December 14, 2018 5:34 PM EST

Avril Lavigne goes old-school in a comeback song with soul. Zayn shines in an new project that touches on all sides of moody R&B. Songwriter LP’s penchant for drama plays out perfectly on a rollicking track. Vic Mensa makes self-love cool, even in rap. And Robin Thicke repents and recounts a tumultuous few years in the soft, sensitive “Testify.”

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Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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