Album: Keeps Gettin' Better: A Decade of Hits (RCA)
In stores: Now (Target only)
Why we care: People always ask if I really like so-and-so or what's-her-name. Let me tell you, I really like Aguilera. And not just because her eyes are like heaven's windows. (Too much?) Whether she's dirty or vamping like the Andrews Sisters, the 27-year-old can flat-out sing her tuchus off.
Why we like it: This cozy hits package — the deluxe version comes with a DVD of vids — is ample evidence that Xtina excels beyond the Mariahs and Celines of the world. Yes, she can rafter-raise, but she's not spanning octaves just to show off. She's a throwback soul singer in MTV clothing (see Candyman, Beautiful).
Reminds us of: Where's her hit Reflection?
Download this: The new Keeps Gettin' Better
Album: Happy in Galoshes (Soft Drive)
In stores: Now
Why we care: The most shocking thing about Scott Weiland's solo album is how utterly unshocking it is. You'd think without his Stone Temple Pilot or Velvet Revolver mates, the singer would be a shirtless, raving psychotic. Or, you know, more of one. But left to his own devices, the trouble magnet turns out to be . . . David Bowie?
Why we like it: On Missing Cleveland, Weiland remembers strutting around his old Ohio haunts with all the young dudes. It's a strutty '70s rock keeper, chummy and cool. His vocal stays raw and center throughout, for once not hiding behind megaphones or computers. Midtempo Paralysis is one of his best tunes ever.
Reminds us of: He needs to eat a sandwich.
Download this: Paralysis
Album: Play (Arista Nashville)
In stores: Now
Why we care: Paisley might be the only man in Nashville who could release a mostly instrumental album and still have it go No. 1. No wonder the guy's always smiling. On this playful picking frenzy, the behatted Brad invites pals Keith Urban, B.B. King and Vince Gill to grab an ax and join such jams as Start a Band and Let the Good Times Roll.
Why we like it: Every now and then, a singer will pipe up with a generic vocal, but so explosive is the playing, you'll prefer it when everyone just shuts up and strums. Kudos to Paisley for allowing B.B. to rip off a super solo — and then have the chutzpah to step in after the legend and pick out a monster himself. Gutsy.
Reminds us of: Where was Knopfler's invite?
Download this: Huckleberry Jam
SONG OF THE WEEK
Album: Day & Age (Island)
In stores: Now
Why we care: I've chatted up Brandon Flowers, the guy-linered lead singer for glam-pop crew the Killers. He's a nice guy, but his band is a mess. Capable of swoony highs and clunky lows, the Vegas crew still isn't sure if it wants to be the Cure or the Boss. This new song, Human, and their new album, Day & Age, sound like a return to the glammy synth sound of fabu debut, Hot Fuss. That's good news.
Why we like it: "Are we human or are we dancer?" Over a pulsing dance beat, Flowers gives pained voice to his band's creative frustrations. Of course, they are from Sin City, so the cut is still sexy enough to light up the clubs.
Reminds us of: The Killers' best cut is called Leave the Bourbon on the Shelf. It's on B-sides collection Sawdust. Track it down. Pure bliss.