Fergie Takes The Plunge: The Black Eyed Pea dips her toes into solo waters for the first time this week, crowning herself as The Dutchess. If the success of her first single, "London Bridge," is any indication — it soared from #84 to #5 on the Billboard Hot 100, the second-highest jump ever recorded on the chart — her maiden release has high hopes. With production help and a featured spot from Will.I.Am, plus additional guest appearances by Ludacris and Bob Marley's wife Rita, the athletic singer should be in good shape. Just don't be distracted by Will misspelling "tasty" as "T-A-S-T-E-Y" throughout "Fergalicious."
Shooting for Newfound Success : After Lionel Richie dropped his new LP, Coming Home, last week, rabble-rousers New Found Glory — whose album shares the same name — issued a mock threat to the R&B star, saying they might name their next album Dancing on the Ceiling. On a more serious note, guitarist Chad Gilbert touches on the death of his father on "When I Die," and the band recruited Benmont Tench of the Heartbreakers to record the melodies on piano. Death by Stereo's Paul Miner and the Vandals' Warren Fitzgerald also helped oversee the outing, which includes "Oxygen," "Hold My Hand" and "Taken Back by You."
Cha-Chingy: The St. Louis rapper is chasing 2004's platinum Powerballin' with Hoodstar, which is divided into two parts: the crunk-heavy "Hood Side" and party-oriented "Star Side." With Tyrese, Three 6 Mafia, Jermaine Dupri, Chingy's cousin Spiffy and Fatman Scoop all lending their skills, plus production contributions from Dupri, Timbaland, Mannie Fresh, Mr. Collipark and Kwame, Chingy has every reason to expect some chart lovin'.
Bigger Mac: He's no Paul, but Jesse McCartney's 2004 debut, Beautiful Soul, did go platinum, and the 19-year-old is hoping for even bigger sales with Right Where You Want Me. Although nine different writers and producers helped him out, Jesse Mac did help pen all 12 tracks — yes, even "Daddy's Little Girl." And he bares his soul on "Invincible," a song about a friend who died in a drinking-and-driving accident for which McCartney is backed by a 15-piece orchestra.
Grocery Shopping: Jay-Z's had Lupe Fiasco in his sights since 2002, when he spoke highly of the Muslim rapper to L.A. Reid, and now it's time to see what the fuss is about with his Food & Liquor debut. The album, being distributed through Atlantic by Fiasco's 1st & 15th Productions, features a Pharrell co-writing credit ("I Gotcha"), Burt Bacharach and UFO samples — oh, and guest spots by Jay-Z and Jill Scott. Jay also executive produces the 13-track Luper-duper effort.
Thugs-R-Us: Thug Stories is the sixth Bone Thugs-N-Harmony album, but it's their first as a trio (sayonara, Bizzy Bone) and first for Koch, even though the label's general manager did marketing and promotion for two previous LPs by the group. With every Bone Thugs album having gone gold or platinum so far, the guys have quite a bit to live up to. But with songs like "Still No Surrender" and "Stand Not in Our Way" on their side, they don't seem to be lacking any confidence.
Looking Back: Reissues and archival material don't always get the attention they deserve, but this week merits more than a few call-outs.
Expect big things from Up From the Catacombs: The Best of Jane's Addiction, which touches on the band's three studio albums, live opus and rarities collection. Also featured on the 16-track set is "Superhero," their theme song to HBO's "Entourage."
The Ultimate Master P will be more of a test, seeing as how his No Limit empire has collapsed and he's now signed to his son's label, Gutter Music. This LP is actually coming out on Koch and has 16 cuts, including "Act a Fool" featuring Lil Jon and "Stressin' " featuring C-Murder.
Another collection of vintage material with chart potential is Lou Reed's Coney Island Baby. The Velvet Underground pioneer — who shook up the Video Music Awards by playing "White Light/ White Heat" with the Raconteurs — finds his 1976 release getting an anniversary brush-up with three unreleased cuts and three more bonus slices. Topping it off, Reed pens the liner notes.
Many of the bands that were influenced by Reed — Joy Division, the Birthday Party and Echo & the Bunnymen — rub elbows on A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box, a four-disc, five hour black-eyeliner extravaganza that's bound in leather (you've got to see it to believe it).
If that whets your appetite, you'll probably dig a recap of another gloomy group, the generically named Electronic, which included Bernard Sumner of New Order and the Smiths' Johnny Marr. Get the Message: The Best of Electronic corrals 13 songs by them — not just "the best," but also remixes, alternate mixes and rarities.
Speaking of remixes, Fabriclive continues its series of spruced-up-song collections with FabricLive 29: Cut Copy, which lumps together 17 rehashings of tunes by Röyksopp, Force of Nature and Claude VonStroke. Oscar- and Grammy-winning composer Ryuichi Sakamoto let Cornelius, Alva Noto and Craig Armstrong touch up his songs for Bricolages. And Japan's DJ Krush takes a different approach, redoing his own songs featuring Mos Def, Aesop Rock and the Roots in the form of Stepping Stones: The Self-Remixed Best.
If electronic music's your thing, look no further than two DVDs capturing the essence of the genre. "Put the Needle on the Record: A Documentary on the Global Phenomenon of Electronic Music" features interviews with Paul Oakenfold, Junior Sanchez and Christopher Lawrence, while "High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music," which focuses on Detroit only, boasts chats with Derrick May, Juan Atkins and Kevin Saunderson.
Also on the DVD front is U2's "Zoo TV: Live From Sydney," which bundles the original video with a second disc of extras, including additional footage from throughout the tour, short films, a 24-minute Easter egg documentary and a performance of "Desire" from the Yankee Stadium concert. And don't forget Bad Brains' "Live at CBGB 1982," which is hitting DVD for the first time. The set list included "Big Take Over," "How Low Can a Punk Get" and "Rally Round Jah Throne."
Not to be overlooked are the Pogues, whose first five albums are expanded to include at least four bonus tracks apiece; NRBQ's Ludlow Garage 1970, which the band has finally agreed to put on CD; Ween's Shinola, Vol. 1, which originally got a limited release on the band's own Chocodog label; and Noel Ellis, a very rare album by Alton's son that is on CD for the first time.
Song Title of the Week: "I Won't Send Anymore Letters to the South" from Cult of Sue Todd's Kelsey Grammer Loves Us
Red Sparowes' Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun: Even though Isis have a new album, In the Absence of Truth, planned for Halloween, that's not stopping their Sparowes side project from dishing up with their second record. The ambient album, which recalls Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Mogwai, is the first to feature new drummer Dave Clifford (Pleasure Forever, the VSS) and is adorned with gorgeous album art. Even though the Sparowes are all-instrumental, they sure do have a lot to say with song titles like "And by Our Own Hand Did Every Last Bird Lie Silent in Their Puddles, the Air Barren of Song as the Clouds Drifted Away. For Killing Their Greatest Enemy, the Locusts Noisily Thanked Us and Turned Their Jaws Toward Our Crops, Swallowing Our Greed Whole."
The Hidden Cameras' Awoo: The orchestral pop ensemble has a new home in Arts & Crafts (Broken Social Scene, Feist), although the band will be putting out this record on its own label, Evil Evil, in Canada. The Cameras' third LP was recorded at the Gas Station on Toronto Island, but it's a slug from their bio that should pique even more interest in the album: "Lead singer Joel Gibb's lyrics explore gay love and sex with a rare fearless explicitness, as well as Jungian themes of the anemia, the waning moon and pagan music." Sold?
The Diminisher's Imaginary Volcano: Dave McConnell has worked with members of Neutral Milk Hotel and Icy Demons in the past, and made his own contributions to Olivia Tremor Control, but he gets his chance to step out on his own this week as the Diminisher. McConnell recorded the LP using a harpsichord he borrowed from a church, but he also integrates violin, viola electric piano and cello — and gets a little help from bassist Griffin Rodriguez and drummer Dylan Ryan.
- A Shoreline Dream - Avoiding the Consequences (LateNight WeekNight)
- Clay Aiken - A Thousand Different Ways (RCA)
Buy Now: A Thousand Different Ways (RCA)
- American Heritage - Millenarian (Translation Loss)
- Joseph Arthur - Nuclear Daydream (digipak; Megaforce)
Buy Now: Nuclear Daydream (Megaforce)
- Howie Beck - Howie Beck (Ever)
- Dan Bern - Breathe (Messenger)
- The Big Sleep - Son of the Tiger (French Kiss)
- Black Crowes - Freak 'N' Roll ... Into the Fog - The Black Crowes All Join Hands at the Fillmore, San Francisco (two CDs; Eagle)
Buy Now: Freak 'N' Roll ... Into the Fog - The Black Crowes All Join Hands at the Fillmore, San Francisco (Eagle)
- Bloodlined Calligraphy - Ypsilanti (Facedown)
- Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Thug Stories (Koch)
Read: "Bone Thugs Dropping Two New LPs; Second Disc To Feature Dre, Kanye, Mariah"
Buy Now: Thug Stories (Koch)
- Bonnie "Prince" Billy - The Letting Go (Drag City)
- Bound Stems - Appreciation Night (Flameshovel)
- Bratz - Forever Diamondz (collector's digipak with toy; Hip-O)
- Michel Camilo & Tomatito - Spain Again (Decca)
- Canada - This Cursed House (digipak; Quite Scientific)
- Capitol Years - Dance Away the Terror (Park the Van)
- Carolina Rain - Weather the Storm (Equity)
- Kenny Chesney - Live (BNA)
Buy Now: Live (BNA)
- Chingy - Hoodstar (Capitol)
Read: "Chingy Out To Prove Himself As A Hoodstar With Jermaine Dupri, Tyrese"
Buy Now: Hoodstar (Capitol)
- Guy Clark - Workbench Songs (Dualtone)
- Cult of Sue Todd - Kelsey Grammer Loves Us (Nacho Bake)
- Damnation - Resist (Metal Mind)
- Darkel - Darkel (Astralwerks)
- Brett Dennen - So Much More (Dualtone)
- Diecast - Internal Revolution (Century Media)
- Chris Difford - South East Side Story (with DVD; Luna)
- The Diminisher - Imaginary Volcano (Unsound)
- Emerson Drive - Countrified (Midas)
- Robin English - Robin English (Aspirion)
- Estradasphere - Palace of Mirrors (The End)
- Fear Before the March of Flames - The Always Open Mouth (Equal Vision)
- Fergie - The Dutchess (Will.I.Am Music Group/ A&M)
Read: "Fergie's Split-Pea Soup: Reggae, Jazz, Ludacris, B Real On 'Crazy' Solo LP"
Buy Now: The Dutchess (Will.I.Am Music Group/ A&M)
- Bob Forrest - Modern Folk and Blues: Wednesday (Lakeshore)
- Forward Russia - Give Me a Wall (Mute)
- Glue - Catch as Catch Can (with bonus CD; Fat Beats)
- Hate - Victims (Metal Mind)
- The Hidden Cameras - Awoo (Arts & Crafts)
- Miki Howard - Pillow Talk: Miki Sings the Classics (Shanachie)
- Hope Conspiracy - Death Knows Your Name (Deathwish)
- Indigo Girls - Despite Our Differences (Hollywood)
Buy Now: Despite Our Differences (Hollywood)
- Jimmy James - Jamestown (Made)
- Jedi Mind Tricks - Servants in Heaven, Kings in Hell (Babygrande)
- Elton John - The Captain & the Kid (Interscope)
Buy Now: The Captain & the Kid (Interscope)
- Kayhan Kalhor/ Erdal Ezincan - The Wind (ECM)
- Kasabian - Empire (RCA)
Buy Now: Empire (RCA)
- The Kingdom - K1 (Arena Rock)
- Diana Krall - From This Moment On (Verve)
- Ben Kweller - Ben Kweller (Red Ink)
Buy Now: Ben Kweller (Red Ink)
- Jonny Lang - Turn Around (A&M)
- Jim Lauderdale - Bluegrass and Country Super Hits! Vol 1 (Yep Roc)
- Layo & Bushwacka! - Feels Closer (Olmeto)
- Lennon - Damaged Goods (John Galt Entertainment)
- Light This City - Facing the Thousand (Prosthetic)
- Lupe Fiasco - Food & Liquor (Atlantic)
Buy Now: Food & Liquor (Atlantic)
- Fred Martin & the Levite Camp - Some Bridges (Concord)
- Jesse McCartney - Right Where You Want Me (Hollywood)
Read: "In September, Get Jesse McCartney Right Where You Want Him"
Buy Now: Right Where You Want Me (Hollywood)
- Anne McCue - Koala Motel (Messenger)
- Monica - The Makings of Me (J)
- Monstrous - Mother Nature's Slaves (Howler)
- Mushroomhead - Savior Sorrow (Megaforce)
Buy Now: Savior Sorrow (Megaforce)
- Napalm Death - Smear Campaign (Century Media)
Buy Now: Smear Campaign (Century Media)
- Natalie - Everything New (Universal)
- The Nein - Transnationalisms (Sonic Unyon)
- Nevertheless - Live Like We're Alive (Flicker)
- Aaron Neville - Bring It on Home: The Soul Classics (Burgundy)
- New Found Glory - Coming Home (Suretone/ Geffen)
Read: "New Found Glory Unveil Track List; New LP Is 'Different From Everything Out There' "
Buy Now: Coming Home (Suretone/ Geffen)
- Over the Atlantic - Junica (Carpark)
- Ovulators - The Ovulators (Happy Mistake)
- Pere Ubu - Why I Hate Women (Smog Veil)
- Planes Mistaken for Stars - Mercy (Abacus)
- Prophet Omega - The Natural World (Astralwerks)
- Red Sparowes - Every Red Heart Shines Toward the Red Sun (Neurot)
- Corrina Repp - The Absent and the Distant (digipak; Caldo Verde)
- Paulina Rubio - Ananda (limited-edition version also available; Universal Latino)
Buy Now: Ananda (Universal Latino)
- Sacriversum - Mozartia (Metal Mind)
- The Matt Savage Trio - Quantum Leap (Palmetto)
- SBB - New Century (Metal Mind)
- DJ Shadow - The Outsider (Universal)
Buy Now: The Outsider (Universal)
- Jake Shimabukuro - Gently Weeps (Hitchhike)
- Smash Mouth - Summer Girl (Beautiful Bomb)
Buy Now: Summer Girl (Beautiful Bomb)
- Chris Smither - Leave the Light On (Signature)
- The String Cheese Incident - On the Road: Red Rocks 07.02.06 (three CDs; Sci Fidelity)
Buy Now: On the Road: Red Rocks 07.02.06 (Sci Fidelity)
- The Static Age - Blank Screens (Reignition)
- Suffocation - Suffocation (Relapse)
- Ta-Shma - Come Listen (JMG)
- Teeth of the Hydra - Greenland (Tee Pee)
- Doc & Merle Watson - Black Mountain Rag (Rounder)
- The Whigs - Give 'Em All a Big Fat Lip (ATO)
- Various artists - FabricLive 29: Cut Copy (Fabric)
- Various artists - "Artie Lange's Beer League" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- Various artists - "The Covenant" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- Various artists - "Jet Li's Fearless" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- Various artists - "My Name Is Earl" soundtrack (Shout! Factory)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material:
- Louis Armstrong - Gold (two CDs; Hip-O) and To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- At the Gates - Slaughter of the Soul (with bonus DVD; Earache)
- Atomic Rooster - Atomic Rooster (Akarma)
- The Climax Chicago Blues Band - The Climax Chicago Blues Band (Akarma)
- John Coltrane - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Impulse!)
- Creedence Clearwater Revival -- 20th Century Masters: The Best of Creedence Clearwater Revival - Millennium Collection (MCA)
- Dan the Automator - Dan the Automator Presents 2K7 (Decon)
- DJ Krush - Stepping Stones: The Self-Remixed Best (two CDs; Red Ink)
- Electronic - Get the Message: The Best of Electronic (Rhino)
- Noel Ellis - Noel Ellis (Light in the Attic)
- Ella Fitzgerald - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Frijid Pink - Frijid Pink (Akarma)
- The Gants - Introducing the Gants (Sundazed)
- Stan Getz - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Astrud Gilberto - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Wilbert Harrison - Let's Work Together (Jamie)
- Billie Holiday - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Julio Iglesias - Romantic Classics (Burgundy)
- Jane's Addiction - Up From the Catacombs: The Best of Jane's Addiction (Rhino)
- Antonio Carlos Jobim - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Lowlife - San Antorium (LTM)
- Hugh Masekela - 20th Century Masters: The Best of Hugh Masekela - The Millennium Collection (Hip-O)
- Master P - The Ultimate Master P (Koch)
- Wes Montgomery - 20th Century Masters: The Best of Wes Montgomery - The Millennium Collection (Hip-O)
- The Moody Blues - Days of Future Passed, In Search of the Lost Chord and To Our Children's Children's Children (Polydor)
- Newcleus - Destination: Earth - The Definitive Newcleus Recordings (Deeplay Soultec)
- North Mississippi Allstars - The Early Years (Compendia)
- NRBQ - Ludlow Garage 1970 (Sundazed)
- Charlie Parker - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Poco - Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Pogues - Hell's Ditch, If I Should Fall From Grace With God, Peace & Love, Red Roses for Me and Rum and Sodomy & the Lash (Rhino)
- Lou Reed - Coney Island Baby (RCA/Legacy)
- Ryuichi Sakamoto - Bricolages (KAB America)
- Nina Simone - To Go: Stick It in Your Ear (Verve)
- Tomasz Stanko - Chameleon (Metal Mind)
- Styx - Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Sound of the Blue Heart - Beauty? (Hollows Hill)
- Vader - De Profundis (Metal Mind)
- Via Mistica - Testamentum (In Hora Mortis Nostre) (Metal Mind)
- Weather Report - Forecast: Tomorrow (three CDs and one DVD; Columbia/Legacy)
- Ween - Shinola, Vol. 1 (MVD Audio)
- Various artists - '80s Dance Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Various artists - '80s Soul Gold (two CDs; Hip-O)
- Various artists - A Life Less Lived: The Gothic Box (three CDs and one DVD; Rhino)
- Various artists - The Greats of Sacred Steel (two CDs; Compendia)
- Various artists - Pure Fire! A Gilles Peterson Impulse! Collection (Impulse!)
- Bad Brains - "Live at CBGB 1982" (MVD Visual)
- Black Eyed Peas - "Bring in the Noise, Bring in the Phunk!" (MVD Visual)
- Blind Faith - "London Hyde Park 1969" (Sanctuary)
- Blues Caravan - "The New Generation" (MVD Visual)
- Bob Brozman - "Live in Germany" (MVD Visual)
- Canned Heat - "Live at Montreux 1973" (Eagle Vision)
- Eric Clapton - "Live at Montreux 1986" (Eagle Vision)
- De Mono - "(Nie) Wszystko Na Sprzedaz" (Metal Mind)
- Sue Foley - "Live in Europe" (MVD Visual)
- Mahalia Jackson - "The Immortal Mahalia Jackson" (Audio Fidelity)
- Daniel Johnston - "The Devil and Daniel Johnston" (Sony)
- Mandrill - "Live at Montreux 2002" (Wilson Bros.)
- Wynton Marsalis - "In This House, on This Morning" (Geneon)
- Radiohead - "OK Computer: A Classic Album Under Review" (MVD Visual)
- SBB - "New Century" (Metal Mind)
- Nina Simone - "Live at Montreux 1976" (Eagle Vision)
- Snowy White - "Introspective" (United States Distributors)
- U2 - "Zoo TV: Live From Sydney" (two DVDs; Island)
- Yanni - "Yanni Live! The Concert Event" (Image)
- Various artists - "High Tech Soul: The Creation of Techno Music" (Plexifilm)
- Various artists - "Put the Needle on the Record" (MVD Visual)
- Janet Jackson - 20 Y.O. (Virgin)
Read: "Jermaine Dupri Promises Mariah, Janet Duet On New Album"
Preorder: 20 Y.O. (Virgin)
- Ludacris - Release Therapy (Def Jam)
Read: "Therapy Session: Ludacris Previews New LP, Shows Off Home Studio"
Preorder: Release Therapy (Def Jam)
- Mewithoutyou - Brother Sister (Tooth & Nail)
Read: "Mewithoutyou Confront Rock's Limitations: 'You Can't Give People Hugs In A CD' "
Preorder: Brother Sister (Tooth & Nail)
- Beck - The Information (Geffen)
Read: "Beck Giving Fans Sticky Fingers With Quasi-Hip-Hop Album"
Preorder: The Information (Geffen)
- Evanescence - The Open Door (Wind-Up)
Read: "Amy Lee Says New Evanescence LP Has More Sensuality"
Preorder: The Open Door (Wind-Up)
- Killers - Sam's Town (Island)
Read: "Killers Album Preview: Massive Sound, Epic Ballads, Big Ideas Fill Sam's Town"
Preorder: Sam's Town (Island)
- The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes (V2)
- Rod Stewart - Still the Same ... Great Rock Classics of Our Time (J)
- Various artists - "American Hardcore - The History of American Punk Rock (1980-1986)" soundtrack (Rhino)