March 30, 2009 12:00 PM

>BLUE OCTOBER Approaching Normal There are many shades of Blue October—from hard and angry to soft and mellow—on the follow-up to the pop-rock quintet’s platinum breakthrough, 2006’s Foiled. Uneven mood, uneven effort.

ERIC CHURCH Carolina On the honky-tonkish highlight of his second album, this North Carolinian sings about country boys who still have a “Lotta Boot Left to Fill.” Fortunately, Church has no such trouble measuring up here.

LEELA JAMES Let’s Do It Again James brings plenty of old-school soul to these R&B remakes (James Brown, Al Green). Fittingly, with her gritty, gospel-charged voice reminiscent of Mavis Staples, she covers the Staples Singers’ “Let’s Do It Again.”

BALLAS HOUGH BAND BHB This group is led by Dancing with the Stars pros Mark Ballas and Derek Hough, who lift some moves from the JoBros and old BSB (Backstreet Boys). Feels like two older dudes trying to pick up high-school chicks.

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