Jamie Cullum: Catching Tales (Verve/Forecast) Recorded in both London and L.A., Catching Tales is a little lighter on the covers than his 2004 release Twentysomething, and it includes collaborations with fellow artists, like Dan the Automator and Pharrell Williams.
Franz Ferdinand: You Could Have It So Much Better ... With Franz Ferdinand (Domino/Epic) They’ve been holed away in a farmhouse in the Scottish countryside making the follow-up to their megaselling self-titled debut that featured the hit “Take Me Out.” We know the masses will buy it, but will the critics?
Liz Phair: Somebody’s Miracle (Capitol) Liz Phair started out as an indie rocker taking a lo-fi approach and leaving her heart on her sleeve before turning toward the pop side of songwriting on her 2003 self-titled album. With her fifth record, be prepared for a mix of both.
ALSO NOTEWORTHY: David Gray, Life in Slow Motion (ATO/RCA); My Morning Jacket, Z, (ATO/RCA); and Sheryl Crow, Wildflower (Interscope/A&M)