Fresh Music – Feb. 2012

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Dierks Bentley, HomeThe first single from Bentley’s 2003 self-titled debut shot to the top of the country music chart and he’s been on a roll ever since. He’s netted 16 hit singles, including eight No. 1 hits, two platinum albums, numerous awards and nominations and a coveted induction into the Grand Ole Opry. Bentley shows no signs of slowing down with the release of his sixth studio album, which has already garnered the No. 1 single “Am I the Only One,” in advance of its release.

The Fray, Scars & Stories This rock act formed in Denver got their shot at stardom with their 2005 debut How to Save a Life and the hit single of the same name. Their self-titled sophomore effort and the single “You Found Me,” brought continued commercial success, though critics were unimpressed. The Fray brought Springsteen and Pearl Jam producer Brendan O’Brien on board to help them create a harder edged sound for their upcoming third album.

Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman ReloadedThe Trinidadian-American hip hop artist sparked a bidding war among record labels gambling on her commercial appeal. She made good on that speculation with her 2010 debut Pink Friday, which charted at No. 1, a string of hit singles and collaborations. Minaj uses several alter egos in her performances, and one such persona, Roman Zolanski, will take center stage in her sophomore album.

The Cranberries, Roses It took a re-release and heavy airplay of “Linger” and “Dreams” on MTV, but The Cranberries 1993 debut, Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We?, eventually shot to the top of the UK charts and earned the Irish group worldwide fame. Their second album, No Need To Argue, along with the single “Zombie” solidified their success, but subsequent albums brought mixed results and the group disbanded in 2003. They reunited in 2009 and eventually brought their original producer on board for their sixth studio album. The debut single, “Tomorrow,” sounds remarkably like that fresh young band from 1993.

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