Picks and Pans Review: Recent Raves

UPDATED 03/02/2009 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 03/02/2009 at 01:00 AM EST


Working on a Dream Recorded with the E Street Band, Dream continues the classic-Springsteen revival of 2007's Magic, from the rousing arena rocker "My Lucky Day" to the eight-minute gunslinger epic "Outlaw Pete."

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Testimony: Vol. 2, Love & Politics On this sequel to 2006's Testimony: Vol. 1, Life & Relationship, Arie tackles both affairs of the heart and society. Her soothing sounds are like comfort food for the soul in these unsettling times.

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Coming Back to You This American Idol alum plays to her strengths as an old-school belter on her debut. Like a young Tina Turner, she can go from a slinky purr to a mighty, gospel-charged growl on these vintage R&B numbers.

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Fantasy Black Channel Living up to the Brit hype, these English lads make their debut a rush of dance-rock grooves, squiggly synths and quirky vocals. Just try not jerking your body to a pulse-racing track like "Heartbeat."

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