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Albums: March 2, 2012

Reviews of the latest releases from Lyle Lovett, Grimes, and Nneka

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Lyle Lovett, Release Me
Lovett doesn’t just cover his favorite songs here, he transforms them. He slows down Chuck Berry’s ”Brown Eyed Handsome Man” into a classic country loper, and gives gospel standard ”Lord, Keep Us Steadfast in Thy Word” a Celtic twist. Best by far is blues hero Charley Jordan’s ”Keep It Clean,” which captures Lovett’s deadpan humor: ”Put a muzzle on your daddy/’Cuz he look like a bear.” B+Melissa Maerz

Grimes, Visions
Remember that cute, quirky French Canadian girl who was always listening to Björk and Kate Bush two dorm rooms down from you? Her name’s Claire Boucher, and now she’s got her own dreamy, glitchy art-pop. And yes, she’s still cooler than you. B+Ray Rahman

Nneka, Soul Is Heavy
Lauryn Hill fans waiting for the follow-up to her 1998 solo classic should kill some time (softly) with this Nigerian-born singer-rapper’s latest. Like the former Fugee, Nneka gives weighty topics — think faith and family — a soulful effervescence. B+Mikael Wood

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