By Chuck Arnold
March 26, 2012 12:00 PM

>THE TING TINGS

Sounds from Nowheresville

There’s nothing here to match the giddy heights of “Shut Up and Let Me Go” or “That’s Not My Name.” But the No Doubt-esque “Soul Killing” comes close, and the duo get points for venturing into new sonic territory.

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RUBEN STUDDARD

Letters from Birmingham

Taking inspiration from his own marriage, the 2003 American Idol traces the arc of a relationship—from courtship to divorce. Emphasizing the sweet over the bitter, though, he’s still the Velvet Teddy Bear.

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ANDREW BIRD

Break It Yourself

With his chamber pop and rich, mellifluous voice, this singer-violinist sometimes suggests Rufus Wainwright with a fiddle. But there’s a sense of whimsy—whether he’s plucking those strings or just whistling—that’s all his own.

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WZRD

WZRD

On a rock-edged side project with Dot Da Genius, Kid Cudi fails to conjure up the magic of his best solo work. It’s not a total disaster, but a painful “Where Did You Sleep Last Night?” should make Cudi hang up the Kurt Cobain act.

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