Sounds like: These Frenchies are masters of shiny, harmless, fun and poppy indie rock, and their fifth is a bit more ambitious than we’d thought. Fantastique!
Free association: The “China Girl” motif that runs in the single is all over the album.
For fans of: Air/Daft Punk x Empire of the Sun, Hot Chip, glamour x loose morals.
Sounds like: So, Snoop went to Jamaica (for the first time?), got christened Snoop Lion by a Rasta, and now he’s got a reggae-themed album full of island jams.
Free association: Twelve albums deep, and it’s possible he’s lost his damn mind.
For fans of: Dre x Shaggy + Marley, Drake/Akon/Busta, red, gold, black and green.
(Asylum/I Am Sound)
Sounds like: The official debut of the rising Britpop star’s outstanding neon-bright synth energy bursts with infectious and anthemic youthful bangers.
Free association: She took the strength of “I Love It” and shot herself out of a cannon.
For fans of: Kate Bush x the Spice Girls + M.I.A., Icona Pop, sex kitten assassins.
Sounds like: The once respectable Black Eyed Pea’s fourth solo LP continues his trend of playing with producer trickery and villainous Top-40 dominance.
Free association: Riding the wave’s apt; just can’t wait for it to crash down on him.
For fans of: Brit Brit/Chris Brown/Biebs, Nicole Scheherazade, mindless pop trash.
Side Effects of You
Sounds like: OK! The 28-year-old North Cacalack native’s fourth is simply great hip-hop-flavored R&B, with spot-on production and spare but bangin’ guests.
Free association: She got Kelly Rowland and Missy on a track. Ready the awards!
For fans of: J Hud x Destiny’s Child + Ciara, Clarkson/Studdard, improvement.
(Paper Bag Records)
Sounds like: Borne of former Stars touring guitarist Stephen Ramsay and gf Catherine McCandless, the band’s fourth goes deeper into chilly, dreamy synth rock.
Free association: All things Stars don’t sound like Stars. This isn’t that exciting.
For fans of: More-hype The Dears, Beat Radio/The Radio Dept., blind Canuck love.