Critic’s picks: Pop music

Angelique Kidjo performs Feb. 23 at Somerville Theatre.
World Music/CRASHarts
Angelique Kidjo performs Feb. 23 at Somerville Theatre.

CIBO MATTO “I know my chicken” aren’t exactly the words of rock ’n’ roll legend, but they made this duo of experimental Japanese musicians Yuka Honda and Miho Hatori alt-rock darlings when they surfaced with 1996’s “Viva! La Woman.” They’re back together as Cibo Matto, with a new album, “Hotel Valentine” (out Feb. 14), their first since disbanding in 2001. Feb. 8, 9 p.m. Tickets: $22, $20 in advance. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 800-745-3000,

ANGELIQUE KIDJO This singer and activist from Benin has an exuberant new album that speaks to her appeal across genres and geography. “Eve” features cameos ranging from Dr. John to Kronos Quartet to Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij. Feb. 23, 7 p.m. Tickets: $40. Somerville Theatre. 617-876-4275,

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE First he came to Fenway Park, back in August for two nights with Jay Z, and now the blue-eyed soul-pop sensation is back in support of both volumes of last year’s “The 20/20 Experience.” If the past is any indication, you can count on Timberlake going full throttle as a crooner, dancer, and charmer. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $49.50-$175. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,


ST. VINCENT “Birth in Reverse,” the first single from her forthcoming album, is St. Vincent with the pedal to the metal. It’s jagged, disruptive, propulsive, and utterly irresistible. St. Vincent, the stage name of Berklee-educated indie rocker Annie Clark, will be in town the week her self-titled record will be released. Feb. 27, 8 p.m. Tickets: $25-$45. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,

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PAUL SIMON & STING Every concert season brings a dynamic duo that just seems to make sense together — think Carole King & James Taylor, Aerosmith & the J. Geils Band — and this year it’s Rhymin’ Simon and the former Police man. Drawing on their catalogs riddled with iconic hits, from “You Can Call Me Al” to “Fields of Gold,” they’ll play their own sets, as well as songs together. March 3, 8 p.m. Tickets: $40-$250. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,

JENNIFER NETTLES On break from Sugarland, the country-pop act that made her a star, Nettles is touring behind her new solo release, “That Girl,” which Rick Rubin produced. In her review of the album, Globe critic Sarah Rodman noted it’s less commercial than her work with Sugarland, with “a sense of individuality stamped on the songs.” Don’t miss opener Brandy Clark, a spitfire who has a way with words. March 8, 7 p.m. Tickets: $49.50-
$59.50. House of Blues. 800-745-3000,

LORDE The year is off to a stellar start for this 17-year-old pop star who galvanized the charts last year with “Royals.” Last week she picked up the Grammys for song of the year and best pop solo performance. She no doubt could sell out a larger venue than the Orpheum, which means this show should feel especially intimate. March 14, 9 p.m. Tickets: $43.50. Orpheum Theatre. 800-745-3000,

ELLIE GOULDING Initially a sensation in her native England, Goulding gradually amassed a big following in this country with her effusive and flirty take on dance pop, buoyed by hits such as “Lights” and “Burn.” March 17, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $33-$38. Agganis Arena. 800-745-3000,


SAM SMITH He just won the BBC Sound of 2014, an annual UK poll that forecasts who might break through in the coming year, and it’s easy to understand his appeal. His malleable voice, both slick and soulful, has made Smith an interesting collaborator with electronic artists such as Disclosure and Naughty Boy. March 25, 9 p.m. Tickets: $15. The Sinclair, Cambridge. 800-745-3000,

MILEY CYRUS Just when you thought it was safe not to think about twerking or wagging tongues (I mean, that’s so 2013), Miley is finally on the road behind last year’s “Bangerz.” And she’s bringing two opening acts who know how to get the party started: Icona Pop and Sky Ferreira. April 2, 7 p.m. Tickets: $59.50-$89.50. TD Garden. 800-745-3000,