07/03/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT
Keane, Under the Iron Sea
This British trio has even more to mope about after the success of 2004's gold debut Hopes and Fears. When you're bummed out, their uber-melodic, piano-driven pop goes down like a pint of Häagen-Dazs.
Busta Rhymes, The Big Bang Busta
brings in the big guns for his seventh studio disc, including producer Dr. Dre and guests like Kelis, Nas and Stevie Wonder. All that collaborative energy produces banging results.
Nelly Furtado, Loose
On her beat-crazy third CD, Furtado turns up the fun and the funk, making like a quirky cross between Gwen Stefani
and Missy Elliott on cuts like "Promiscuous."
Dixie Chicks, Taking the Long Way
After the backlash from singer Natalie Maines's anti-Bush comments in 2003, the Chicks boldly move further away from the sound of the country establishment.