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New Reviews: Justin Bieber, She and Him, Goldfrapp, Mose Allison

March 23, 2010 5:29 PM ET

If you've noticed a surge in tweenage foot traffic in your local shopping mall today, it must mean one thing: Justin Bieber has a new album out. The 16-year-old Canadian crooner's My World 2.0, which earned a three-star review from Rolling Stone, has arrived. "This isn't just cheesy teeny-bopper music — it's classically, sublimely cheesy teeny-bopper music," Jody Rosen writes in his review, adding songs like hit single "Baby" has more in common with jukebox doo-wop classics than the usual Radio Disney fare. "With much help from A-list songwriters and producers (Bryan-Michael Cox, Benny Blanco) and guest stars (Ludacris, Sean Kingston), Bieber has made a filler-free album." Expect My World 2.0 to top next week's Billboard 200 by a comfortable cushion.

Also out this week is the second collaboration between She and Him, or Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward, Volume Two. Like She and Him's first volume, "The duo's impeccably assembled retro pop is unmistakably regional, with puckish hooks and reverb-heavy production that recall California dreamers like the Mamas and the Papas," Rosen writes in his three-and-a-half star review. Highlights include first single "In the Sun," "I'm Gonna Make it Better" and covers of Skeeter Davis' "Gonna Get Along Without You Now" and NBRQ's "Ridin' in My Care."

The shape-shifting Goldfrapp have never been a band to cling to a set genre, and after experimenting with a more organic sound with their previous LP Seventh Tree, the duo of Alison Goldfrapp and Will Gregory return to the synth-pop of their earlier albums with their new set Head First. However, the shift only scored them a two-and-a-half star rating from RS. "This may be the most lovingly detailed synth-pop album since the golden days of Yaz and Kim Carnes," Will Hermes writes in his review. "Yet expert execution doesn't always signal a good idea."

Finally, jazz legend Mose Allison unveils his new album The Way of the World this week. For more on the 82-year-old's latest and much more on the new albums in stores now, check out our Album Reviews section.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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