Miranda Lambert

Four the Record |

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COUNTRY

If you thought Miranda Lambert would go all warm and fuzzy after marrying Blake Shelton, think again. Known for using men for target practice on songs like "Gunpowder & Lead" and "White Liar," she takes aim again on "Baggage Claim," the first single off her fab fourth album. "At the baggage claim, you got a lot of luggage in your name/ And when you hit the ground, check the lost and found/ 'Cause it ain't my problem now," she snarls, inflamed by a nasty guitar riff. She continues her affection for firearms on the rebel-chick rocker "Fastest Girl in Town." Elsewhere the distortion and roughness of "Fine Tune" recall Lucinda Williams. Best, though, is "Mama's Broken Heart," on which Lambert just can't play nice after a breakup: "Sometimes revenge is the choice you gotta make." Better be good, Blake.

TOBY KEITH

Clancy's Tavern

Yes, he gets jingoistic again on the hit "Made in America." But two wistful breakup songs-"Just Another Sundown" and "South of You"-make up for it.

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BOYZ II MEN

Twenty

Two decades-and one less member-after their debut, these R&B crooners show that they are far from at the end of the road with tunes like the Babyface ballad "I Shoulda Lied."

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PATRICK STUMP

Soul Punk

Always overshadowed by Pete Wentz in Fall Out Boy, Stump makes a spotty solo debut that owes more to Michael Jackson and Prince than anything FOB ever did.

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WALE

Ambition

With the hit "That Way," this rapper is finally getting the attention he deserved for his 2009 debut. This aptly titled follow-up is highlighted by "Slight Work," a Q-Tip-esque jam.

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BRAD PAISLEY

FIRST RECORD I BOUGHT

"Theme from The Dukes of Hazzard (Good Ol' Boys)" by Waylon Jennings. I was in second grade; every little boy wanted to be the Dukes. And I got to sing it with Waylon on the radio!

FIRST SONG I LEARNED ON GUITAR

"Twinkle Twinkle Little Star"-the Mel Bay [children's] guitar method. The first few things you play, you have visions of making the walls shake like the Who, but you don't.

FAVORITE MUSIC MY SONS, HUCK, 4, AND JASPER, 2, LISTEN TO

Barenaked Ladies' kids album Snacktime! It's fantastic.

MOST ROMANTIC SONG

"The Way You Look Tonight." That's as romantic as it gets.

PROM SONG

"Every Rose Has Its Thorn" [by Poison]. We were all horrified that it was picked. I mean, as you're pinning on that corsage, remember every rose has its thorn, so don't get pricked!

Turns 20!

While 1987's The Joshua Tree will go down as U2's magnum opus, Achtung Baby-1991's dark, industrial-edged departure-is a masterpiece in its own right. Two decades later this classic's new 20th-anniversary reissue is still revealing layers. Ominous tracks like "Until the End of the World" play like the prelude to Armageddon, and seductive grooves such as "Mysterious Ways" make this U2's funkiest album. The two-CD Deluxe Edition includes B-sides and remixes, or you can splurge for the 10-disc (!) Super Deluxe Edition.

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