Ricky Martin

Musica + Alma + Sexo |

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LATIN POP

Now that he has come out of the closet, Ricky Martin can get back to the business of making music. For his first studio set since 2005, he's clearly been listening to Enrique Iglesias, who has impressively staged a career revival with the pulsating dance hits "I Like It" and "Tonight (I'm Lovin' You)." Likewise Martin, who does just about everything better than Iglesias, hits the clubs on this mostly Spanish album (translation: Music + Soul + Sex) to euphoric effect on cuts like the synth-infused "Te Vas" and the rock-edged "Sera Sera." On the Target exclusive deluxe edition, there are even remixes that pump much-needed life into the single "The Best Thing About Me Is You."

VALENTINE'S DAY MIX

BRUNO MARS, "JUST THE WAY YOU ARE"

Isn't that just the way everybody wants to be loved?

MICHAEL JACKSON, "(I LIKE) THE WAY YOU LOVE ME"

Jackson captures the sweet bliss that, alas, always seemed to elude him, on this airy highlight from Michael.

R. KELLY, "WHEN A WOMAN LOVES"

The R&B star forgoes raunch for old-fashioned romance on this retro-soul ballad from Love Letter.

COLDPLAY, "YELLOW"

As the world gets psyched for a new Coldplay album this year, this 2000 gem will still make you sigh.

CORINNE BAILEY RAE, "MY LOVE"

This exquisite remake of Paul McCartney & Wings' 1973 hit is guaranteed to melt even the coldest heart.

ARETHA FRANKLIN, "DAY DREAMING"

The Queen of Soul gets lost in a romantic reverie on this 1972 classic. Here's hoping her recent health problems are truly behind her.

CHAKA KHAN, "MY FUNNY VALENTINE"

Her delivery is as piercing as Cupid's arrow.

JAMES VINCENT MCMORROW

Early in the Morning

There's a world of mystery in the mesmerizing voice of this Irishman, who, with shades of James Morrison and Paolo Nutini-plus Jeff Buckley-makes '11's best debut.

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VARIOUS ARTISTS

Waylon: The Music Inside

Subtitled A Collaboration Dedicated to Waylon Jennings, Volume 1, this set is an outlaw love-in with Jamey Johnson and son Shooter Jennings.

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JESSICA LEA MAYFIELD

Tell Me

This folky, Lucinda Williams-esque singer, once a backup vocalist for the Black Keys (whose Dan Auerbach produced Tell Me), is ready for her close-up.

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IRON & WINE

Kiss Each Other Clean

The Sam Beam-led outfit conjures up dreamy, psychedelic-tinged tunes, as well as some Afro pop ("Rabbit Will Run") and Steely Dan-like jazz-pop (the terrifically titled closer, "Your Fake Name Is Good Enough for Me").

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QUINCY JONES

The producing giant, 77, is saluted by a who's who of hip-hop and R&B on Q: Soul Bossa Nostra.

ON BOSSA NOSTRA

Timbaland told me a few years ago that the hip-hop community wanted to do a tribute to me, and I was very honored. [The title plays off] "Soul Bossa Nova," a record I did 50 years ago-I wrote it in 20 minutes right after I left Brazil with Dizzy Gillespie! I'm happy Ludacris is on the new [version].

ON HIS GRAMMY LEGACY

I've been fortunate to be recognized 27 times. But that just means I've lost 52 times! It was great to be presented with the Legend Award in 1991. I guess that means I've been around a long time.

ON MICHAEL JACKSON

All I can say is that I miss him. Working on Thriller was everything from being an orchestrator to a brother to a father to Michael. Between the two of us, we had everything.

DR. DRE provides the antidote for those suffering from Dre withdrawal on "I Need a Doctor," a hip-hop rocker with Eminem and Skylar Grey. It's from Detox, his long-awaited album, finally due (we think) later in '11. $1.29 at zune.net.

JESSIE J, a British blue-eyed soul singer touted by no less than Simon Cowell, proves worthy on "Price Tag," a B.o.B-assisted preview of her debut album. $0.99 at iTunes.com.

ASHLYNE HUFF, daughter of top country producer Dann Huff (Keith Urban), dances to a decidedly different beat-techno-on the grooving "White Flag." $0.99 at amazon.com.

JENNIFER HUDSON told you she wasn't going, and she's indeed back with "Where You At," a powerhouse ballad from I Remember Me, due March 22. $1.29 at rhapsody.com.