>Alice in Chains
The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here
It almost feels like these hard rockers, long past their ’90s heyday, are from the Jurassic period. Although there are some worthy moments, such as the sludge-crunch single “Stone,” there are way too many lulls to keep you hooked. 
Yes, it’s his fourth album, but the title of The-Dream’s latest also harks back to R. Kelly’s 12 Play. But this can’t touch that 1993 sex-o-classic. While there are some hot bump-and-grinders (“Equestrian,” “Too Early”), it lacks real staying power. 
How Mercy Looks from Here
On her first album in 10 years, Grant demonstrates that she was never the type of singer who would blow anybody away on American Idol or The Voice. Still, her vocal purity lends sweet spirit to these inspirational tunes. 
Tape Deck Heart
One of the year’s best rock albums comes from this English singer-songwriter, whose folk-punk sound alternately brings to mind R.E.M. and Green Day, Damien Rice and Arctic Monkeys. His music and lyrics are straight from the ticker.