Paris Bennett, Princess P (TVT Records). Bennett was an amiable American Idol contestant. But a cover of "My Boyfriend's Back" capable of triggering the gag reflex and "Let Me Rap," which pairs her with Kevin "Chicken Little" Corvais on a track that name-drops Kevin Federline, extinguishes the last flicker of goodwill. This is your fault, Ryan Seacrest! -- Roberts
The Chariot, The Fiancée (Solid State). Not since Slayer issued Reign in Blood in 1986 has such a short album packed such a long-lasting punch. Clocking in at 29 minutes, The Fiancée is a searing blast of heavyweight hardcore, with a story line that recalls the epic, horror-tinged albums of metal maestro King Diamond. -- Brandon Daviet
Oscar Peterson & Friends, Swiss Radio Days, Vol. 16 (TCB). Made up of vintage Peterson performances culled from a 1953 date in Lausanne, Switzerland, Swiss Radio finds the pianist in fine form as he romps through Ellington's "C-Jam Blues" and "Cottontail" in the company of the Jazz at the Philharmonic band, which included Barney Kessel, Lester Young and Gene Krupa. -- Jon Solomon
Joe Strummer, The Future Is Unwritten (Sony). Serving as a soundtrack to the forthcoming documentary on Joe Strummer's life, The Future Is Unwritten is a treasure trove of tracks from Strummer's post-Clash bands, Latino Rockabilly War and the Mescaleros, as well as songs that influenced Strummer from artists such as Bob Dylan and Eddie Cochran. -- Daviet
The View, Hats Off to the Buskers (Sony). Most truly great albums have solid writing at their core. To that end, Hats Off benefits from two of the best songsmiths to emerge from the British Isles since Squeeze's Difford and Tilbrook. Here the simple Scottish quartet takes decades of tired influences and rockist baggage and makes it all disappear in a mix that is both contemporary and timeless. -- Mark Bliesener
Various Artists, Punk Goes Acoustic 2 (Fearless Records). More like Punk Goes Sappy. With the exception of Say Anything, which has some fun with "Woe," and Anti-Flag, whose members set off an Alarm during "Welcome to 1984," Relient K and most of the other acts on this disc drink too deeply from the cup of sincerity and end up as whine-o's. Put a cork in it. -- Roberts
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