Standout Track: No. 5, “Temporary Heartbreak,” a high-urgency hip mover with a tense, schizophrenic beat. Northern Virginia singer and rapper Harmony Muzik, aka Mary Turner, says producer DJ Boom took her out of her comfort zone when recording the song. “We did it in two takes,” she says. “He told me to go full force and to not break it up, just go all the way through. I thought he was crazy. When I came out I felt like Lil Wayne—I felt like a shit-hot rapper, doing it all in one take.”

Musical Motivation: Turner, 26, drew on her salad days, when she says she was more susceptible to falling hard for guys at clubs. “Sometimes you just really click with somebody and you get caught up in the moment,” she says. “You get the feeling, ‘Oh, this may be Mr. Right.’” But she’s had her hopes dashed enough times to issue this warning: “Don’t look for the guy you marry at the club.”

At Your Service: The first time Turner recorded was in Okinawa, where she was stationed while serving in the Marines—a rich environment, it turns out, for musicians. “There was always a guy with a guitar, always a guy who could rap, always people who could sing,” Turner recalls. When she returned to the United States, she was in the same company as Josh Gracin, who’d competed on American Idol the year before. At one point, one of her friends printed off a list of famous Marines. “There were CEOs, and Shaggy was on the list,” Turner says. “Bea Arthur and a porn star were the only women on the list. I told my staff sergeant, ‘I’m gonna hold it down for the females.’”