Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves

UPDATED 08/01/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 08/01/2005 at 01:00 AM EDT

George Strait, Somewhere Down in Texas Strait envelops this terrific country disc with the kind of calm warmth that he is especially skilled at generating.

Esthero, Wikked Lil' Grrrls This Canadian chanteuse splices pop, hip-hop, R&B, jazz, electronica, Latin and spoken-word styles into a quirky-cool whole.

Yang yang twins, U.S.A. (United State of Atlanta) On the Atlanta duo's hot new album, D-Roc and Kaine inject their Dirty South hip-hop with an often dirty sense of humor on tracks like the hit "Wait (The Whisper Song)."

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