Diana Krall, "Wallflower" (Verve)
On 2012's "Glad Rag Doll," Krall was exploring songs from the 1920s and '30s that she'd discovered in her father's collection of 78-rpm vinyl. Three years later, she is still looking back, but this time she's not trying to impress anyone with what she's found. "Wallflower" collects renditions of familiar soft-pop tunes from the '60s and '70s, such as 10cc's "I'm Not in Love" and Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word"; the album's only obscurities are by guys named Bob Dylan and Paul McCartney. That kind of repertoire puts the focus on interpretation. At times, the jazz star plays her chilly vocals against producer David Foster's high-schmaltz arrangements, suggesting some suspicion about the collision of hippie idealism and Me Decade entitlement. Her pretty yet pointless version of the Eagles' "I Can't Tell You Why" lives down to its title.
MIKAEL WOOD, Los Angeles Times
On "Happy Prisoner," veteran Texas troubadour Robert Earl Keen explores new and old bluegrass, with help from Natalie Maines and Lyle Lovett. Out Tuesday and streaming at tinyurl.com/oql7lz7.