In Brief: There’s a quiet strength to Venus that I find incredibly appealing. The Civil Wars are irreplaceable, and Williams is wise not to try, but her first full-length solo album in 10 years is still leaps and bounds ahead of her old CCM stuff.
In Brief: This neo-traditional country duo swings back and forth between peppy “girl group” songs from a bygone musical era and more brooding alt-country ballads, with a heavy emphasis on songs about breaking up with good men and wishing you knew how to break up with the bad ones.
In Brief: A melodically rich, thrillingly nostalgic, and bizarrely eclectic concoction of an album that, though imperfect in both of its forms, marks a formidable debut for a promising young artist.
In Brief: I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but twenty years later, Heart in Motion still holds up as a reasonably solid pop record with the occasional deeper thought.
In Brief: Despite a few flaws and some songs that underperform, Falling Forward still stands out as Becker’s most mature and meaningful album.
Artist: Katy Perry
Album: One of the Boys
In Brief: It’s an interesting piece of unintentional social commentary, particularly as far as gender issues are concerned. But as music, well, let’s just say it “likes penis”.