Sade

Soldier of Love |

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SOUL-POP

"I've lost the use of my heart/ But I'm still alive," declares Sade, as if to announce her comeback on "Soldier of Love." Indeed, the jazzy chanteuse mysteriously had seemed to have fallen off the face of the earth since her last studio album, 2000's Lovers Rock. Perhaps in her world the past decade never happened, because her sound—and look—haven't changed much: She's still the epitome of cool elegance. (Hey, did you really want her to go electro?) From her husky, dusky vocals to Stuart Matthewman's sexy sax, Sade and her bandmates get their smooth groove back. If anything, they've gotten even mellower with age. On oh-so-soothing songs like "In Another Time," Sade remains the voice of comfort to the wounded heart. After all that time away, though, there's only one real classic: the title-track single, with its martial beat, snare drums and Sade as warrior goddess.

Nick Jonas & the Administration

Who I Am |

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POP

Nick Jonas has let it be known that his first disc with the Administration does not signal the end of the Jonas Brothers. Still, this side project can't help but make you think of Justin Timberlake's post-'N Sync debut, Justified, after which JT never looked back. It reveals more maturity and soulfulness than we've heard from the youngest Jonas with the JoBros, confirming that he, their main songwriter, is the biggest talent in the group. Forget the conceptual references to the presidency and politics. Instead, listen to him stretch out with surprising twists of funk, R&B and blues backed by a band including Prince's former New Power Generation sidemen Michael Bland (on drums) and Tommy Barbarella (on keyboards). The highlight? "Olive & an Arrow," a ballad on which the 17-year-old makes like a junior John Mayer.

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>With Valentine's Day coming up, we revisit Sade's most romantic tunes.

"YOUR LOVE IS KING" (1984)

This song's sentiment, about completely surrendering to who rules your heart, befits such a regal diva.

"THE SWEETEST TABOO" (1985)

Simmering with a sultry, hip-swaying beat, this track possesses dangerously hot powers.

"LOVE IS STRONGER THAN PRIDE" (1988)

Guaranteed to turn you from mad to mush.

"NOTHING CAN COME BETWEEN US" (1988)

When love doesn't need a prenup.

"NO ORDINARY LOVE" (1992)

A baby-making slow jam that comes on like musical Viagra.

"I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE" (1992)

About loving them just the way they are.

"BY YOUR SIDE" (2000)

Lays bare the simple beauty of having someone else's back.

>SPOON

Transference

Whether it's arty or funky, power pop or garage rock, these indie dudes serve up plenty of hooks on their seventh album. Standout tracks include the grimy "Got Nuffin."

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NNEKA

Concrete Jungle

Part Lauryn Hill, part India.Arie, part Angelique Kidjo—with a voice that brings to mind a less-heliumed Macy Gray—Nigerian-born Nneka impresses on her U.S. debut.

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BARRY MANILOW

The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

He no longer writes the songs; he covers them. On his latest set of remakes, Manilow pours on the schmaltz. Surely fans will eat it up.

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CELTIC WOMAN

Songs from the Heart

Managing to bring a new level of cloyingness to a song like Phil Collins's "You'll Be in My Heart," these five Irish lasses make Enya look cool.

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>• Like a box of chocolates, this has romantic confections from acts like Maroon 5 and Amy Winehouse (her previous cover of "Cupid"). Costar Taylor Swift (above) sings two cuts, including her fluffy new hit "Today Was a Fairytale."

>• With a No. 1 debut album (Animal) and chart-topping single ("TiK ToK"), Kesha (pronounced "KEH-shuh") Sebert, 22, is 2010's breakout pop star.

ON THE DOLLAR SIGN

It's ironic because I was broke when I was on "Right Round" with Flo Rida. I couldn't buy myself a taco! So [when Animal went No. 1] I took three close friends out for tacos at a fancy Mexican restaurant in New York.

ON APPEARING ON THE SIMPLE LIFE

Oh God! Totally not my doing. My mom saw an ad that said, "Eccentric families wanted," and I guess we're the most eccentric family in middle Tennessee. But [Paris Hilton and I] definitely do not run in the same circles. Me and my friends are rowdy and crazy in a totally different way.

ON CRASHING PRINCE'S DOMAIN

I got his address, snuck under his fence and ended up getting into the same room with him and giving him my CD. But I didn't get arrested. That was two years ago, so I think I'm in the clear.

ON HER CELEB CRUSH

The fat guy from The Hangover [Zach Galifianakis]. I love that he's really awkward, has a beard and makes me giggle. Can you please make that happen?

>With Valentine's Day coming up, we revisit Sade's most romantic tunes.

"YOUR LOVE IS KING" (1984)

This song's sentiment, about completely surrendering to who rules your heart, befits such a regal diva.

"THE SWEETEST TABOO" (1985)

Simmering with a sultry, hip-swaying beat, this track possesses dangerously hot powers.

"LOVE IS STRONGER THAN PRIDE" (1988)

Guaranteed to turn you from mad to mush.

"NOTHING CAN COME BETWEEN US" (1988)

When love doesn't need a prenup.

"NO ORDINARY LOVE" (1992)

A baby-making slow jam that comes on like musical Viagra.

"I COULDN'T LOVE YOU MORE" (1992)

About loving them just the way they are.

"BY YOUR SIDE" (2000)

Lays bare the simple beauty of having someone else's back.

>SPOON

Transference

Whether it's arty or funky, power pop or garage rock, these indie dudes serve up plenty of hooks on their seventh album. Standout tracks include the grimy "Got Nuffin." [

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]

NNEKA

Concrete Jungle

Part Lauryn Hill, part India.Arie, part Angelique Kidjo—with a voice that brings to mind a less-heliumed Macy Gray—Nigerian-born Nneka impresses on her U.S. debut. [

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  

]

BARRY MANILOW

The Greatest Love Songs of All Time

He no longer writes the songs; he covers them. On his latest set of remakes, Manilow pours on the schmaltz. Surely fans will eat it up. [

bgwhite bgwhite   

]

CELTIC WOMAN

Songs from the Heart

Managing to bring a new level of cloyingness to a song like Phil Collins's "You'll Be in My Heart," these five Irish lasses make Enya look cool. [

bgwhite    

]

>• Like a box of chocolates, this has romantic confections from acts like Maroon 5 and Amy Winehouse (her previous cover of "Cupid"). Costar Taylor Swift (above) sings two cuts, including her fluffy new hit "Today Was a Fairytale."

>• With a No. 1 debut album (Animal) and chart-topping single ("TiK ToK"), Kesha (pronounced "KEH-shuh") Sebert, 22, is 2010's breakout pop star.

ON THE DOLLAR SIGN

It's ironic because I was broke when I was on "Right Round" with Flo Rida. I couldn't buy myself a taco! So [when Animal went No. 1] I took three close friends out for tacos at a fancy Mexican restaurant in New York.

ON APPEARING ON THE SIMPLE LIFE

Oh God! Totally not my doing. My mom saw an ad that said, "Eccentric families wanted," and I guess we're the most eccentric family in middle Tennessee. But [Paris Hilton and I] definitely do not run in the same circles. Me and my friends are rowdy and crazy in a totally different way.

ON CRASHING PRINCE'S DOMAIN

I got his address, snuck under his fence and ended up getting into the same room with him and giving him my CD. But I didn't get arrested. That was two years ago, so I think I'm in the clear.

ON HER CELEB CRUSH

The fat guy from The Hangover [Zach Galifianakis]. I love that he's really awkward, has a beard and makes me giggle. Can you please make that happen?