Diddy's latest hip-hop soul protégée, signed to his Bad Boy Records, is no Mary J. We've heard all of this before—she even rips from MJB's "Love No Limit" on "All I Wanna Do"—and heard it done better.
RAY DAVIES Working Man's Café
After finally releasing his first official solo album in 2006, the former Kinks leader is on a roll. While not quite up to Other People's Lives, this is another fine effort with tasteful, café-ready fare like "Imaginary Man."
ASHTON SHEPHERD Sounds So Good
With a robust voice and rich songwriting (she wrote or co-wrote 10 of 11 cuts), this Alabama native makes an impressive country debut. Among the best: "Takin' Off This Pain," the feisty first single.
MARCUS MILLER Marcus
Mixing new grooves and old faves, the bass guitarist lays down some note-popping, hip-shaking funk with help from guests like Lalah Hathaway, Keb' Mo' and Corinne Bailey Rae (on the Deniece Williams cover "Free").