Mariah Carey ft. Miguel, “Beautiful”

Mariah Carey tapped Miguel for her latest duet, entitled “Beautiful.” No pun intended but… the song is actually beautiful. The track is simple but with a ’60s rock vibe to it, as drums and guitar drive the melody. Both singers are singing about (you guessed it) a loved one being beautiful. Best of all, Mariah Carey brings back her signature upper-octave-defying adlibs. “Beautiful” is available on iTunes.

Listen here.

Various Artists, The Great Gatsby soundtrack  

Movie soundtracks have a tendency to be hit or miss, but having Jay-Z involved provides a glimmer of hope that The Great Gatsby soundtrack is worth the purchase. It was announced a while ago that Hov would executive produce the soundtrack for the Baz Lurhmann film, but now we can finally stop wondering what that would sound like.

In commercials, we’ve been hearing “100$ Bill.” But now there’s a chance to preview the whole album, which captures the aspirational spirit of the classic story well, with a compilation of songs from a motley crew of artists like Emile Sandé (covering a way cool 1920s-style version of Beyoncé’s “Crazy in Love”),, Beyoncé, Fergie, Lana Del Rey, Jack White and more. Songs cover topics ranging from money to love to partying, and generally all the vices described in the F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “Great American Story.” The soundtrack is out today.

Preview here.

Dawn Richard, “Army”

Most people bounce back from a broken heart by fortifying their shell so that they’re tougher for the next time. That’s the concept behind Dawn Richard’s “Army.” It’s a mid-tempo ode to being strong. “I know you like to see me down/If it was up to you I’d drown/I can’t believe you stole my crown/Gon’ have to get it back now,” Dawn sings, challenging her opponent to watch as she rises stronger than before, because she’s “building an army up.” It’s a solid track that kind of sounds like something Brandy would have done in her Never Say Never days. (I mean that in a good way.)

Listen here.  

Lauryn Hill, “Neurotic Society (Compulsory Mix)”

This one feels obligatory at this point. But anyway… Lauryn Hill is back to preaching about Babylon again with “Neurotic Society.” What she says in the song about the direction that our American society of excess has taken—living fast, celebrity worship, addiction, vapid interests, etc.—actually makes sense. But the song is lazy, and it’s obvious she released it because she has X amount of time to pay back the government, not because she was actually inspired (she pretty much said so on her blog). But those who haven’t heard it are probably curious, so check it out.

Listen here.

Kris Kross, Totally Krossed Out  

Nineties kids were especially sad to hear about the death of Chris “Mac Daddy” Kelly last week, but we can keep his spirit alive by reminiscing the good ol’ days. Most likely, if you were a Kris Kross fan, you probably never got around to getting the digital version of Totally Krossed Out. It’s not too late. Cop it at iTunes. And yes, I have worn my pants backwards in public… only once. #RipChrisKelly