It’s the question most frequently asked of a music journalist: “What should I be listening to?” This new semi-regular column aims to answer just that.

Randy Montana, “Randy Montana” – His name sounds like it was surfaced in a Nashville focus group, but this 25-year-old is actually the son of Billy Montana, a songwriter who’s penned chart-toppers for Garth Brooks and Sara Evans. On Montana the Younger’s debut, the songcrafting smarts appear to be genetic. His melodies are warm, his lyrics are rich, there’s a very slight (and very welcome) Tom Petty influence and a very lovely (and also very welcome) duet with Emmylou Harris.   

Kate Bush, “Director’s Cut” – Nostalgia and commerce grow more and more synonymous in popland with every new reunion tour and play-the-album concert. That’s why Kate Bush’s recent trip down memory lane seems almost virtuous. The great British pop eccentric made it about the work, revisiting and actually re-recording (!) songs from her landmark albums “The Sensual World” and “The Red Shoes.” It’s not about remastering your classics in hopes of a refreshing sales boost. It’s about perfectionism — something mysterious and fascinating in and of itself.