October 11, 2013 at 04:00 AM EDT

Gavin DeGraw, Make a Move
Admitting you’re a Gavin DeGraw fan is about as cool as professing your love for mom jeans. Too bad, because there’s true talent here. Move doesn’t stray far from his ”I Don’t Want to Be” formula — it’s steeped in intricate piano hooks and his seductive, gravelly voice. But the title track is terrific, as is ”Who’s Gonna Save Us.” Plus, let’s be honest: Mom jeans are really comfortable. B+Henry Goldblatt

The Avett Brothers, Magpie and the Dandelion
On their eighth full-length, the banjo-plucking North Carolina folk-rockers manage to sing about ambivalence with engaging romanticism. The standout “Morning Song” poetically imagines a woman as a bird perched on a telephone wire, ”shamelessly alive unto the low.” But when the band turns from evocative imagery to lyrics that just feel confusingly circuitous, Magpie loses its footing — especially when compared with last year’s excellent The Carpenter. BGrady Smith

Scotty McCreery, See You Tonight
If you bought the deep-voiced American Idol winner’s strong-selling but oddly stodgy debut, Clear as Day, you may be shocked (or glad) to hear that he’s crafted a truly contemporary follow-up. The first half bogs down under too much by-the-numbers rock-country, but Tonight hits its stride in the smoother second half — ending with the 1-2-3 punch of the cheeky ”I Don’t Wanna Be Your Friend,” the Garth Brooks-esque lullaby ”Carolina Moon,” and ”Something More,” which makes a plea for Nashville to quit it with all the truck songs. Hey, we kind of like this new Scotty! B Grady Smith

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