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Albums: March 23, 2012

Reviews of the latest releases from WZRD, Melanie Fiona, and Nite Jewel

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WZRD, WZRD
The sorcerers of WZRD — Kid Cudi and producer Dot Da Genius — are more likely to be inspired by van paintings than bearded dudes with Sorting Hats. Cudi forgoes rap in favor of skeletal psych rock and post-emo crooning — a ballsy trick he carries off despite some occasional proggy water-treading. BKyle Anderson

Melanie Fiona, The MF Life
The Canadian singer’s much-delayed second outing billows the same sultry R&B smoke found on her 2009 debut, The Bridge, which scored many a boudoir-warming party. Slow-burning pathos remains her strongest suit, but the propulsive empowerment of ”This Time” fits just as well. A-KA

Nite Jewel, One Second of Love
Minimalist bedroom diva Ramona Gonzalez isn’t just from L.A., she’s from the L.A. of Ryan Gosling’s palm-tree noir Drive. She’s made her name with a series of lo-fi, haze-and-neon electro-pop records, but her latest clears the air with crisper production and subtle, synthy R&B swagger. B+Ray Rahman