By Chuck Arnold Ralph Novak Jessica Herndon
October 02, 2006 12:00 PM

Beyoncé, B’Day
Miss B’s blazing second solo disc celebrates her ever-growing confidence as a singer-songwriter and producer on beat-driven tracks that boast more soul, more sass and more sex appeal.

Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
On this exhilarating follow-up to 2002’s hit Justified, the former boy-bander boldly channels the libidinous funk of early Prince but proves to be more innovator than imitator.

Sam Moore, Overnight Sensational
Soul man Moore, one half of ’60s duo Sam & Dave, once again thrives in collaborative mode with such varied artists as Jon Bon Jovi, Mariah Carey and Sting.

Pat Green, Cannonball
This Texas troubadour is the Bruce Springsteen of the Southwest. He’s passionate, expressive and engaging, coming at you steady and hard on his new country CD.