Picks and Pans Review: Quick Cuts

updated 06/01/2009 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 06/01/2009 01:00AM

>MAT KEARNEY City of Black & White There are shades of John Mayer, Jack Johnson and Coldplay's Chris Martin on this singer-songwriter's latest. What Kearney lacks in originality, though, he helps make up for with a breezy appeal.

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ST. VINCENT Actor As St. Vincent, Annie Clark acts in multiple roles: singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. With her cinematic vision—and a theatricality Rufus Wainwright would applaud—her chamber pop plays well to the art-house set.n

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CAGE THE ELEPHANT Cage the Elephant Boasting both a rootsy grit and a hip-hop swagger, these bluesy rockers find the missing link between Kings of Leon and Kid Rock. This is what the Chili Peppers might sound like if they came out of Kentucky.

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JULIAN MARLEY Awake On his smooth if unspectacular third disc, the reggae scion keeps the family legacy intact with a little help from brothers Stephen Marley and Damian "Jr. Gong" Marley (on the standout "Violence in the Streets").

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