Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves
BEYONCÉ I Am…Sasha Fierce The latest from Mrs. Jay-Z is a double disc with one CD as Beyoncé and the other as her alter ego Sasha Fierce. B delivers the lush pop ballads, while Sasha moves the R&B-dance crowd. Can she get any fiercer or what?
GUNS N’ ROSES Chinese Democracy After well over a decade in the making, yes, it’s finally here. Axl Rose’s gang returns with a bang, with blazing, bone-crunching rockers and sweeping epic ballads. Welcome back to the jungle, folks.
Q-TIP The Renaissance “What good is an ear if a Q-Tip isn’t in it?” asks the rapper on his first release in nine years. Indeed. With chilled-out grooves and cool guests like D’Angelo and Norah Jones, Tip is, at 38, a hip-hop star reborn.
THE CURE 4:13 Dream Robert Smith, one of rock’s most hopeless romantics, continues to explore his almost otherworldly visions of love on this damn-near-classic Cure album. “The Perfect Boy” provides the disc’s heart-on-black-sleeve highlight.