SOLANGE KNOWLES Solo Star (Columbia) Beyonce's 16-year-old sister makes her debut with the help of her big sis, the Neptunes, Timbaland, and Linda Perry.
THE DELGADOS Hate (Mantra) The Scottish folk-pop band employs lush strings, flutes, and choirs to create what it's called ''an album of extreme negativity and extreme revelation.'' Sounds extremely compatible with post-holiday blues.
THE SEA AND CAKE One Bedroom (Thrill Jockey) On their sixth album, Chicago's liltingly jazzy, post-rock S&C include a cover of Bowie's ''Sound and Vision.''
UNWRITTEN LAW Music in High Places (Lava) For an installment of MTV's peripatetic series, the punk-popsters recorded acoustic versions of 11 of their songs in Wyoming's Yellowstone Park.
IF YOU LIKE...
Basic meat-and-potatoes rock & roll a la CHUCK BERRY and the ROLLING STONES, chomp down on Slow Death (Norton), an archival collection of early-'70s recordings from San Francisco cult band the FLAMIN' GROOVIES.
The tuneful, smart-ass rock of PAVEMENT, you'll wanna cock an ear to ARCHERS OF LOAF's mighty fine 1995 disc Vee Vee (Alias), which offers concrete proof of greatness.
Unrepentant West Coast gangsta stuff like ICE CUBE, you'll want to snag a copy of Ghetto Heisman (Def Jam) by the redoubtable Left Coast rap legend WC.
Humorous punk like that of THE OFFSPRING, buy or steal yourself the VANDALS' recent laff-orama, Internet Dating Super Studs (Kung Fu).