February 22, 2013 at 05:00 AM EST


Mariah Carey
”Almost Home’
Mimi is in full relatable-diva mode on this mercilessly cheesy tie-in for Oz the Great and Powerful, belting major-chord arpeggios about fireflies and a kingdom and ”home” as a vague pop-song sense of belonging — as opposed to, say, her actual 12,000-square-foot Tribeca cloud-castle, which basically is Oz compared with what the rest of us live in. C+Adam Markovitz

The Postal Service
”A Tattered Line of Strong”
It’s been 10 years since Death Cab frontman Ben Gibbard and Jimmy Tamborello released their laptop-pop valentine Give Up. So it’s nice that their new single, timed to the album’s expanded reissue, sounds almost as superfan-worthy as the old stuff, with bouncy videogame bloops and plenty of mooning. ”So you came to my room,” sings Gibbard. ”We did some things that we knew not to do/In the glow of the night’s golden cue.” You can almost hear the heartbeat under his hoodie. B+Melissa Maerz


Various Artists
Son of Rogue’s Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs, & Chanteys
Johnny Depp doesn’t just play pirates in movies — he also enjoys the sonic stylings of the peg-legged set on his own time. The sheer volume of ocean-weary crooning on this Depp-co-produced comp is bound to cause some seasickness, though hearing Tom Waits bark about rum-fueled heartbreak and Patti Smith coo about mermaids should stave off scurvy. BKyle Anderson

Johnny Marr
The Messenger
Some 25 years after the Smiths split, their guitar hero (left) is finally giving us a solo album. (He hasn’t been hibernating in the interim, lending his talents to everyone from the Pretenders to Modest Mouse.) Is it worth the wait? Mostly. His generically Oasis-y singing style won’t blow anyone away, but Marr’s still a master at getting jangly new-wave energy and moody atmospheres out of his instrument. B+Ray Rahman

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