Jessie Ware, "Tough Love" (Interscope)
Jessie Ware's "Tough Love" is lovely, and that's not a tepid endorsement. No, the English singer's sophomore disc is lovely in the way of a sunset or a cruise around the lazy river after a long day at the waterpark.
Those Shailene Woodley fans who are excited about the news that she sheds some clothes here will probably not care a whit about whether the film meets its lofty artistic goals.
Little Big Town, "Pain Killer" (Capitol Nashville)
How do the four vocalists of Little Big Town respond to the platinum success of the group's most rewarded album, 2012's "Tornado?" Certainly not by playing it safe.
"Murder at the Brightwell" (Minotaur), by Ashley Weaver
"Murder at the Brightwell" by Ashley Weaver proves to be an insightful look at a marriage that started with a strong, physical attraction and now has frayed because neither Amory Ames nor her husband, Milo, has figured out how to communicate.
In an intriguing cinematic twist, Keanu Reeves' Matrix stunt double Chad Stahelski becomes his co-director with David Leitch on "John Wick," a visceral revenge thriller that marks a confident, muscular action debut.
Brad Colerick, "Tucson" (Back 9 Records)
Brad Colerick opens his fourth solo album with the title cut, which reminds us the road does not actually go on forever. Colerick goes on to examine his trip down that road in tuneful tunes with a touch of twang.
"Gray Mountain" (Doubleday), by John Grisham
John Grisham has been writing legal thrillers and dramas that resonate with readers for almost 25 years, and his latest continues the theme of ordinary people who work in the law profession experiencing a crisis of conscience.
Flying Lotus, "You're Dead!" (Warp)
The fifth album by Los Angeles producer Flying Lotus moves even further away from his early instrumental hip-hop work toward a more fully immersed form of "fusion." Don't be misled by the title. "You're Dead!" is a celebration of what comes next.
"Superstorm" (Dutton), by Kathryn Miles
Kathryn Miles' "Superstorm" explores the human drama that unfolded in Sandy's path from its late October genesis in the southwestern Caribbean through its terrifying landfall near Brigantine, New Jersey.
In "Laggies," Lynn Shelton has brought her light, heartfelt touch to her most familiar, movie-ready plot — a version of the back-to-school comedy rendered not with Rodney Dangerfield antics but the soul-searching of a direction-less 28-year-old Seattleite (Keira Knightley).
An exhibition at Atlanta’s High Museum of Art showcases a group of impressionist and post-impressionist works amassed by a private collector who described the pursuit and acquisition of the pieces as an adventure.
Several pods of sperm whales emerged off the Southern California coast in an extremely rare, hours-long sighting that had whale watchers and scientists giddy with excitement.
A cheeky provocation wrapped in a zingy punchline, Justin Simien's "Dear White People" recalls other memorably promising debuts. An ambitious satire that questions just how "post-racial" America has become, the film is never at a loss for words, but sometimes confuses galvanizing rhetoric for legitimate deliberation.
Aretha Franklin, "Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics" (RCA Records)
The release of "Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics" raises one question right off: Does the singular Queen of Soul really need to borrow from other divas?
"Time Out of Mind: The Lives of Bob Dylan" (Pegasus Books), by Ian Bell
The second installment of Ian Bell's two-part biography of Bob Dylan, "Time Out of Mind," is a compelling, focused examination of the latter half of the elusive singer-songwriter's life and career, starting off with his acclaimed "Blood on the Tracks" album in 1975 and bringing readers close to the present day.