"20/20 Experience," by Justin Timberlake: Recommended by Eric Byrd of the Eric Byrd Trio. "Hard not to like this kid; strong vocals throughout with very smart, sensible approaches to melody. The hits off the record aren't the strongest tracks. Some songs like "Pusher love girl" are straight Stevie Wonder, showing his influences. All the tracks are singable, not stupidly graphic, musically hip and bow to r&b and pop. Plus, he can actually sing.
"I am Mountain," by Gungor: Recommended by Jeremy Willet, lead singer of the Westminster based Willet. "I have been a huge fan of Gungor ... over the past few years because of their intention of stretching outside of the box that "Christian music" can often times place artists in. I had the opportunity to see Gungor live in concert in Nashville a few years ago, and it was one of the best live shows I've ever seen, and interestingly enough, the most worshipful.
"Out Here," by Christian McBride Trio: Recommended by Eric Byrd. "Wow. Just, wow. Best jazz piano trio record in a long time, and I even put a record out this year. The CD that makes me and everyone else want to retire. Every song - and I mean every track - is a stand alone ... so good I can't listen to but so often as I'll spiral into self doubt and depression."
"This is...Icona Pop," by Icona Pop: Recommended by Anita Mowery, Finksburg Branch Circulation Supervisor. "I went to go see Marina and the Diamonds at the end of last year and was very surprised at how much I enjoyed their opening band, Icona Pop ... It's just upbeat, fun music that will get you dancing in your car - or around the house.