and Kay West
August 29, 2011 12:00 PM

>THE HELP

Original Soundtrack

This period-setting album serves up genre-crossing gems of the film’s era—by everyone from Bob Dylan to Bo Diddley—but a lone original: Mary J. Blige’s ballad “The Living Proof.” []

VIVA BROTHER

Famous First Words

On their debut album, these lads get some Brit-pop cred from producer Stephen Street (the Smiths, Blur). Songs like “Electric Daydream” make them out like Oasis’s younger cousins. []

VARIOUS ARTISTS

Red Hot + Rio 2

The latest in the series benefiting HIV/AIDS awareness is a bountiful double disc. Whether it’s John Legend or Bebel Gilberto, English or Portuguese, Red Hot is way cool. []

GARY CLARK JR.

The Bright Lights EP

“You gonna know my name,” vows this blues singer-guitarist on the title cut. Making his major-label debut with this blazing four-track EP, there’s no reason to doubt him. []

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