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Music

  • Streisand has plenty to say, sing with CD
    NEW YORK – Barbra Streisand’s new album of ­duets includes only male singers, but it wasn’t a conscious effort to exclude females.“Everyone we asked was … busy,” Streisand said.
  • Album falls short with forgettable offerings
    'Sundown Heaven Town'Tim McGraw Twenty years after his breakthrough hit, “Indian Outlaw,” Tim McGraw still pushes at country music's boundaries.
  • Album falls short with forgettable offerings
    ‘Sundown Heaven Town’Tim McGrawTwenty years after his breakthrough hit, “Indian Outlaw,” Tim McGraw still pushes at country music’s boundaries.
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Freshcut

‘Beautiful Surprise’ Tamia

Tamia, whose voice is one of music’s most powerful – and underrated – should be among the ranks of divas like Aretha, Chaka, Mariah and Beyoncé. But her 14-year career hasn’t translated to chart-topping songs and multiplatinum album sales.

Despite that, the R&B songstress – best known for the hits “Stranger in My House” and “Into You” with Fabolous – has released four outstanding albums, including her stellar 1998 self-titled debut, which featured production work by Quincy Jones and Jermaine Dupri. Tamia’s fifth release, “Beautiful Surprise,” is another consistent effort, filled with soulful ballads and midtempo grooves.

The album’s biggest – and best – surprise is Tamia’s take on country music. She nicely remakes Wynonna Judd’s “Is It Over Yet,” and “Still” is a beautiful, twang-inspired version of a song from her third album, “More.” Her bold leap into a new genre makes up for some of the album’s shortcomings, including the lukewarm first single and title track, produced by frequent Amy Winehouse collaborator Salaam Remi.

– Stacy A. Anderson, Associated Press

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