A look at four new albums -- We review titles by A Band of Bees, Cassidy, Vivian Green, and Lizz Wright

Dreaming Wide Awake

A look at four new albums


A BAND OF BEES Free the Bees (Astralwerks) With their ecstatic cherry-picking of late-’60s styles — drifting psychedelia on ”These Are the Ghosts,” hammer-piano pop on ”Wash in the Rain” — these Isle of Wight whizzes are one of Britain’s best-kept secrets; this long-delayed sophomore set earns A Band of Bees an A-. — Brian Raftery

CASSIDY I’m a Hustla (Full Surface/J) Cassidy promotes a tepid brand of gangster aggrandizement on his second LP. The senseless rhymes seem even more tragic, considering the murder charges he was recently slapped with. ”I’m not trying to make the news,” he insists. Too late. C- — Ryan Dombal

VIVIAN GREEN Vivian (Columbia) With titles like ”Frustrated,” and ”Damn,” you’d expect a rousing screw-you set. Instead, Vivian is a plodding mix of soulful ballads and bouncy jams that could benefit from producers who better capitalize on the singer’s soft, silky voice. B — Nicholas Fonseca

LIZZ WRIGHT Dreaming Wide Awake (Verve Forecast) A spare, guitar-driven sound frames Wright’s supple voice on this eclectic CD. Neil Young’s ”Old Man” is a retread, but originals like ”Hit the Ground” are gems, and ”A Taste of Honey” is cleverly reinvented as swamp blues. B — Larry Blumenfeld

Dreaming Wide Awake
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