Paul McCartney


Album: Memory Almost Full


Label: Hear Music/Starbucks

Released: June 5

*** (out of five)

Always the ground breaker, Paul McCartney’s new album is the first on the new Starbucks label. Not surprising coming from the musical radical who gave us Give My Regards to Broad Street.

It’s a perfect marriage for McCartney who has crafted a catchy, non-threatening toe-tapper that Starbucks can easily market to its caffeine sedated customers. Fair trade indeed. Memory Almost Full is as easily digestible as some scrumptious Frappuccino. It’s light, creamy, widely accessible and gives you the occasional kick.


Album: Going Places

Label: Carpark Records

Released: June 5

*** (out of five)

Antoine Bédard, under stage name Montag, executes a balmy selection of electronic, calculated rhythms on Going Places. As per the album title, songs focus on the journey, functioning more as an engagingly continuous mood piece than a typical start-to-end story.

Whether singing about numbers against computer-heavy backbeats or poetically infusing his francophone origins, Montag’s presence is to the point, faring as a full-bodied alternative to the forced sounds of fellow synth stars.

Speaking of Stars, Amy Millan and Final Fantasy’s Owen Pallett are just the tip of a Canadian collaborative iceberg contributing shape to Montag’s mechanism.


Album: Good Girl Gone Bad

Label: Universal

Released: June 5

*** (out of five)

In a genre of music that is designed to have emotional resonance with young people and move hips on dance floors, Rihanna has delivered a solid commercial effort here — probably destined to be one of this summer’s chart toppers. She kicks it off with the help of Jay-Z and the best hook of the CD, Umbrella. A soulful, but dangerously catchy number that is sure to alter how kids say the word “umbrella-ella-ella” for a good year.

Other stand out songs include Breakin’ Dishes, the Timberlake collaboration on Rehab and innuendo drenched Shut Up and Drive “My engine’s ready to explode, so start me up and watch me go.”