Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves
updated 02/21/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 02/21/2005 AT 01:00 AM EST
Nas, Street's Disciple On an ambitious two-CD set, the rapper shows he's still a highly inspired street poet. Just check out the blues-infused "Bridging the Gap," his collaboration with jazz-musician dad Olu Dara.
John Legend, Get Lifted This neo-soul newcomer (and Kanye West protégé) soars on an album that brings to mind such bona fide soul legends as Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway and Al Green.
Blaine Larsen, Off to Join the World Larsen, 18, makes a knock-out country debut that's smartly written, and beautifully sung in a warm baritone reminiscent of Merle Haggard and George Strait.