Mr. West, Cher wants her ”Believe” vocoder machine back. We kid! In fact, the rapper’s latest is a welcome departure from his usual boasts and beats, with its spare, hypnotic melody and haunting vocals (”I’m in love with you/But the vibe is wrong/and that haunted me, all the way home”). A- — Leah Greenblatt
Break out the lighters for this mammoth arena anthem courtesy of your American Idol (and co-writer Chris Cornell). ”Light On” contains all the requisite parts — massive chorus, wall of guitars, obligatory bridge breakdown — that went into the rock hits of artists like Nickelback and Daughtry. Predictable? Sadly so, but still undeniably catchy. B- — Shirley Halperin
''LOVE REMAINS THE SAME''
He may live in the shadow of megastar wife Gwen Stefani, but the former Bush rocker has actually gotten a boost from two other, unlikely boldfaced names: Richard Gere and Diane Lane. His stirring, Peter Gabrielesque ballad is featured prominently in the ad for their romantic drama Nights in Rodanthe. B+ — LG
The 19-year-old country wunderkind previews her upcoming sophomore album with a winsome, headily romantic ballad that spins the tale of Romeo and Juliet into a modern-day, well, love story. Modest twang and all, the song will still probably find its way onto the pop charts. A- — LG