Kisses on the Bottom, by Paul McCartney

The first question to ask about a Paul McCartney standards album is why it took him so long. The guy’s always been fascinated by the American Songbook, and unlike some pop singers who have taken detours to the land of jazzy old tunes and swinging little combos, Sir Paul has a powerful and chameleonic voice.

At the Speed of Ten Machines, by Voice Box

Pinning down this Chicago-based group’s sound is difficult. But it’s easy to name resemblances: the progressive song structure and guitar work of Yes; the spoken-word interludes of Frank Zappa and Ken Nordine; the slithery funk of 1970s David Bowie.

This One’s for Him: A Tribute to Guy Clark

Finally, Guy Clark has received a thorough tribute that lives up to his mastery and honors the way he does things: live, spontaneous, without studio trickery to supplant the energy that players create in the moment.

Jonathan Rundman, by Jonathan Rundman

The Minneapolis-based Rund­man has built an unlikely career as a scruffy Lutheran rocker, tackling scripture and spirituality with finesse that transcends the vapid Christian rock scene. This disc surveys Rundman’s career from 2000 to the present, with cuts from the 52-song Sound Theology project such as “Carol of the Bells,” which celebrates a cute girl in the handbell choir.

Tank Full of Blues, by Dion

Dion, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, might have little left to prove. But the devout Catholic singer-songwriter turns in a feisty effort on this blues disc.