Vanessa Carlton's new album, Heroes & Thieves, is her first for hip-hop label the Inc. Records, but don't expect her to be spitting it like Lil' Kim - she's still kicking it on the piano. It's the sweeping, string-laden title tune that scales highest.
Recorded in just 10 days, with 12 tracks clocking in at less than 34 minutes, the new Dashboard Confessional CD, The Shade of Poison Trees, definitely feels like a quickie. "Matters of Blood and connection," is a biting strummer.
Following the fiery political-protest anthems of 2006's Living with War, the 61-year-old rock legend, Neil Young, turns his focus inward. Chrome Dreams II finds a positive Young contemplating mortality and spirituality, fitting for a newly qualified AARP member nearly killed by a brain aneurysm two years ago. He seamlessly mixes the fragility of "The Believer" with the searing guitars of "Dirty Old Men."