February 23, 2009 12:00 PM

>BEN LEE The Rebirth of Venus One particularly bouncy tune on his latest finds Lee proclaiming that “I Love Pop Music.” You will too, listening to this super-catchy set with the indie vet exploring his feminine side on songs such as “I’m a Woman Too.”

PAT GREEN What I’m For Green sings about “ridin’ shotgun with Kenny, Faith and Tim” on “Country Star,” one of this disc’s high-spirited highlights. The way he blurs the lines between country and heartland rock, though, he could also roll with John Mellencamp.

RYAN LESLIE Ryan Leslie On a strong R&B effort, Leslie, who’s produced and written for artists like Beyoncé, Britney Spears and Cassie (featured here on “Addiction”), confidently steps out from behind the scenes. Hey, if Ne-Yo can do it, why can’t he?

PETER CINCOTTI East of Angel Town After making like a young Harry Connick Jr., Cincotti wants to be another piano man, Billy Joel. He pulls it off with songs like “Lay Your Body Down (Goodbye Philadelphia)” on his first CD of all originals.

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