Avenue Q (Original Broadway Cast Recording)
Four former Sesame Street performers bring a dozen puppet characters to life in this funny, knowing musical about reluctant grown-ups. Broadway tradition saturates the songs, with titles—"Everyone's a Little Bit Racist," "It Sucks to Be Me," "The Internet Is for Porn"—that telegraph their content. Ann Harada's big and balladic "The More You Ruv Someone" ("the more you want to kill them") is especially stunning among these perky, melodic, and surprisingly sincere bursts of comedic truth. Yes, they conclude, life is scary—"but it's only temporary."