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The Click Five: Modern Minds and Pastimes (Warner Music) 

What do you do when you lose a lead singer? You just pick up the pieces and get back on the rails. With new frontman Kyle Patrick in tow, Boston-raised band The Click Five has its work cut out to revive its fortunes.  

Yet the band hits the ground running with its second album, Modern Minds and Pastimes, which carries on the power pop tradition – with urgency and added rock bite to the equation. Former singer Eric Dill’s departure has left a gap, but whatever it is, The Click Five sounds slightly better than it did before, making mature strides in the music.  

The first single is Jenny, which works out as a sublime pop blast, while the other tracks Headlight Disco, When I’m Gone, Happy Birthday and Long Way to Go are essential college pop thrills that put forward the new dizzying direction from The Click Five.  

Che’Nelle: Things Happen for a Reason (EMI) 

Che’Nelle is one lucky woman. Born Cheryline Lim in Sabah but raised in Perth, Australia, the artiste got her big break when American music producer Charles Dixon stumbled upon her music on her MySpace page.  

Dixon then showed her material to Virgin Records in Los Angeles, and soon after, Che’Nelle got a six-album deal with the label. So far, she has opened for Kanye West during his tour of Australia last year and has had a song (Teach Me How to Dance) featured in the Hollywood movie Take the Lead.  

This debut album features 14 dancehall-inspired tracks written and co-written by Che’Nelle herself, including Fell in Love with the DJ, Teach Me How to Dance, When Will We Meet Again, Stick with Me and Summer Jam.  

Helena Paparizou: The Game of Love (SonyBMG) 

Greek singer Helena Paparizou’s claim to fame was when she won the Eurovision Song Contest in 2005. Though Paparizou is not such a big star in this region yet, you can bet that she’s got quite a following in parts of Europe.  

There is even a controversy over the singer’s first name – since she’s Greek, her name should be “Elena”, but because she was born in Sweden, some claim that it should be “Helena”. The Game of Love is her debut international album and contains six songs from her debut Greek album, Iparhi Logos, which have been translated into English.  

One of the songs, Heroes, was the official track for the European Athletic Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden last year. Other tracks include You Set My Heart on Fire, Gigolo, Carpe Diem, Teardrops and the bonus number, Seven Days.  

Gallows: Orchestra of Wolves (Warner Music) 

Hardly heard much about a raging punk/hardcore outfit from Watford, England? Not to worry. More than a few eyebrows were raised when Gallows received a £1mil RM7mil), four-album deal from a major label, but apparently, these hard nuts arrived on the scene at the right time. This debut album, re-issued after a DIY release last year, sends a Dr Marten boot straight into the face of the Brit indie and nu-rave movement.  

No apologies are made as Gallow's shout-y verses, visceral punk energy and old school hardcore style come on full throttle. This album, built with angst and attitude, contains the bruising single Abandon Ship and the Rage Against The Machine-inspired Six Years. Guaranteed to drive Klaxons fans out of the room.  

Various artistes: High School Musical 2: The Soundtrack (EMI) 

Are you ready for another High School Musical invasion? High School Musical 2, the sequel to last year’s biggest and most successful TV movie is all set for a release. And judging by the soundtrack, it is going to be as fun and cool as its predecessor. There are 11 tracks in the movie, but this album includes a Malay version of the main song, You are the Music in Me.  

The song is performed by the characters Troy (Zac Efron) and Gabrielle (Vanessa Hudgens), while singers Vince Chong and Jaclyn Victor handle the Malaysian version (Kau Muzik di Hatiku). Frankly, the Malaysian version is much better because Vince and Jaclyn are stronger singers. But Gabriella and Troy have their moments too – her song Gotta Go My Own Way and his number Bet on It, are the ones to look out for on the pop charts.

   

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