Pop music's surrender to the tyranny of the fashion industry makes musical talent a secondary consideration to videogenic qualities, but Faith Evans has survived a harrowing journey through the circles of gossip columnist and fashionista hell to emerge as one of the strongest singers of her generation. The widow of the Notorious B.I.G. has let her fans in on a life of drug problems, police harassment and family heartbreak, but on her fourth album, First Lady (Capitol), what comes through is the voice that has been her calling card ever since she sang with her mom in church at age 2. She transcends her past problems in the old-school R&B-influenced "Again" but still manages to cut a fresh groove on the sharp-edged "Going Out." Look for Evans to touch on past hits such as "You Used to Love Me," "Soon as I Get Home," "You Gets No Love" and her tribute to Biggie, "I'll Be Missing You." Tickets $30.
8 p.m. Friday, July 29
House of Blues, 225 Decatur St., 529-BLUE; www.hob.com