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