Foo Fighters

Wasting Light |

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ROCK

Foo Fighters have been making rocking albums for so long-since 1995's self-titled debut, to be exact-that it's easy to take them for granted. Their seventh studio effort, recorded on analog tape in Dave Grohl's garage, is a bang-you-upside-your-head reminder that these dudes can still rage. Indeed, blistering tracks like first single "Rope," already a No. 1 rock hit, burn with undiminished intensity. Things can get downright metallic on cuts like the white-hot "White Limo," on which Grohl unleashes a guttural yell that may scare sensitive ears. Perhaps the spark comes from guitarist Pat Smear, who last played on 1997's The Colour and the Shape, officially returning to the Foo fold. Whatever the reason, by the end of the soaring closer "Walk," you will be convinced that this band has truly learned to fly.

Alison Krauss & Union Station

Paper Airplane |

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COUNTRY

After racking up six more Grammys with Robert Plant-bringing her female-record total to 26-Alison Krauss reunites with Union Station for their sixth studio album together. While Paper Airplane doesn't break any new ground, it's a smooth ride aboard the bluegrass train. Soothing-if sometimes a little too sleepy-tunes like "Dimming of the Day" shimmer softly.

TV on the Radio

Nine Types of Light |

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ALT-ROCK

"Every lover on a mission/Shift your known position/Into the light," sings Tunde Adebimpe in his best falsetto croon on "Second Song," which is actually the first cut on TV on the Radio's fourth album. If that sounds a little mystical, well, that's all part of the dreamy psychedelia that makes this a groovy trip. There's a woozy romanticism to slow-burners like "Keep Your Heart" and "Will Do." Elsewhere, they bring a synth-pop pulsation to "No Future Shock," which finds TVOTR making like Talking Heads.

MJB's 1994 masterpiece is still the holy grail of hip-hop soul. That's why I got goose bumps when I heard that Blige was releasing My Life II, The Journey Continues on Sept. 20. "Someone to Love Me (Naked)," the revealing first single featuring Lil Wayne and My Life producer Diddy, has me counting the days.

RAY DAVIES

See My Friends

The British Invader enlists some impressive pals-from Bruce Springsteen and Lucinda Williams to Jackson Browne and Metallica-in revamping Kinks faves. The coolest collaboration is with Mumford & Sons on "Days/This Time Tomorrow."

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RIO

Original Soundtrack

While Jamie Foxx, will.i.am and Taio Cruz don't exactly come to mind when you think of Brazilian music, there's some real cred here from Bebel Gilberto, Carlinhos Brown and Sergio Mendes, who performs and serves as producer.

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SNOOP DOGG

Doggumentary

At 80 minutes, the latest from the Doggfather feels about as long as The Godfather Part II. The interminable length-and endless parade of guests-make it tough to weed out the good songs, such as "Eyez Closed" featuring Kanye West and John Legend.

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THE KILLS

Blood Pressures

The White Stripes may be over, but the spirit of Jack and Meg is still alive in this boy-girl blues-punk duo. Highlights of their fourth album include the thumping "Heart Is a Beating Drum" and "The Last Goodbye," an aching, country-tinged waltz.

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DAFT PUNK, "SOMETHING ABOUT US"

It's just a really beautiful song-I connect with the words so much. Daft Punk are one of the main reasons I do the kind of music I do.

MICKEY AVALON, "MY D--"

The first tour I ever went on was with Mickey. This song is hilarious, and Dirty Nasty [the rapper alias of former MTV veejay Simon Rex] is on it. They are like my crew. When I was broke and living out of my car in L.A., they were so cool.

BEASTIE BOYS, "(YOU GOTTA) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT (TO PARTY!)"

I cover that on tour. One of my dancers got a huge gash and a black eye because we got crazy [performing it].

LED ZEPPELIN, "BLACK DOG"

No matter where I am, it gets me in the mood to party.

ALICE COOPER, "FEED MY FRANKENSTEIN"

Alice has been like a mentor. We met at the Grammys and started talking about aliens. It was just love!

The Academy of Country Music honors these women with the help of Vince Gill, Rascal Flatts and more. While Wynonna and John Fogerty's "Proud Mary" is a highlight, Carrie brings the house down with "How Great Thou Art."

CARRIE UNDERWOOD

REBA

MARTINA McBRIDE

NAOMI JUDD

WYNONNA JUDD

JENNIFER NETTLES

MIRANDA LAMBERT

ACM PRESENTS GIRLS' NIGHT OUT

Friday, April 22, 9/8c on CBS

It's not often that a British artist gets to perform on Saturday Night Live before her debut album has even hit U.S. shores. Yet such was the hype about JESSIE J-winner of the Critics' Choice prize at the 2011 Brit Awards-that she did just that last month. But on Who You Are, the soulful "Price Tag" singer can't decide if she wants to be Beyonce, Christina Aguilera or Lily Allen. She's best channeling Teena Marie on the ballad "Big White Room."

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