By Chuck Arnold Michelle Tauber Joey Bartolomeo
August 15, 2011 12:00 PM


Hold on ’til the Night

Just shy of 14, this prodigy—discovered singing “Paparazzi” on YouTube, then signed by Ellen DeGeneres—makes an impressive debut that owes as much to Coldplay as Bieber. []


Rabbits on the Run

In the age of Gaga, Katy and Rihanna, even a pensive female singer-songwriter like Carlton might be tempted to dye her hair blue. But artful, piano-led pop like this never goes out of style. []


We the Best Forever

Pulling a Santana for the hip-hop nation, this producer-deejay hosts a hot party packed with rap and R&B stars, from Drake and Lil Wayne (both on the hit “I’m on One”) to Mary J. Blige and Chris Brown. []


Here I Am

The Destiny’s Child diva’s third solo effort is a solid set of contemporary R&B and dance-pop. Even with a career-milestone hit like “Motivation,” though, it still all adds up to less than Beyoncé’s 4. []