What’s the skinny?

Jane’s Addiction



Release date: July 22 (out now)

What the label says: “On ‘Strays,’ the first Jane’s Addiction studio album in 13 years, there’s no mistaking Perry Ferrell’s trademark vocal sound (a nasal goose? a banshee in flight?) and Dave Navarro’s ever-adaptable guitar style.”

What this reviewer says: There is nothing shocking (pardon the reference, I couldn’t resist) on this new Jane’s album. It’s not that it’s bad, it’s not that it’s great. It simply sounds like Jane’s Addiction. If you’re looking for a time capsule back to 1991, this is it. Props to the original bass player for staying at home.

Similar artists: Porno For Pyros, Psi Com

Sample lyrics: “They attack/ I bring ’em down/ Or make their chances/ Super low/ My, my pretty navel/ Dimple cheek,/ Her face I adore/ Wanna be your super hero/ Falling from a running horse” – “Superhero”

Best song: “Just Because”

Worst song: “To Match the Sun”

Rating: 7/10




Release date: July 22 (out now)

What the label says: “Humorous, intense, playful, sexy, wise, womanly, off kilter and on point, ‘Moodring’ is a sonic indicator of how Mya is living, loving, and creating in 2003.”

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What this reviewer says:Just once, I would love to see an R&B singer go it alone without the obligatory rapper cameos, in this case the mediocre Lloyd Banks of G-Unit and reggae star Sean Paul. Production from Missy Elliott and Rockwilder help Mya’s cause, but missteps such as “Whatever Bitch” and the cover of Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin” just leave the listener confused. All in all, an average effort.

Similar artists: Ashanti, Monica

Sample lyrics: “One day I’m gonna wake up and find the strength/ To leave yo’ ass behind/ Boy I wish you wasn’t quite so big/ And damn them sexy lips” – “Why You Gotta Look So Good?”

Best song: “Sophisticated Lady”

Worst song: “Whatever Bitch”

Rating: 4/10

Pat Green

Wave on Wave


Release date: July 15 (out now)

What the label says: “If you live anywhere other than Texas, Pat Green may be the most famous country singer you’ve never heard of.”

What this reviewer says: Pat Green comes off as kind of a more hillbilly version of John Mellencamp. If you’re looking for some new country music, you could do a lot worse than this. He’s a legend in Texas for some reason I suppose.

Similar artists: Cross Canadian Ragweed, Robert Earl Keen

Sample lyrics: “Debutantes and champagne, diamonds and cocaine/ I ain’t the son of outrageous fortune/ Cash ain’t status for a guy like me” – “Guy Like Me”

Best song: “If I Was the Devil”

Worst song: “Elvis”

Rating: 6/10

Various Artists

Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park Presents: Across 155th Street – The Soundtrack


Release date: July 15 (out now)

What the label says: “Consistent with the sensory-rich, kaleidoscopic nature of the ‘Entertainer’s Basketball Classic at Rucker Park’ DVD, the soundtrack offers a panoply of sounds.”


What this reviewer says: Like most hip-hop compilations, this soundtrack has some great songs, some mediocre, and some that are plain head-scratching bad. Jean Grae, Roscoe, Talib Kweli, Nazaruz, and Dead Prez turn in some great stuff. Fat Joe, Mobb Deep, Tragedy Khadafi, and D.E.Z. handle the mediocre. The rest is pretty bad. The song of most interest is the bonus track of “Gin and Juice” as performed by a rapper/piano player by the name of B-Dogg. Worth it for the Jean Grae song alone.

Similar artists: Soul in the Hole soundtrack, Lyricist Lounge

Sample lyrics: “Rap’s dead, rap sucks/ Thanks to y’all for killin’ it/ Grillin’ it down and spillin’ its guts/ And fillin’ it back up with trash/ Wait up I mean cash” – “My Crew,” Jean Grae

Best song: “My Crew,” Jean Grae

Worst song: “Only You,” Moe Mansun feat. Tony Sunshine

Rating: 5/10