Albums: Nov. 11, 2011 | EW.com

Music

Albums: Nov. 11, 2011

Reviews of the latest from Susan Boyle, Wale, and more

Susan Boyle, Someone to Watch Over Me
Is the bloom off the old English rose? SuBo’s first two albums summoned a weirdly transgressive thrill, but here — in weak-tea renditions of ”Unchained Melody” and Depeche Mode’s ”Enjoy the Silence” — she sounds like a showbiz vet marking time. CMikael Wood

Joe Nichols, It’s All Good
Best known for his 2005 Nashville hit ”Tequila Makes Her Clothes Fall Off,” the Arkansas native still lives for small-town skin. ”If you’re a pretty little country thang, bikini under them cutoff jeans,” he sings on his latest, ”take ‘em off.” Okay, then! BMW

Wale, Ambition
The quick-witted rapper’s 2009 debut too often indulged in Cristal-soaked Maybach music, and while his follow-up’s party beats are sturdy, it’s frustrating to hear him trade his brainy morality for shout-outs to ”illest bitches.” B-Kyle Anderson

David Lynch, Crazy Clown Time

The outré filmmaker follows his 2009 Danger Mouse collab with a typically creepy solo set full of warped guitars and carnival-barker vocals. Karen O adds a splash of sex to ”Pinky’s Dream,” but this is mostly late-night loneliness in musical form. B-MW

Human Switchboard, Who’s Landing in My Hangar? Anthology 1977-1984
Back in the late ’70s, these cult heroes were the collegiate Velvet Underground. This reissue of the Ohio art-rockers’ lone, still-fresh studio album — all angry garage riffs and deathly cool sing-spoken vocals — is an excellent reminder that they’ve been too long forgotten. A-Melissa Maerz

Kiran Ahluwalia, Aam Zameen: Common Ground
Bollywood and traditional Pakistani devotional music find themselves on a ride across the Sahara desert on the Indo-Canadian singer’s lovely latest, a hypnotic swirl of biting chords and cursive melodies. A-K. Leander Williams