Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves

updated 01/22/2007 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/22/2007 01:00AM

>Jay-Z, Kingdom Come The second coming of Jay-Z is indeed a religious experience at times. Picking up where he left off with 2003's The Black Album, the self-proclaimed "Mike Jordan of recording" scores a slam dunk on tracks like "Oh My God."

Craig Morgan, Little Bit of Life This Tennessee native plays the down-home card very hard, celebrating tractors, apple pie and coveralls. As long as it's this entertaining, nobody should complain.

Dreamgirls: Music from the Motion Picture This spirited soundtrack belongs to Jennifer Hudson, whose powerhouse performance of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" is a real revelation on record as onscreen.

Cold War Kids, Robbers & Cowards No kid stuff here: The engrossing, energetic debut from this indie-rock quartet features striking stories of grown-up redemption.

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