Queen of Hearts/Caroline
The passionate, raspy-voiced punk Brody Dalle has always known how to use anarchic guitars to cloak a massive hook, whether in her great band the Distillers or her follow-up, Spinnerette. With her solo debut (and first release after a five-year break), she experiments with new styles – piano-based power ballads, anyone? There's plenty of chaos and roiling guitars, too, but adulthood has crept in. On the phenomenal "I Don't Need Your Love," Dalle lets her voice flicker to an airy glow, with jittery strings providing the tension guitars might have in the past. Clearly, she never really needed an amp to unleash her strength.