updated 04/12/2012 AT 11:00 AM ET
•originally published 04/14/2012 AT 10:00 AM ET
Something old (like Michael Jackson’s “Human Nature”) and something new Taylor Swift’s “Safe & Sound”) are all sharing space on PEOPLE Music Editor Chuck Arnold’s playlist. Check out what he has to say about the songs – and click the playlist to hear them on Spotify!
“Get Right” by Jennifer Lopez
I’m not loving the new J.Lo single “Dance Again,” but this James Brown-sampling Jam from ‘05 – the funkiest thing she’s ever done – is still righteous.
“This Time” by Melanie Fiona
This banger kicks off The MF Life – the stellar second set from this R&B singer – with a boom.
“Superstar” by Madonna
Set to a stomping drum beat, this highlight from MDNA which just debuted at No. 1 – is so blissfully sweet it manages to really make her sound like a virgin.
“You Jane” by The Wedding Present
With its jangly guitars and cheeky lyrics, this one is one of many Smiths-esque standouts on Valentina.
“Big Shot” by Dr. John
“Ain’t never was, never gonna be, ‘nother big shot like me, sings the New Orleans giant, backing that up – and then some – over a singing, swaggering groove from his voodoo-casting latest, Locked Down.
“Criminal” by Fiona Apple
The much-missed Apple, who returns with The Idler Wheel … in June, did this sultry ‘97 hit at a downtown New York club show I saw recently. Welcome back.
“Safe & Sound” by Taylor Swift
Our country-pop princess makes peaceful harmony with the Civil Wars on this moody beauty from The Hunger Games all-star soundtrack.
“Springsteen” by Eric Church
The latest single from the country singer’s excellent Chief is a nostalgic nod to the Boss that rocks you gently.
“Land of Hope and Dreams” by Bruce Springsteen
With the late E Street saxman Clarence Clemons wailing as if from on high, this gospel-charged track packs a real emotional wallop on Wrecking Ball.
“Human Nature” by Michael Jackson
This Thriller stunner sets the atmosphere for the dreamiest number in the Immortal World Tour, Cirque du Soleil’s MJ tribute currently in the U.S.