The Benin-born singer dedicates her latest “to the women of Africa: to their resilience and their beauty.” Kidjo embodies those qualities herself, whether it’s Afro-pop revelry (the joyous “Hello”) or folk-flecked reflection (the lovely “Blewu”). She’s a special spirit.
Write You a Song
A native Californian who went Nashville, this country singer kicks off his debut with its best song, “What I Can’t Put Down,” a cleverly spun ditty about habit-forming pleasures. While the rest of this album isn’t as addictive, tracks like the ballad “That Man” show he’s got more good tunes in him.
YOUNG THE GIANT
Mind Over Matter
There’s nothing about this quintet that makes them titans of alternative pop-rock. In fact, they sometimes evoke other, better bands on their second album. Still, this is a solid effort, with songs that make up for in craftsmanship what they might lack in originality.
Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
If they gave an Oscar for Best Compilation Soundtrack, it’d be hard to beat this ’70s nostalgiafest. I got goose bumps hearing the late, great Teddy Pendergrass on “Don’t Leave Me This Way.” Sing it, Teddy P!