She may have a superstar sister in Beyoncé, but the younger Knowles, delivering sultry vocals and soulful beats, proves that she stands strong on her own with her sparkling second album.
BRIAN WILSON That Lucky Old Sun
If the Beach Boy's gifts for melody and vocal harmony are not quite restored to the majestic heights of old, they're certainly close to it. "Going Home," this disc's highlight, is pure rock-and-roll redemption.
JOAN OSBORNE Little Wild One
On this winning album, Osborne's rich vocals soar atop arrangements that mix old-timey mandolin with the urban pulse of electronic instruments. "Hallelujah in the City" sounds like salvation.
JOHNNY FLYNN A Larum
This Welsh-bred troubadour and multi-instrumentalist revives the sounds of traditional English and Irish folk music on his U.S. debut, bringing plenty of old-world charm to songs like "The Wrote & the Writ."