With expatriates from Guns N' Roses (guitarist Slash, drummer Matt Sorum and bassist Duff McKagan) and Stone Temple Pilots (lead singer Scott Weiland), Velvet Revolver formed a winning union back in 2004. They continue their hard-rock rule on Libertad (which is Spanish for "freedom"). There is plenty of sleazy good fun to be had on testosterone-charged track like "Mary Mary".
Having helped produce Amy Winehouse's hit Back to Black, as well as Lily Allen's Alright, Still, Mark Ronson is on a real roll in 2007. So the timing couldn't be better for Version, on which Ronson puts his retro-cool spin on "Stop Me Melody", featuring Australian singer Daniel Merriweather, which merges the Smiths' "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" and the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" into the most soulful rave since Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy".
Anyone who witnessed this year's superbowl halftime show was reminded that Prince possesses more talent in his little pinky than your average musician. Really, though, he's been on a resurgent roll since 2004. He's got his purple mojo working on Planet Earth, which, at its best, recalls his '80s reign. A song like "Guitar," the ax-slinging first single, is classic Prince, full of sexy swagger, Revolution-era riffs and cheeky humor.
Singer-songwriter Sara Bareilles used artistic differences with her record company as the creative inspiration for "Love Song," the defiant first single from her major-label debut. The result is a vibrant piece of piano pop that helped make Little Voice the No 1 album download at iTunes.