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New Releases: Estelle Shines on Sophomore Effort, Lil Mama Shares Her Voice

Often compared to Lauryn Hill, London-bred songstress Estelle sounds, well, mostly like Estelle as opposed to the ’90s great hope-turned-recluse on her sophomore set, ‘Shine.’ The singer’s flawless, soulful voice works wonders when combined with John Legend‘s smooth vocals on ‘You Are’ and she stands tall when put beside hip hop star Kanye West on the single ‘American Boy.’ The album features fantastic production by Legend, West, Mark Ronson, Wyclef Jean, Will.I.Am and Cee-Lo, but at no point do the variegated talents take away from Estelle’s natural sound.

Representing for the teens, Lil Mama makes a lot of noise on her debut album, ‘VYP: Voice of the Young People.’ The 18-year-old created a buzz with her 2007 hit single ‘Lip Gloss,’ which helped the rapper burst into the industry. It wasn’t long before the energetic teen was requested to make guest appearances on pop rocker Avril Lavigne’s ‘Girlfriend’ and Sean Kingston‘s ‘Beautiful Girls’ remix. Unlike the early careers of former rap divas Foxy Brown and Lil’ Kim, Lil Mama avoids overly adult topics and sticks with party anthems, catchy hooks and danceable tracks. What’s next for the young emcee? Lil Mama will release the video for her new go-go-style single ‘What It Is,’ produced by Danja.

Other notable releases include Lyfe Jennings’ ‘Lyfe Change,’ The Roots’ ‘Rising Down,’ and Santogold’s self-titled debut.

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