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Albums: May 17, 2013

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Singles
TAYLOR SWIFT FEAT. ED SHEERAN
”Everything Has Changed”

This collaboration sparked romance rumors, and “Everything” will leave shippers willing them to be true. Swift and Sheeran’s confessional writing style and effortless vocals blend in a snapshot of the butterfly flutter of new love. Like that moment, you won’t want this tender ditty to end. A-Lanford Beard

MARIAH CAREY FEAT. MIGUEL
”#BEAUTIFUL”

The American Idol judge’s short-and-smooth single is everything we weren’t expecting from the diva: easy, breezy, and covered in good vibes. Its title aside, Mimi and Migs’ lightweight R&B jam has #songofsummer written all over it. B+ Ray Rahman

LAURYN HILL
”Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)”

According to the former Fugee, this fidgety teaser was rushed out, and it sounds like it: Hill’s startling technical skill is undermined by a crippling lack of editing and a lazy, barely there backdrop. The occasional flashes of mastery only make her ongoing fall from grace all the more disheartening. C-Kyle Anderson

Albums
DARIUS RUCKER
True Believers

The former Hootie & the Blowfish frontman’s rich, raspy croon naturally evokes backyard barbecues and summer jamborees, so it’s no surprise that his down-home cover of “Wagon Wheel,” Old Crow Medicine Show’s modern bluegrass anthem, has become one of the biggest hits of his solo country career. Unfortunately, Rucker’s latest album adheres more to its flop first single, ”True Believers,” a boringly earnest ballad about faithful marriage. While some tracks, like resonant weepie ”Miss You,” stand out, most drown in a sea of midtempo musings. Lighten up, dude! B-Grady Smith

FITZ AND THE TANTRUMS
More Than Just a Dream

The jaunty L.A. band with an affinity for horn blasts and soulful 1960s sounds gets a new-wave makeover here. The result is a muddled affair, bogged down by synths, monotonous loops, and occasionally out-of-tune vocals. There’s still a great band with a knack for jangly shout-along choruses somewhere in there; we hope they wake up after this Dream. BGrady Smith

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