Music: What to Listen to Now

Your monthly crib notes. Take that, music snobs . . .

Blazing soul:

FUNK THIS, CHAKA KHAN (Sony BMG/Burgundy Records) On her first release in 10 years, Khan gives us a disc full of new songs, Hendrix and Prince covers, and collabs with superstars, including her sister in soul Mary J. Blige. Wrapping her big brass section of a voice around both hip-hop-inspired beats and earthy acoustic strings, Khan doesn't forget to add a little funk to every track. Think of it as a comeback if you like, but it's still a sweet thing.

DOWNLOAD NOW: "Disrespectful"

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New classic rock:

ECHOES, SILENCE, PATIENCE & GRACE,FOO FIGHTERS (Roswell/RCA Records) The Foo Fighters have finally grown up! Twelve years after their first release, Dave Grohl & Co. manage to stay relevant - without turning into Foo! At the Disco - offering up a more evenly paced, reflective CD than any of their previous lovable, bubble-gum-rock albums. A must for casual fans and FF freaks alike.

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DOWNLOAD NOW: "Long Road to Ruin"

Ethereal punk:

WHITE CHALK, PJ HARVEY (Island Records) Remember when PJ Harvey was the hardest-rocking, baddest chick out there? On her eighth effort, she still rocks but in a more ethereal way. By laying haunting vocals over driving piano chords and lush strings, she's made the kind of subtle album that commands more attention than an electric guitar turned up to 11.

DOWNLOAD NOW: "White Chalk"

Indie gypsy jams:

The Flying Club Cup, BEIRUT (Ba Da Bing Records) It would be easy to sink into a slump when you're a 21-year-old kid who released a hugely successful album just out of your teens. But not if you're Zach Condon, the boy wonder behind the ridiculously enjoyable Beirut. Call it gypsy folk, indie rock, alt-accordion - or do like we do, and just call it good.

DOWNLOAD NOW: "Nantes"

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