Idolatry: Everyone knows Katharine and Taylor are battling it out Tuesday night (May 23), but if you were rooting for Elliott, Paris, Kellie or another "Idol" contender, the compilation "American Idol Season 5 Encores" will give you a chance to hear the finalists once again. Covers of Aretha Franklin, Stevie Wonder and Gladys Knight & the Pips give the collection plenty of soul, although Chris Daughtry adds some rock edge with his take on Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive."
While the "Idol" contenders' best-known tunes belong to other people, so do the theme songs to entertainers on the other end of the spectrum: WWE wrestlers. This week's other big compilation, WWE: Reckless Intent, isn't as heavy on the metal as you might think: Alongside tracks by Killswitch Engage, Brand New Sin and P.O.D. are Three 6 Mafia, who add some hop with "Some Bodies Gonna Get It," and Silkk the Shocker, who chips in "Never Gonna Change."
Touched by Angels: Call them a "rebirth," a "supergroup" or "the greatest rock and roll revolution for this generation," as singer Tom DeLonge himself did, but whatever the case, Angels & Airwaves finally descend with We Don't Need to Whisper this week. If you pre-ordered through the A&A site, you might have received a copy signed by the band, but if you're still looking for something extra, pick up the U.K. edition, which has bonus live versions of "Start the Machine" and "Do It for Me Now."
Don We Now: After teaming up with Jennifer Lopez and Fabolous the last time around, Don Omar is back with King of Kings, which probably gives you an idea of how important the rapper considers himself to the reggaetón movement. This time around he's roped in Juelz Santana ("Conteo"), Beenie Man ("Belly Danza") and Mackie Ranks ("En Su Nota") for his 18-track affair, which is mostly sung in Spanish.
Tickle Her Pink: Liking Pink's I'm Not Dead but still dying to "Get the Party Started"? Look no further than the singer's "Live in Europe," a DVD that packs in all her pre-"Stupid Girl" singles, plus a heap of additional performances. Furthered by an on-the-road doc, the video has more than 25 live songs plus spots by Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Peaches.
Dixie Cats: The Dixie Chicks know better than anyone what it's like to carry a heavy burden, but they share the load a little on their politically charged Taking the Long Way. Famed rock producer Rick Rubin sat behind the decks, while John Mayer adds a searing lick to "I Hope," co-written by blues legend Keb' Mo'. Sheryl Crow also lent her songwriting skills, though the Chicks get deeply personal by touching on everything from infertility to Alzheimer's, from which singer Natalie Maines' grandmother suffers.
Getting a Boost: Harlem, New York's Purple City tapped Jim Jones to executive produce and appear on their latest LP, The Purple Album, which also features B.G., Max B. and Boot Camp Click. Mr. Collipark is all over Da Muzicianz's record of the same name, producing a smattering of songs and appearing on the last two, "Mr. Collipark Speaks" and "Gyrate." And Lil Wayne, Jazze Pha, Bun B, Baby and 8Ball beef up the second record by Memphis underground fave Yo Gotti, whose Back 2 Da Basics also features "Full Time" from "Hustle & Flow."
On the rock side, Sufjan Stevens embellishes his pals Serena-Maneesh's self-titled debut, playing flute and marimba while his sisters Elvira and Hilma contribute vocals and bass, respectively. Another breakout indie troubadour, Devendra Banhart, furthers the second record by Vetiver — a.k.a. Andy Cabic, who is also a member of Banhart's live band. And two more solo stars are bumping up rookie Sierra Swan: James Blunt, who took her on tour recently, and Aimee Mann, who chimes in on "Get Down to It" on Swan's Ladyland. And one of the most iconic singer/songwriters of all, Leonard Cohen, mentored Hawaiian artist and Berklee College of Music grad Anjani Thomas for her major-label debut, Blue Alert, which was co-written and produced by Cohen.
As far as indie stuff goes, Mike Patton proves that Dub Trio really are "Not Alone" by appearing on that song on the noise act's enhanced New Heavy. Liars' Julian Gross directs one of the six videos that appears on the DVD accompanying Bedroom Walls' All Good Dreamers Pass This Way. And Antony and Bonnie "Prince" Billy surface on Black Ships Ate the Sky, the new album from Current 93, a collective headed up by David Tibet and also featuring Ben Chasny of Bonnie "Prince" Billy labelmates Six Organs of Admittance.
Branching Out: How apropos for Michelle Branch to debut her new project, the Wreckers, on "One Tree Hill." Now that she has, it's time for her and Nashville singer/songwriter Jessica Harp to trot out Stand Still, Look Pretty, the limited edition of which comes with a bonus DVD.
Also finding a new mouthpiece — actually, let's make that a bullhorn — are punk heroes Marky Ramone, Jerry Only (Misfits), Dez Cadena (Black Flag), Ivan Julian (Richard Hell & the Voidoids) and Misfits collaborator John Cafiero. Their new team, Osaka Popstar, roll out their eponymous debut this week, which — like the Wreckers' LP — comes with a bonus DVD loaded with videos, animation and more.
Two members of the Mother Hips and Cake drummer Todd Roper have gone on to form Sensations, whose Listen to My Shapes debut drops this week. And Dave Shettler of the Sights has joined forces with members of the Paybacks and Cyril Lords to form SSM, a raggedy Detroit band that's also chalking up a self-titled debut.
We Salute You: Everyone knows how much Def Leppard love their sugar, but David Bowie and the Kinks too? 'Pears so, as the U.K. arena-rockers hail those artists — plus Thin Lizzy, T. Rex and Roxy Music — on Yeah! Still, that's not as unusual as Urge Overkill, the Four Tops, the Monkees and Crooked Fingers covering Neil Diamond; all the recordings have been out before, but now they've been compiled as Forever Neil Diamond. Less surprising is another torch singer, Michael Bolton, who brings us his self-explanatory Bolton Swings Sinatra this week.
Song Title of the Week:
"Sometimes the Line Walks You" from Murder by Death's In Bocca Al Lupo
PJ Harvey's "PJ Harvey on Tour - Please Leave Quietly" DVD: She's been around for seven album cycles, but the celebrated chanteuse finally has a concert video to call her own. Consisting mostly of performances from 2004 — including the rare tracks "Uh Huh Her" and "E♥ol" — the DVD also has a revealing, 28-minute interview and diary footage from the usually reserved Harvey.
Art Brut's Bang Bang Rock and Roll: If you didn't see last year's critics polls, you probably don't know about U.K. sensations Art Brut, whose debut LP finally arrives in the States this week. The chic artistes have added three exclusive cuts to the U.S. version: "These Animal Menswear," "Really Bad Weekend" and "Maternity Ward."
Mission of Burma's The Obliterati: They've been around for 26 years — well, just six, if you subtract the slightly lengthy hiatus — but Boston's MOB finally have a third studio LP to their name. Initial pressings have a bonus DVD featuring high-def, multi-angle footage from the band's November 2004 gig at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell, Massachusetts. Prepare to be obliterated.
- Jackie Allen - Tangled (Blue Note)
- Angels & Airwaves - We Don't Need to Whisper (Geffen)
Read: "Tom DeLonge Spills More About Angels & Airwaves' Plans For World Domination"
Buy Now: We Don't Need to Whisper (Geffen)
- Art Brut - Bang Bang Rock and Roll (Downtown)
Buy Now: Bang Bang Rock and Roll (Downtown)
- As Far As - Open Letter to the Damned (Octone)
- Bedroom Walls - All Good Dreamers Pass This Way (Baria)
- Blöödhag - Hell Bent for Letters (Alternative Tentacles)
- The Blood Brothers - Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck (enhanced EP; V2)
Buy Now: Love Rhymes With Hideous Car Wreck (V2)
- Michael Bolton - Bolton Swings Sinatra: The Second Time Around (Concord)
- Bronze Nazareth - The Great Migration (Babygrande)
- Susan Cagle - The Subway Recordings (Columbia)
Read: "Susan Cagle Has A Major-Label Deal But Still Sings In NYC Subway"
- The Cairo Gang - The Cairo Gang (Narnack)
- The Classic Crime - Albatross (Tooth & Nail)
- Slaid Cleaves - Unsung (Rounder)
- Coachwhips - Double Death (with DVD; Narnack)
- Current 93 - Black Ships Ate the Sky (Durtro)
- Da Muzicianz - Da Muzicianz (TVT)
- Damone - Out Here All Night (Island)
Read: "Damone Rock On Despite Label Drama, Near-Death Experience"
Buy Now: Out Here All Night (Island)
- Def Leppard - Yeah! (Mercury/ Universal)
Buy Now: Yeah! (Mercury/ Universal)
- Delaware - Lost in the Beauty of Innocence (Metropolis)
- Ditty Bops - Moon Over the Freeway (Warner Bros.)
Buy Now: Moon Over the Freeway (Warner Bros.)
- Dixie Chicks - Taking the Long Way (Columbia)
Buy Now: Taking the Long Way (Columbia)
- Doro - Warrior Soul (Locomotive)
- Dr. John - Mercernary (Blue Note)
- Dub Trio - New Heavy (enhanced; ROIR)
- End of Fashion - End of Fashion (Capitol)
- Entity - Locked Doors (D1)
- Escape the Fate - There's No Sympathy for the Dead (EP; Epitaph)
- Evermore - Dreams (Velour)
- Five Horse Johnson - The Mystery Spot (Small Stone)
- Jeffrey Foucault - Ghost Repeater (Signature)
- The Hacker - A.N.D. N.O.W. ... (Uncivilized World)
- Halifax - The Inevitability of a Strange World (Drive Thru)
Buy Now: The Inevitability of a Strange World (Drive Thru)
- Halou - Wholeness & Separation (Vertebrae)
- The Heavy Blinkers - The Night and I Are Still So Young (Cooking Vinyl)
- Danko Jones - Sleep Is the Enemy (Red Ink)
- Judge Jules - Proven Worldwide (Koch)
- Kidz Bop - More Kidz Bop Gold: The Greatest Hits of All Time Sung by for Kids (Razor & Tie)
- Knut - Alter (Hydra Head)
- Less Than Jake - In With the Out Crowd (special edition comes with bonus DVD and MP3 disc; Sire/ London/ Rhino)
Buy Now: In With the Out Crowd (Sire/ London/ Rhino)
- Liquid Soul - One-Two Punch (Telarc)
- Marion Meadows - Dressed to Chill (Heads Up)
- Mission of Burma - The Obliterati (initial copies come with bonus DVD; Matador)
Buy Now: The Obliterati (Matador)
- Nino Moschella - The Fix (Ubiquity)
- Murder by Death - In Bocca Al Lupo (Tent Show)
- Ocrilim - Anoint (I & Ear)
- Don Omar - King of Kings (Universal)
Read: "Reggaeton Star Don Omar Out To Spread Latino Unity"
Buy Now: King of Kings (Universal)
- Osaka Popstar - Osaka Popstar and the American Legends of Punk (enhanced; Rykodisc)
- Phoenix - It's Never Been Like That (Astralwerks)
Buy Now: It's Never Been Like That (Astralwerks)
- Grace Potter and the Nocturnals - Nothing but the Water (digipak with DVD; Ragged Company)
- Purple City - The Purple Album (Babygrande)
- Raised Fist - Sound of the Republic (Burning Heart)
- Carl Hancock Rux - Good Bread Alley (Thirsty Ear)
- Steven Seagal & Thunderbox - Mojo Priest (Ark 21)
- Sensations - Listen to My Shapes (Camera)
- Shooting at Unarmed Men - Yes Tinnitus (Too Pure)
- SSM - SSM (enhanced; Alive)
- Sierra Swan - Ladyland (Interscope)
- Anjani Thomas - Blue Alert (Columbia)
- VCR - Power Destiny (Side One Dummy)
- Vetiver - To Find Me Gone (Dicristina Stair)
- Rhonda Vincent - An American Bluegrass Girl (Rounder)
- Scott Walker - The Drift (4AD)
- The Walkmen - A Hundred Miles Off (Record Collection)
Read: "Want A Bob Dylan Album You Can Dance To? Try The Walkmen"
Buy Now: A Hundred Miles Off (Record Collection)
- The Wreckers - Stand Still, Look Pretty (limited-edition version with DVD also available; Maverick)
Buy Now: Stand Still, Look Pretty (Maverick)
- The Yellowjackets - Twenty Five (two-CD live set; Heads Up)
- Yo Gotti - Back 2 Da Basics (TVT)
Buy Now: Back 2 Da Basics (TVT)
- Various artists - Big Star, Small World (Koch)
- Various artists - Give 'Em the Boot V (Hellcat)
- Various artists - Healing the Divide (digipak; Anti)
- Various artists - WWE: Reckless Intent (Columbia)
- Various artists - American Idol Season 5 Encores (RCA)
Read: "Forget The Competition — 'Idol' Top 12 Unite For 'Encore' Comp"
Buy Now: American Idol Season 5 Encores (RCA)
- Various artists - "The Break Up" soundtrack (Hip-O)
- Various artists - "Prairie Home Companion" soundtrack (deluxe limited edition with DVD also available; New Line)
- Various artists - "X-Men: The Last Stand" soundtrack (Varèse Sarabande)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Will Ackerman - Pure Will Ackerman (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Jim Brickman - Pure Jim Brickman (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Roy Buchanan - The Definitive Collection (Polydor)
- Candlebox - The Best of Candlebox (Rhino)
Buy Now: The Best of Candlebox (Rhino)
- Johnny Cash - Personal File (two CDs; Columbia/ Legacy)
Buy Now: Personal File (Columbia/ Legacy)
- Eric Clapton - Eric Clapton (two-CD deluxe edition; Polydor)
Buy Now: Eric Clapton (Polydor)
- The Miles Davis Quintet - The Legendary Prestige Quintet Sessions (enhanced four-disc box set; Prestige)
- Delaney & Bonnie - Home (Stax)
- Pat DiNizio - This Is Pat DiNizio (Fuel)
- Sammy Hagar - Marching to Mars (Geffen)
- John Lee Hooker - The Definitive Collection (Hip-0)
- Mark Isham - Pure Mark Isham (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Kansas - Works in Progress (with DVD; Compendia)
- Gladys Knight & the Pips - Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Leadbelly - The Legend of Leadbelly (Empire Musicwerks)
- Huey Lewis & the News - Greatest Hits (available with DVD; Capitol)
Buy Now: Greatest Hits (Capitol)
- Luciano - Gold: The Very Best of Luciano (Jet Star)
- John Jacob Niles - An Evening With John Jacob Niles (Empire Musicwerks)
- Harry Nilsson - A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, Everybody's Talkin': The Very Best of Harry Nilsson, Son of Schmilsson (RCA/ Legacy)
- Poison - The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock - Deluxe Tour Edition (with DVD; Capitol)
Buy Now: The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock - Deluxe Tour Edition (Capitol)
- Pete Seeger - American Favorite Ballads, Vol. 4 (Smithsonian Folkways)
- Lionel Richie - Time (MCA)
- Diana Ross - Diana (MCA)
- Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia - Well-Matched: The Best of Merl Saunders & Jerry Garcia (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Shadowfax - Pure Shadowfax (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Garnett Silk - Rule Dem: The Roots of the Reggae Messiah (Trojan)
- George Strait - Ten Strait Hits (MCA)
- Tears for Fears - Songs From the Big Chair (two-CD deluxe edition; enhanced; Mercury/ Universal)
Buy Now: Songs From the Big Chair (Mercury/ Universal)
- Tuck & Patti - Pure Tuck & Patti (Windham Hill/ Legacy)
- Uriah Heep - Look at Yourself (MCA)
- Muddy Waters - The Definitive Collection (Geffen)
- Faron Young - An Introduction to Faron Young (Fuel)
- Various artists - Best of '60s Soul (Madacy)
- Various artists - Big Band: Remixed + Reinvented (Sunswept)
- Various artists - Classic Labor Songs from Smithsonian Folkways (Smithsonian Folkways)
- Various artists - Eisenhower Blues: Post-War Urban Classics From the Eisenhower Era (1952-1960) (Empire Musicwerks)
- Various artists - The Essential Hollywood (two CDs; Columbia)
- Various artists - Forever Neil Diamond (Shout! Factory)
- Various artists - Irie Reggae Hits: Best of Dancehall (Time Life)
- Various artists - Punk Rock! 20 Classic Punk Bands From the World of Mystic Records (Varèse Sarabande)
- Various artists - Road Tested: The Ultimate Driving Album (Time Life)
- Various artists - West Coast Sock Hop: The Arvee Records Story (Empire Musicwerks)
- 16 Horsepower - "Live" (Alternative Tentacles)
- America - "America In Concert: Live at the Sydney Opera House" (Rhino)
- Faith No More - "You Fat Bastards: Live at the Brixton Academy, London/ Who Cares A Lot: Greatest Videos" (two DVDs; Rhino)
- Oscar Peterson - "London Concert 1964" (E Jazz Lines)
- Pink - "Live in Europe" (La Face)
- PJ Harvey - "PJ Harvey on Tour - Please Leave Quietly" (Island)
- Uli Jon Roth - "Historic Performances Volume I & II: The Electric Sun Years" (Steamhammer)
- Uli Jon Roth, Jack Bruce and UFO - "Legends of Rock: Live at Castle Donington" (Steamhammer)
- Son Volt - "6 String Belief: Son Volt Live" (Transmit Sound/ Legacy)
- Tears for Fears - "Scenes From the Big Chair" (Mercury/ Universal)
- Muddy Waters - "Classic Concerts" (Hip-O)
- Wendy O. Williams - "Bump N Grind: Wendy O. Williams Live" (Cherry Red)
- Various artists - "Metal: A Headbanger's Journey" (two-DVD special edition; Warner)
- The Charlatans UK - "Live at Last" (Standing Room Only)
- Les Claypool - Of Whales & Woe (digipak; Prawn Song)
- Peeping Tom - Peeping Tom (Ipecac)
Read: "Norah Jones Curses Up A Storm For New Mike Patton Project"
- AFI - Decemberunderground (Interscope)
Preorder: Decemberunderground (Interscope)
- Head Automatica - Popaganda (Warner Bros.)
Read: "Daryl Palumbo Spreads Head Automatica Popaganda"
Preorder: Popaganda (Warner Bros.)
- Paul Oakenfold - A Lively Mind (Maverick)
Preorder: A Lively Mind (Maverick)
- The Futureheads - News and Tributes (Vagrant)
Preorder: News and Tributes (Vagrant)
- Busta Rhymes - The Big Bang (Aftermath)
Read: "Busta Making An Even Bigger Bang With Em, ODB, Neptunes, Rick James"
Preorder: The Big Bang (Aftermath)
- Shadows Fall - Fallout From the War (Century Media)
- Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped (Geffen)
Preorder: Rather Ripped (Geffen)
- Regina Spektor - Begin to Hope (two-CD limited-edition also available; Sire/ London/ Rhino)
Preorder: Begin to Hope (Sire/ London/ Rhino)