EWF was to a generation that grew up on them. Neo-soulster Musiq Soulchild channels Philip Bailey’s falsetto on “Reasons,” while gospel star Kirk Franklin turns “September” into a rousing celebration of faith.
DOWNLOAD THIS: “September”

You May Like