I Like It Rough
Label: Streamline / Interscope
New York's Lady GaGa clearly hasn't given away the store in her day job writing hits for the Pussycat Dolls. Reworking '00s chart pop's key tropes -- think of Timberlake's Eurodance synths or the ubiquitous warble of auto-tuned vocals -- with a pinch of Lower East Side attitude, she turns out a catchy, seductive set with personality to spare. When stepping out from behind the effects, Lady GaGa -- who wrote, produced and performed most of the record -- unveils surprisingly powerful pipes. And echoes of Depeche Mode and David Bowie suggest pop knowledge deeper than her 22 years would suggest.