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Top 6 in music: Asking For Flowers and more

<p>Though it’s been three years since Kathleen Edward’s last album, Asking For Flowers was worth the wait. Flowers contains some of the Ottawa-born artist’s most accomplished work to date.</p>




Kathleen Edwards



Album: Asking For Flowers



Label: MapleMusic Recordings



Release Date: March 4



**** (out of five)





Though it’s been three years since Kathleen Edward’s last album, Asking For Flowers was worth the wait. Flowers contains some of the Ottawa-born artist’s most accomplished work to date. It’s refined, heartfelt and filled with clever, sometimes political, storytelling lyricism. The alt-country I Make The Dough, You Get The Glory is the album’s most fun and catchy track. But from the slick, electric guitar-infused Run to the rich harmonic progression in title track Asking For Flowers, it’s clear that Edward’s talented studio band also played a big part in making this record soar.







Cadence Weapon



Album: Afterparty Babies



Label: Epitaph Records



Release Date: March 4



**** (out of five)





Cadence Weapon successfully creates an audio scrapbook documenting the party scene in his native Edmonton. Through his high-octane beats, and unique word play, Weapon encapsulates the spirit and energy of his friends as they deal with the insular topics of gossiping, the importance of hipster couture, and casual sex. While self-righteous on first spin, Afterparty is the audio equivalent of the movie Meatballs, something to laugh and reminisce over for years to come.







Erykah Badu



Album: New Amerykah Part One (4th World War)



Label: Universal Music



Release Date: March 4



**** (out of five)





For her fourth disc, Badu uses her voice as a platform for social action. Speaking on issues of racial perception, suburban apathy, and solidarity, Badu delivers her message with deft lyrics, left field wit and her trademark smooth vocals. Abrasive interludes are juxtaposed with syrupy ballads and gentle beats, make the whole experience offsetting and easily digestible at once. Close to the end the theme loses some steam, but the album is no less enjoyable.







Born Ruffians



Album: Red, Yellow And Blue



Label: Warp



Release Date: March 4



**** (out of five)





The barely legal trio of Luke Lalonde, Mitch DeRosier and Steve Hamelin nail their second effort, with 11 tousled tracks of irresistible pop hooks. The Ruffians attack each song with the adorable hyperactivity of a pack of puppies in a park on a spring day. Songs like Hummingbird are filled with jagged guitar riffs, hooting vocals and impetuous energy. However, the overall tightness of the band keeps things from getting out of control.







Sarah Slean



Album: The Baroness



Label: Warner Music



Release Date: March 11



*** (out of five)





Once again Sarah Slean’s penetrating vocal range and piano playing on The Baroness prove she is an old soul with reflections on life that are both passionate and intelligent.





She shines on first single Get Home as well as Hopeful Hearts, Euphoria and Notes From The Underground. However, the album’s last two songs, Shadowland and Looking For Someone are a little too dreary, seemingly going nowhere. The Baroness also lacks Slean’s earlier and flourishing pop-rock influences (with the exception of the mediocre Sound of Water and So Many Miles).







Janet Jackson



Album: Discipline



Label: Universal Music



Release Date: March 4



**** (out of five)





Janet Jackson is clearly doing something right on this chart topper. But while her latest offering isn’t bad, it isn’t amazing either. If you’re a Janet fan you will likely want to add this to your collection, but if not, this disc is unlikely to change your mind.


 
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