06/25/2001 at 01:00 AM EDT
>MASS Amanda Thorpe (Cropduster) This New York City-based singer's indie label debut brims with lovely melodies and haunting vocals. A cast of remarkable musicians (Joe McGinty, Tony Scherr) helps sustain the smoky mood.
AS EVER IT IS Everett Bradley (Big Black Booty) Lyrics bordering on poetry, plus big-voiced, pop-accented R&B vocals that never turn saccharine, power Bradley's luscious debut disc. Pay particular attention to "Gray" and "Say."
TROPICAL BRAINSTORM Kirsty MacColl (Instinct/V2) Before her tragic death last year in a swimming accident, quirky Brit MacColl immersed herself in Cuban music styles. This succulent fruit of that passion is her fond, sad farewell.