Based on a T.R.U. Story

This southern rapper stoked anticipation for his debut by appearing alongside Kanye West on “Mercy,” then scored another No. 1 hip-hop hit with this set’s “No Lie,” featuring Drake. For the most part, the hype is T.R.U. []


Turn on the Lights

Since hitting No. 1 with “Bad Day” in 2006, this singer-songwriter hasn’t had such good times on the charts. But tunes like the single “Cupid,” a folk-pop ditty that unabashedly aims for your heart, could yet save him from being a one-hit wonder. []


Boys Don’t Cry

Curiously, the Cure classic is not among the covers on this album. Instead the Brit brings a tender woman’s touch to ’70s male songwriters like Neil Young and Isaac Hayes. As shown earlier this year on her debut of originals, the era suits this girl perfectly. []


Loving You More … In the Spirit of Etta James

Clearly this retro-soul belter has deep affection for Etta (though there’s no relation), releasing this tribute six months after the R&B legend’s death. But better to pay your respects by seeking out the originals. []

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