QuickTakes

Jenny and Johnny
“I’m Having Fun Now”
(Warner Bros.)

Jenny Lewis of Rilo Kiley has formed Jenny and Johnny, a side project with her singer-songwriter boyfriend Johnathan Rice. Lewis adds soft and charming vocals to each track, while Rice brings an edgier and moodier style. The instrumentals are reminiscent of California beach pop. “Big Wave” delves into the economic issues in California, yet Lewis’ vocals juxtapose the serious subject matter with a catchy and upbeat twist. You can feel the chemistry between the two musicians in each track, but the dynamic duo manages to stay away from cutesy lovebird sounds.

Christina Oriel


Lee DeWyze
“Live It Up”

(RCA)

While it has only been six short months since Chicago native Lee DeWyze was crowned the latest American Idol winner, he has already released his major-label debut album, “Live It Up.” DeWyze combines folk, rock and pop to produce an eclectic set of songs that will appeal to both his Idol fans and Top 40 radio audiences. You can listen to an ode to a lost love in “Dear Isabelle,” get into a New York state of mind with the track “Brooklyn Bridge,” or hear a tale about falling for someone after a couple of shots in “It’s Gotta Be Love.”

Naomi Jean Camacho


Bruce Springsteen
“The Promise”

(Columbia)

No matter how much people may make fun of the state of New Jersey, it has one trump card that cannot be matched. His name is Bruce Springsteen. The Boss is back with previously unreleased songs from the “Darkness on the Edge of Town” sessions. “Racing in the Street” starts this album off right with the Bruce Springsteen we all know and love. Check out “Ain’t Good Enough for You” and “Talk to Me” to see yet another side of this American music legend that won’t disappoint.

Marissa Driscoll


Warpaint
“The Fool”

(Rough Trade)

Formed on Valentine’s Day in Los Angeles, the all-female Warpaint has created an album full of slow-burning beauty and psychedelia. “The Fool” has fleeting hints of Nirvana and Pearl Jam, but this only adds to the lush and multi-layered sound these women create. “Undertow” and “Composure” are the best tracks, giving the harmonies a chance to shine, and for once I am thankful for a rock band I can sing along to.

Lucy Westcott

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