May 20, 2013 12:00 PM

Pistol Annies

Annie Up

The second album by Miranda Lambert’s girl group doesn’t outgun the new solo set from Pistol Annie Ashley Monroe (Like a Rose). But despite some tossed-off moments, they are still sharp shooters on tunes like “Unhappily Married.”

Fitz and the Tantrums

More than Just a Dream

Next time you feel yourself about to throw a hissy fit, crank up the soulful pop of this L.A. sextet. Feel-good grooves like “Out of My League,” the first single, bounce like a more fun version of Fun.

Tom Jones

Spirit in the Room

“I was born like this, I had no choice / I was born with the gift of a golden voice,” sings Jones on Leonard Cohen’s “Tower of Song.” Amen to that. With blues and gospel spirit, these covers are a rootsy revelation.

The Airborne Toxic Event

Such Hot Blood

On their third album, these alt-rockers sound like they have the Killers, the Replacements and Counting Crows in their blood. Even if they may lack a singular identity, they still know how to deliver strong songs.

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