More Good Albums for $7.99


When good albums are going for $7.99 on iTunes, we like to call them out, because that's a great deal for legit tunes.

1. The Office - A Night at the Ritz
'The Office' is the band with the unfortunately timed name. Every time I mention them to friends they respond, "Yeah, that Dwight guy is hilarious!" Despite the confusion with the similarly named television show, the band 'The Office' has produced one of the more satisfying albums of the year.

You may have picked up their free single earlier this year on iTunes. I strongly recommend that you pick up their full album now. This album is pure pop bliss: jangly harmonies, charming lyrics, and a sound that sounds simultaneously fresh and retro. At $7.99, it's a steal.

2. Mat Kearney - Nothing Left to Lose
You may not know it, but you've definitely heard Mat Kearney's music by now. It's been featured in Grey's Anatomy, Scrubs, The Closer, and just about every other show ever produced that uses emotional pop filler in the background.

But don't hold that against Mat. He's struggled to gain his footing against all of the other singer/songwriter Matt's: Matt Costa, Matt Nathanson, and Matt Pond PA. But Mat is different in three major ways: 1. He only has one "t" in his first name. 2. he sings AND raps. Shockingly well. 3. He's really very, very good.

I love his voice. It sounds familiar to me somehow, like Adam Duritz and Chris Martin gave birth to a robust baritone with earnest, urgent delivery, who was also capable of leaping into falsetto or rap modes at any given moment. Pick up this album for $7.99 and you'll be getting some great songs, and at least four brilliant songs: the catchy "Undeniable", the soulful "Where we Gonna Go From Here", the pop anthem "Nothing Left to Lose", and "All I Need", the absolutely gorgeous ballad written for his friends in Katrina.

3. Big Change - Song for FINCA
Natalie Portman really wants you to buy this album. Or, that's what I've gathered from the giant picture of her head on the iTunes album page.

Seriously though, Natalie handpicked these songs and put together this album to support FINCA, an organization that offers a proven program of microloans to village entrepreneurs in Africa.

The album itself is a bit sprawling, plodding along with introspective singer-songwriter fare. I can't help but wish giving money to Africa made Natalie feel a little more uptempo. But who can argue with 16 tracks for $7.99? And there are some real gems on here: Tokyo Police Club's "Be Good" is undeniably infectious, the heartbreaking "Ain't No Reason" from Brent Dennen, and Rogue Wave's gently inspiring "How We Landed" is jaw-droppingly gorgeous when it opens up.

If you're feeling charitable and want some good tunes to boot, pick this album up.

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