New Releases

Loved Me Back to Life

Céline Dion

Arjona Metamorfosis en Vivo

Ricardo Arjona

The Diving Board

Elton John

NEW

Paul McCartney

Moon Landing

James Blunt

Paradise Valley

John Mayer

Swings Both Ways

Robbie Williams
Swings Both Ways is the tenth studio album by English singer-songwriter Robbie Williams. It is his second swing album after 2001's Swing When You're Winning, although, unlike the latter, it features both covers and original material. The album marked Williams' first major work with former longtime collaborator Guy Chambers since 2002's Escapology. Chambers produced the album and co-wrote most of the album's new material with Williams.
The album was released on 15 November 2013 and debuted atop the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 109,000 copies, becoming the UK's 1,000th number one album. It was also Williams' eleventh album to top the chart, putting him joint-second with Elvis Presley for the most UK number one albums. Internationally, the album charted strongly and charted in the top 10 in Ireland, Australia, Belgium, Italy and Sweden, in addition to reaching number one in Austria, Croatia, Germany and Switzerland. As of January 2014, the album has sold over 1.5 million copies worldwide.

The Last Ship (Standard)

Sting

The Last Ship (Deluxe)

Sting

Symphonica

George Michael

A Mary Christmas

Mary J. Blige

From Here To Now To You

Jack Johnson

Closer To The Truth (Deluxe Version)

Cher

Now, Then & Forever

Earth, Wind & Fire

Feels Like Home

Sheryl Crow

Make A Move

Gavin DeGraw

The Power of Love

Sam Bailey

Bookmarks

Five for Fighting

Cadore 33

Sergio Dalma

BZ20

Boyzone

Songs From St. Somewhere

Jimmy Buffett

El Cantante

Dyango

Fly Rasta

Ziggy Marley

Opus

Schiller

Top Albums

The Very Best Of Sting And The Police

Sting

Rapture

Anita Baker
Though Anita Baker got some airplay out of The Songstress, that promising solo debut didn't bring her financial security. In fact, Baker was earning her living as a legal secretary in her native Detroit when she signed with Elektra in the mid-'80s. Elektra gave her a strong promotional push, and the equally superb Rapture became the megahit that The Songstress should have been. To its credit, Elektra made her a major star by focusing on Baker's strong point -- romantic but gospel-influenced R&B/pop ballads and "slow jams," sometimes with jazz overtones -- and letting her be true to herself. Rapture gave Baker one moving hit after another, including "Sweet Love," "Caught up in the Rapture," "Same Ole Love," and "No One in This World." Praising Baker in a 1986 interview, veteran R&B critic Steve Ivory asserted, "To me, singers like Anita Baker and Frankie Beverly define what R&B or soul music is all about." Indeed, Rapture's tremendous success made it clear that there was still a sizeable market for adult-oriented, more traditional R&B singing.

Alex Henderson, Rovi

21

Adele
Adele wrote much of the material on her sophomore album, 21, and her vocals and lyrics deliver from new depths, earning wide acclaim as one of the year's best. The opening track "Rolling in the Deep" was Adele's first number-one hit in the U.S., and wails like a dark disco classic. The scorned anthem sets the tone for a collection of soul songs still brittle from a breakup. On the Rick Rubin-produced "Don't You Remember," Adele affirms: "I know I have a fickle heart and a bitterness, and a wandering eye…" Another standout, "Someone Like You," stings with the rawness of remaining in love with someone who's moved on, particularly the lingering punch line: "Sometimes it lasts in love but sometimes it hurts instead."

Laura Checkoway, Google Play

Greatest Hits

Huey Lewis
There have been many Huey Lewis & the News hits compilations released overseas, but 2006's simply named Greatest Hits is only the second U.S. comp, following Time Flies, which appeared a decade earlier. At a generous 21 tracks, Greatest Hits is not only five songs longer than Time Flies, but it's a better-chosen collection, too. It may be missing "Bad Is Bad," but it has a stronger selection of early songs, like the wonderful "Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do," plus a better selection of latter-day songs, including Huey's duet with Gwyneth Paltrow on Smokey Robinson's "Cruisin'." That doesn't mean the disc is perfect, however; although this does have stronger representation of their earlier material, it could use just a little bit more, and the non-chronological sequencing is a bit of a headache. That said, this has all the hits and no weak songs, making it the best Huey Lewis & the News compilation yet.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

The Best Of Sade

Sade
It's easy to dismiss Sade as makeout music for Calvin Klein Obsession models, but she created an impressive body of work over the course of a decade, a series of moody singles with cool jazz passion and the kick of good R&B. All the hits are here, of course, from "Smooth Operator" to "No Ordinary Love."

Eddie Huffman, Rovi

So Far So Good

Bryan Adams

Bad Self Portraits

Lake Street Dive

Ultimate Air Supply

Air Supply
In 1999, Arista released an 18-track Air Supply anthology called Definitive Collection. Four years later, Arista/BMG Heritage released an 18-track Air Supply anthology called Ultimate Air Supply. What is the difference between the two collections? Five tracks (plus new liner notes, including track-by-track recollections by Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock). The original Australian version of "Lost in Love" is lost from Definitive Collection, but this gains their last American charting single, "The Power of Love (You Are My Lady)," later popularized by Celine Dion. This is a marginal difference, and certainly not enough for anybody who already owned Definitive Collection to jettison it for this, but it does mean that it gets the slight edge for anybody looking for a thorough Air Supply collection (although, truth be told, most listeners will likely be happy with a shorter collection since the songs that surround the big hits -- which are "Lost in Love," "All Out of Love," "Every Woman in the World," "The One That You Love," "Here I Am," "Even the Nights Are Better," and the Jim Steinman-penned "Making Love Out of Nothing at All" -- tend to be a little too samey in their adult contemporary smoothness, and dilute the impact of those big hits).

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Greatest Hits

Tim McGraw
Greatest Hits lives up to its title, offering the bulk of Tim McGraw's big hits over the course of its 15 tracks. Thankfully, there are no new recordings to bait hardcore fans -- just "Let's Make Love," the duet with Faith Hill that originally appeared on her Breathe album. Consequently, this is one of the rare modern-day incidences of a Greatest Hits that really offers all the hits, and nothing but, which not only makes it a boon to fans, but also makes it the most consistent record in McGraw's catalog.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

The Blessed Unrest

Sara Bareilles

We Sing. We Dance. We Steal Things.

Jason Mraz

Pieces Of You

Jewel
Jewel's debut album is a charming collection of light alternative folk-rock from the teenage singer/songwriter. Her songs are occasionally naive, but her melodies can usually save her lyrics.

Sara Sytsma, Rovi

Graceland - 25th Anniversary Edition

Paul Simon
Paul Simon's dazzling mix of American roots music, South African pop and highly personal songcraft instantly became one of the key albums of the 1980s and is now internationally considered among the greatest of all time. The zydeco rush of "Boy in the Bubble" and the autobiographical title track both offer musical comfort to confusing, sometimes deadly, modern landscapes, while the transcendent "Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes" brings magical realism to gritty urban streets.

-- Nick Dedina, Google Play

The Greatest Hits 1970-2002 (Double US CD)

Elton John
Greatest Hits 1970-2002 is a nearly flawless double-disc set commemorating Elton John's three-decade career. Disc one features what may arguably be John's most essential work: Seeing songs such as "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Candle in the Wind," and "Bennie and the Jets" -- not to mention "Your Song," "Rocket Man," and "Tiny Dancer" -- lined up back to back reaffirms just how diverse, and yet universal, his songwriting talent is. Disc two finds this talent maturing gracefully into the '80s, '90s, and beyond, touching on pop gems like "Don't Go Breaking My Heart," "I'm Still Standing," and "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues" as well as his Lion King classic "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?" and the Aida duet "Written in the Stars" with LeAnn Rimes. The collection also finds room for the highlights of his most recent albums, including Made in England's "Believe" and "Blessed," The Big Picture's "Something About the Way You Look Tonight," and Songs from the West Coast's "This Train Don't Stop Here Anymore." For most casual fans, Greatest Hits 1970-2002 will replace the need for collections such as Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits, Vol. 2, and Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, although these collections are still worthwhile as of-their-time retrospectives of John's work.

Heather Phares, Rovi

The Hits

Billy Joel
The inaugural release in the Columbia/Legacy 2011 Billy Joel reissue series, The Hits is the first-ever U.S. single-disc overview of the piano man’s full career. Even his first compilation, 1986’s Greatest Hits, Vols. 1-2, was a double-LP set and so was 2001's The Essential, so just having a 19-track summation of Joel’s career is useful, but fortunately, The Hits accomplishes its job well. True, it bends the rules a little -- the opening “Everybody Loves You Now” never charted, nor did “New York State of Mind,” and there are some notable absences, chief among them his first Top Ten hit “Just the Way You Are” and “Uptown Girl,” along with the anthem “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” -- but what’s here constitutes Billy’s basic canon: “Piano Man,” “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song),” “Only the Good Die Young,” “My Life,” “You May Be Right,” “It’s Still Rock and Roll to Me,” “Allentown,” “Pressure,” “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” Those double-disc sets dig deeper, offering other hits and album tracks, but there’s always been a need for a single disc with most of Joel’s hits, and that’s what The Hits delivers.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Room For Squares

John Mayer
After making minor waves with his 1999 debut, Inside Wants Out, John Mayer hired veteran producer John Alagía (a longtime associate of the Dave Matthews Band) to lace his first major-label effort with commercial appeal. Released in September 2001, Room for Squares proved to be a savvy, well-timed album, quietly heralding the end of teen pop's glory days with nuanced wordplay, a relaxed gait, and intricate (although nevertheless accessible) songwriting. Songs like "No Such Thing" and "Neon" mixed jazz chords with digestible choruses, fashioning a sort of brainy, college-educated pop hybrid that found a home amongst discerning listeners and mainstream fans alike. Of course, it didn't hurt that Mayer also loaded the album with more straightforward numbers -- particularly "Your Body Is a Wonderland," a bubbling piece of bedroom pop that helped swell his female audience. Mayer's heralded guitar solos and bluesy, Stevie Ray Vaughan-styled flourishes were sorely absent from the mix, though, as he initially limited the bulk of his fretwork to the acoustic guitar. It would take a jam-friendly concert album -- 2003's Any Given Thursday -- to introduce the breadth of Mayer's axeman skills to the public, but Room for Squares still provides a nice introduction to the songwriter's catalog, highlighting his blend of collegiate pop/rock and sensitive acoustics while only hinting at the eclectic, genre-hopping chameleon he would later become.[The French release of Room for Squares comes with a bonus VCD. The video component of the disc contains the electronic press kit for the album which includes interview and performance footage. The audio portion has four bonus tracks: acoustic versions of "Back to You" and "No Such Thing," and live versions of Jimi Hendrix's "The Wind Cries Mary" and Stevie Ray Vaughan's "Lenny."]

Greatest Hits Volume I & Volume II

Billy Joel

Battle Studies

John Mayer
It's no secret that John Mayer is a 21st Century Fox, wining and dining women all through tabloid headlines, so it's about time he delivered an album that traded upon his loverman persona -- and Battle Studies is that record in spades. Here, Mayer fashions a modern groove album that maintains a smooth seductive vibe so thorough it spills into a one-man band cover of "Crossroads." Mayer remains a disciple of Eric Clapton, but he shows an unusual interest in big AOR, creating a coolly clean blend of synths and Strats that's as much about texture as it is about song -- perfectly appropriate for a make-out album. Sometimes, Mayer dips too heavily toward texture, but he can't resist good, tight melodies and builds this album upon them.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

...Hits

Phil Collins
If Hits seems a little inadequate, even though it weighs in at 16 tracks, that's because Phil Collins had such a long, productive run. Also, to casual listeners (and possibly even some fans), it's hard to tell which singles are by Genesis and which ones are solo cuts. So, it's almost a certainty that listeners will find something missing from this disc -- and not just because Genesis cuts are absent, but because there's not enough space to fit all of Collins' solo hits, especially since the compilers decided to include a couple of lesser, latter-day hits at the expense of some earlier, bigger ones, while adding his non-LP cover of Cyndi Lauper's "True Colors" to entice hardcore fans. Thus, there are only 13 hits, which means some other big hits and good songs are absent -- "I Missed Again," "I Don't Care Anymore," "Don't Lose My Number," "Do You Remember?" are all MIA. A few of these omissions are quite regrettable, but in the end, Hits is nevertheless a representative and pretty entertaining collection. The sequencing is not chronological, so it doesn't develop a nice flow (although "Take Me Home" is admittedly the ideal closer), but the chief strength of this collection is that it puts all of the big hits - including "Easy Lover," "Against All Odds," "In the Air Tonight," "Sussudio," "One More Night" and "Separate Lives" -- in one place. No, it's not perfect -- and it's hard not to wish that it was -- but Hits still contains the majority of Collins' solo smashes, and that alone makes it a nice addition to his catalog.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

The Stranger

Billy Joel
Billy Joel teamed with Phil Ramone, a famed engineer who had just scored his first producing hits with Art Garfunkel's Breakaway and Paul Simon's Still Crazy After All These Years for The Stranger, his follow-up to Turnstiles. Joel still favored big, sweeping melodies, but Ramone convinced him to streamline his arrangements and clean up the production. The results aren't necessarily revelatory, since he covered so much ground on Turnstiles, but the commercialism of The Stranger is a bit of a surprise. None of his ballads have been as sweet or slick as "Just the Way You Are"; he never had created a rocker as bouncy or infectious as "Only the Good Die Young"; and the glossy production of "She's Always a Woman" disguises its latent misogynist streak. Joel balanced such radio-ready material with a series of New York vignettes, seemingly inspired by Springsteen's working-class fables and clearly intended to be the artistic centerpieces of the album. They do provide The Stranger with the feel of a concept album, yet there is no true thematic connection between the pieces, and his lyrics are often vague or mean-spirited. His lyrical shortcomings are overshadowed by his musical strengths. Even if his melodies sound more Broadway than Beatles -- the epic suite "Scenes From an Italian Restaurant" feels like a show-stopping closer -- there's no denying that the melodies of each song on The Stranger are memorable, so much so that they strengthen the weaker portions of the album. Joel rarely wrote a set of songs better than those on The Stranger, nor did he often deliver an album as consistently listenable.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Come Away With Me

Norah Jones
Norah Jones' debut on Blue Note is a mellow, acoustic pop affair with soul and country overtones, immaculately produced by the great Arif Mardin. (It's pretty much an open secret that the 22-year-old vocalist and pianist is the daughter of Ravi Shankar.) Jones is not quite a jazz singer, but she is joined by some highly regarded jazz talent: guitarists Adam Levy, Adam Rogers, Tony Scherr, Bill Frisell, and Kevin Breit; drummers Brian Blade, Dan Rieser, and Kenny Wollesen; organist Sam Yahel; accordionist Rob Burger; and violinist Jenny Scheinman. Her regular guitarist and bassist, Jesse Harris and Lee Alexander, respectively, play on every track and also serve as the chief songwriters. Both have a gift for melody, simple yet elegant progressions, and evocative lyrics. (Harris made an intriguing guest appearance on Seamus Blake's Stranger Things Have Happened.) Jones, for her part, wrote the title track and the pretty but slightly restless "Nightingale." She also includes convincing readings of Hank Williams' "Cold Cold Heart," J.D. Loudermilk's "Turn Me On," and Hoagy Carmichael's "The Nearness of You." There's a touch of Rickie Lee Jones in Jones' voice, a touch of Bonnie Raitt in the arrangements; her youth and her piano skills could lead one to call her an Alicia Keys for grown-ups. While the mood of this record stagnates after a few songs, it does give a strong indication of Jones' alluring talents.

David R. Adler, Rovi

The Best Of Bonnie Raitt On Capitol 1989-2003

Bonnie Raitt
The Best of Bonnie Raitt on Capitol 1989-2003, its 18 tracks handpicked by the artist herself as a portrait of her renaissance years, are indicative of the high-quality work ethic she has imposed on herself. Sometimes these songs reveal the queen doing a definitive read, such as on John Hiatt's "Lovers Will" (a song that deserves far, far more than it got -- the ache in her voice is the real grain of somebody who has been on both sides of love's hot broken arrow and still has faith enough to sing) or "Thing Called Love." Sometimes she's bringing the songs of Paul Brady ("Not the Only One"), Bonnie Hayes ("Love Letter" and "Have a Heart"), or even David Gray ("Silver Lining") and Richard Thompson ("Dimming of the Day") to the masses in ways that define them for a different audience. And sometimes, it's simply Raitt playing her own songs ("Nick of Time" and "Spit of Love") full of a poetic, sensual ferocity that oozes tenderness and commitment. And throughout it all is her trademark bottleneck slide, coaxing love notes or razored snarls out of her Stratocaster. There aren't any unreleased tracks here, but for the money you get the best of the best and her own comments on each song as well as a short essay about what this music means to her. Given that you don't have that box set (yet), that means this is worth whatever you happen to pay for it -- but don't forget about getting some of those Warner albums (Give It Up is a great place to start). Here is the astonishing range, from deep blue-eyed bluesy soul, sheeny reggae-tinged pop, and adult rock & roll that moves and inspires anyone with an open mind.

Thom Jurek, Rovi

Rocket Man: Number Ones

Elton John
Hard to believe, but there's never been a good single-disc overview of Elton John's biggest hits available in America until 2007's 17-track Rocket Man: Number Ones. (The British release added one track and was titled Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits.) He's had plenty of collections, including a good single-disc European set that circulated in the late '90s, but Rocket Man is the first to really offer a solid career-spanning overview as a single-disc set. Of course, even though this pulls number ones from various charts in the U.S. and U.K. there are big hits missing -- whether it's classics like "Honky Cat," which never reached the pole position in the U.S., or latter-day number ones like "I Don't Want to Go on You Like That," which did top the adult contemporary chart -- but it's hard to argue with what's here (with the possible exception of "Sacrifice," which does represent his late-'80s/early-'90s adult contemporary work but isn't one of his best hits). All the big songs -- "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Bennie and the Jets," "Daniel," "Crocodile Rock," "Philadelphia Freedom," "Can You Feel the Love Tonight?," "Your Song," "Candle in the Wind" -- are here, which will satisfy the casual fan for whom this is designed. Anybody who laments the absence of "Levon," "Someone Saved My Life Tonight," "Mama Can't Buy You Love," "I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," or "I'm Still Standing" should turn to another compilation: this is not the set for them. But for the fan who wants a good sampling of Elton throughout the years, this is ideal.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

To Be Loved

Michael Bublé
To Be Loved is the eighth studio album from Canadian crooner Michael Bublé. Featuring a mix of classic covers ("You Make Me Feel So Young," "Have I Told You Lately," "To Love Somebody") and special guest appearances from Reece Witherspoon, Bryan Adams, and the Puppini Sisters, this is a charming return to form for the popular singer and will surely delight his legions of fans. It also includes the original composition "It's a Beautiful Day."

Aneet Nijjar, Rovi

Top Songs

Brave

Sara Bareilles

Rolling in the Deep

Adele

I'm Yours

Jason Mraz

I Choose You

Sara Bareilles

In The Air Tonight

Phil Collins

Feel This Moment

Pitbull feat. Christina Aguilera

Drops of Jupiter

Train

Before He Cheats

Carrie Underwood

50 Ways to Say Goodbye

Train

Gravity

John Mayer

Africa

Toto

Piano Man

Billy Joel

Praise You In This Storm

Casting Crowns

Hey, Soul Sister

Train

(Everything I Do) I Do It For You

Bryan Adams

Take On Me

a-ha

Summer Of '69

Bryan Adams

You Raise Me Up

Josh Groban

This Woman's Work (Uncut)

Maxwell

Angel

Sarah McLachlan

It's Your Love

Tim McGraw featuring Faith Hill

Stayin' Alive

Bee Gees

Sweet Caroline

Neil Diamond