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Rickie Lee Jones, Jason Collett and more: Five new songs worth a listen

Pop troubadour Rickie Lee Jones romps through ‘the upper echelon of hell’ with her Rolling Stones cover.<137>Rickie Lee Jones Courtesy of the artist<137><137><252><137>

BLUES

The Devil You Know

Rickie Lee Jones; streaming here.

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Perhaps what is puzzling you is the nature of her game. The curious Rickie Lee Jones, who is just as likely as cockroaches and Keith Richards to survive a nuclear war, goes deep-moan blue for a live acoustic take on one of the 10 tunes she chose for her new covers disc, The Devil You Know, produced by Ben Harper.

"It's kind of an evocation, and I do it by myself," Jones told NPR. "It's a powerful, frightening, fun romp through the upper echelon of hell." For her interpretation of the Rolling Stones classic chiller, the troubadour strips it down to a slurry drone reminiscent of the song's genesis, as filmed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1967. Dark, stark and eerie, call Jones "Lucifer," or anything else she wishes.

FOLK-ROCK

Where Things Go Wrong

Jason Collett, from Reckon (Arts & Crafts); streaming here.

Shimmering, hazy and downbeat, this one isn't cheery. It feels a little like Sea Change from Beck or something hashish-y by Kurt Vile, with someone – perhaps the Toronto singer-songwriter himself – relegated to love's go-stand-in-the-corner status.

POP

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Girl on Fire

Alicia Keys with Nicki Minaj, from the forthcoming Girl on Fire (RCA); streaming here.

The "girl" may be on fire, but Keys herself is flame-free as he tries in vain to set off smoke alarms with a yelling empowerment ballad, set to a big crashing beat. Rapper Minaj does her thing, but overall the Fahrenheit here is faux.

INDIE POP

Encyclopedia of Classic Takedowns

A.C. Newman, from the forthcoming Shut Down the Streets (Matador); streaming here.

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Is he singing about a book of time-tested wrestling moves? Probably not. The song-crafting New Pornographer leader teams up with the harmonic Neko Case for more patented pop-bounce and sweet shuffle.

VIDEO: DANCE

Sweet Nothing

Calvin Harris, with Florence Welch; streaming here.

On the latest single from the Scottish DJ, an androgynous Florence Welch lets her hair down as a wailing, shirt-stripping lounge singer while a man receives a terrific beat-down outside in the alley. It's all very thrilling, what with its blood-pumping energy and sordid vibe. Really.

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About the Author

Brad Wheeler is an arts reporter with The Globe and Mail. More

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