If/Then
Original Broadway Cast Recording
(Stone/Sony/Masterworks)
This new musical starring Idina Menzel is fantastic. Just a few songs into the album, I was already enjoying the ride, with its dramatic interludes and hilarious quips. Although the CD is largely made up of more serious moments, most notable to me was just how much it made me laugh, I must applaud Menzel. My favorite song on the CD is when she sings “What the F**k.” The chorus parts were great as well. Other high points of the CD were “No More Wasted Time” for the ferocious power of the female voices of the cast, “Here I Go,” and “Love While You Can.” Fans of musicals should not ignore this album.
Brooke Candy
Opulence EP
(RCA/Sony)
If you want some heart-pumping, gritty and hyperactive hip hop club music, this is for you. I enjoyed this EP, but it’s not something I would casually listen to. It is definitely not music to go to sleep to. It belongs within the walls surrounding the dance floor on a sticky summer night. My favorite track is “Feel Yourself (Alcohol),” which I’m adding to all my best playlists. But I was not a fan of “Godzillionaire.” It combined my least favorite elements of hip hop dance songs -- poorly constructed repetitive lyrics with an experimental beat -- and they didn’t mix well. However don’t miss out on the title track, “Opulence.” It is excellent.
Moxie Raia
Reckless Passionate Youth Sampler
(Capitol Records)
I’m really enjoying this initial taste of Moxie. It’s mostly pop with R&B elements. If Katy Perry and Rihanna morphed into one entity, this would be it. The lyrics are mostly on the obvious side of pop, but that’s not necessarily bad. The songs are simple, fun, and ready for the radio. I can already see myself accidentally singing to them in the car, and they stay in your head, that’s for sure. “Buffalo Bill” is good, but there are also some excellent remixes to it. My favorites are the Tiesto Remix and the Samantha Ronson Remix. After this small preview, I’m looking forward to what Moxie has to bring in the future.
Röyksopp & Robyn Do It Again
(Dog Triumph LTD/Interscope/Cherrytree)
This album is a breath of fresh air for people who are looking for something different and subtle. It’s close to being an electronica masterpiece. Most musicians in the last few years follow a similar model according to their genre, but this album felt like finding a diamond in the rough. If you don’t like electronica, you will not like this. But if you are getting tired of the radio singles and are looking for a completely different experience, try these serious songs. One of my favorites is “Inside the Idle Hour Club.” The ambiance alone is so haunting, and I could not love it more. Though it’s hard to choose, my favorite song off the CD is “Monument.”

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