You monthly crib sheet . . . take that, music snobs!
ROBYN Robyn (Cherrytree-Interscope) In the '90s, Robyn refused to open for the Backstreet Boys; now that defiant streak's been channeled into a disc full of gum-snapping urban pop. A more feral Gwen Stefani, Robyn makes the song "Should Have Known" an instant dedication to your schmuck of an ex: "I should've seen it comin'/ I should've fuckin' known."
Download Now: "Handle Me"
JAMIE LIDELL Jim (Warp) For all the sins committed in the name of white-boy funk, Lidell offers blissful redemption. Jim is a sprightly take on pop and piano rock, wrapped up in Lidell's raw-silk voice. With an infectious energy, even the relationship-repair song "Another Day" has you believing in a beautiful future together.
Download Now: "A Little Bit of Feel Good"
NICK CAVE & THE BAD SEEDS Dig!!! Lazarus Dig!!! (Anti-) The title song imagines the biblical figure as a junkie rock star; another waxes poetic about meat lockers. Sound fun yet? Nick Cave indulges in fever-dream narratives and freak-outs so you don't have to, while his crack band, The Bad Seeds, makes the rocking "Lie Down Here" an invitation worth considering.
Download Now: "Today's Lesson"
CASSANDRA WILSON Loverly (Blue Note) Forget mild-mannered jazz albums meant more for the conservatory than the saloon; slinky-voiced Wilson's finger-snapping grooves blow the dust off of blues classics and standards. Two songs in, you'll want to buy the guy at the end of the bar a stiff one.
Download Now: "The Very Thought of You"