Picks and Pans Main: Music

updated 08/23/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/23/2010 AT 01:00 AM EDT

Blake Shelton

All About Tonight |

bgwhite bgwhite bgwhite  


Five months after his first "six pak," Hillbilly Bone, Blake Shelton serves up his second one. But while these six-track EPs have been a clever marketing move in a sales-challenged music industry, the pressure is on to make every song count. The country star does that here, with not one clunker in the bunch. Highlights include two collaborations with fiancee Miranda Lambert: the down-home duet "Draggin' the River" and the aching ballad "Suffocating," which Lambert cowrote with Lady Antebellum's Hillary Scott. Best, though, is the tenderly wistful "Who Are You When I'm Not Looking."

Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam

Original Soundtrack |

bgwhite bgwhite   


The Jonas Brothers and Demi Lovato, stars of the new Disney Channel movie premiering Sept. 3, also headline this soundtrack. But while these tunes may work in the context of a TV flick, few stand out offscreen. Most of the better tracks involve a JoBro, such as "You're My Favorite Song," a sweet duet with exes Lovato and Joe Jonas.

Mike Posner

31 Minutes to Takeoff |

bgwhite bgwhite   


The most surprising moment on Mike Posner's debut album comes when Boyz II Men turn up to lend their "Cooleyhighharmony" to the R&B-lite strains of "Deja Vu." The old-school crooners so completely outclass Posner, it's a joke: They're crème brulee, he's Jell-O. But the 22-year-old Duke grad's barely passable voice is part of his everydude appeal. Any frat boy can sing along to catchy if (purposely?) cheesy tunes like the hit "Cooler Than Me," making Posner this summer's answer to Sugar Ray.


From Our Partners