“Is It Me”

The Kooks

Junk of the Heart

3 stars

The English indie-rock band The Kooks has a catchy hit on its hands with this first single from its third album, Junk of the Heart. Infused with more melancholia than some of the band’s  earlier hits, “Is It Me” is a fast-paced take on heartbreak that’s enjoyable, but not memorable.

 

“Paradise”

Coldplay

Mylo Xyloto

5 stars

Coldplay’s first single from Mylo Xyloto, “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” wasn’t great, but with the ethereal “Paradise,” they’re back to making amazing, inventive music. This song soars with an electronic influence that lends a sharp edge to the band’s iconic style. Expect to hear it everywhere as the year comes to an end.

 

“Never Too Far Away”

Ashanti

Dream House Soundtrack

3 stars

Ashanti’s first song since 2008, “Never Too Far Away,” shows off some of her considerable vocal skills. While it is a little cheesy, it’s still a satisfying song with a more mature sound than she’s been known for in the past. It is a sound that will surely come through on  her newest album when it is released at the end of this year.

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