Jay-Z’s November Reign? Mogul Takes On Chris Brown, Cassidy, Angels & Airwaves And More, In New Releases

Also due Tuesday: Ashley Tisdale, Bright Eyes, Ricky Martin, Demon Hunter, Plain White T's, Monster Magnet, Grizzly Bear, Sigur Rós.

With 55 days left in the year, here’s your quintessential guide to new releases this week …

The Top Five:

Jay-Z‘s American Gangster: Like Roger Clemens, Jay keeps coming back out of retirement so he can play again — and he decides on his own watch when it’s best to do so. While it’s not officially connected with the film of the same name, his perfectly timed American Gangster is sure to enjoy some of the runoff from the film’s marketing — did you forget that Jay is a businessman? For proof of how much the music mogul’s LP has already been talked about, look no further than Jim Jones, who has already put together a mixtape in response, Harlem’s American Gangsta. Jay’s sweetheart, Beyoncé, joins him on the concept album, as do Diddy, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Pharrell, Beanie Sigel, Jermaine Dupri, Bilal, Nas and more.

Chris Brown‘s Exclusive: Like Jay, fast-rising R&B singer Brown has also been doubling up on publicity — while his new album drops this week, he’s going to be chasing it with the November 21 flick “This Christmas.” “I am still going to keep it so my younger fans can continue to listen to my music, but I got a couple of joints on there that’s for some of the older people,” he previously told MTV News of his intentions for the album. And while that supposed Michael Jackson collaboration didn’t make it onto the disc, Lil Wayne, Game, Big Boi, Will.I.Am and T-Pain are on the guest list, with Swizz Beatz, Dre & Vidal, Scott Storch and others lending their production talents too. Don’t miss the limited-edition version, which also contains a DVD.

Cassidy‘s B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story: “It’s called B.A.R.S. ’cause I was locked behind bars, I was known for spittin’ bars and Barry Adrian Reese is my biological name, so I just felt like it was the perfect title,” the rapper recently told MTV News about his new release. Cass already has a club monster on his hands in “My Drink N’ My 2 Step” — adding to the album hype, a remix of the track featuring Kanye West, Ne-Yo and Swizz Beatz has also already slipped out, as has the second single, “Innocent Man” (featuring Mark Morrison). John Legend also plays a role on the album, as a guest star on “Celebration.”

Angels & AirwavesI-Empire: That’s a lot of hip-hop weight for one week, but repping the rock front is Tom DeLonge‘s band, which is putting out its second album this week. With an album cover resembling some ’80s space movie for kids and a title that already feels outdated, but as DeLonge insisted to MTV News, the band has a “grand vision.” A&A fans might want to head over to Best Buy to pick up the package — the version the retail chain is selling has bonus acoustic versions of “Do It for Me Now” and “Everything’s Magic.”

Bright EyesMotion Sickness: Live Recordings: The lauded folk-rock group has issued every one of its releases through Saddle Creek, an indie label out of Omaha, Nebraska, that owes its very existence to the band. But Conor Oberst decided to release their new concert effort on the Team Love label he co-founded in 2003. The 15-track CD — the sixth one Team Love has put out so far — overviews Bright Eyes’ early-2005 tours in support of I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning and features a pair of noteworthy cover songs, of Feist‘s “Mushaboom” and Elliott Smith‘s “The Biggest Lie.”

Five Face-Offs:

Nas and Nazareth: The rapper’s controversial new album is still more than a month away, but fans can whet their appetite this week with Greatest Hits, which has two new tracks: “Less Than an Hour,” the theme to “Rush Hour 3″; and “Surviving the Times,” which features Cee-Lo. But while Nas is going to have to elbow past Jay-Z and Cassidy this week, he should beware another opponent who isn’t a rapper: cheesy hard-rock vets Nazareth, whose Hair of the Dog – Live album is getting reissued this week in remastered form.

Ashley Tisdale and the Who: If you never see Nas and Nazareth mentioned in the same sentence, try this one on for size: both the “High School Musical” star and the classic-rock vets are telling tales this week. “There’s Something About Ashley: The Story of Headstrong” traces Tisdale’s growth from when the writing process for her debut album began through its release and her subsequent tour with the “HSM” gang. “Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who” follows the band throughout its entire career and features interviews with not just the bandmembers but with fans U2, Eddie Vedder and others as well. Fittingly, the Who’s two-DVD set runs just slightly longer than Tisdale’s: It’s 237 minutes long, while hers is roughly an hour.

Ricky Martin and Imani Coppola: Ricky Martin has an interesting strategy this week. He’s putting out three versions of his Live: Black & White Tour concert set — a CD, a DVD and a combined CD-plus-DVD package — and yet, according to the Sony Music store, the standalone DVD actually retails for four bucks more than the CD-plus-DVD edition. Curiously, singer/violinist Imani Coppola drops The Black & White Album this week via Mike Patton‘s Ipecac label (she toured with his Peeping Tom collective). And, believe it or not, the HivesBlack and White Album drops next week.

Demon Hunter and Monster Magnet: One heavy-rock band is battling evil creatures this week while the other is attracting them. Storm the Gates of Hell, the fourth album by Christian metal band Demon Hunter, features a DVD and two bonus tracks on select editions — “No Reason to Exist” and “Grand Finale” — while MM’s 4-Way Diablo has 13 doses of slabby goodness.

Kasper Bjørke and Kim Hiorthøy: Two artists with strokes in their names releasing albums the same week? Who woulda thunk it?

Song Title of the Week:

“Candy Sun Smiles” from Oh Astro‘s Champions of Wonder

Album Cover of the Week:

Kasper Bjørke’s In Gumbo

New Releases:

· 60 Watt Kid – 60 Watt Kid (Absolutely Kosher)
· Angels & Airwaves – I-Empire (Geffen) [Buy Now]
Read: “Angels & Airwaves’ Revolution Has Begun — Just Wait 29 Years, Tom DeLonge Insists”
· Arp – In Light (Smalltown Supersound)
· Barenaked Ladies – Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan (enhanced; Shout! Factory) [Buy Now]
· Bear in Heaven – Red Bloom of the Boom (Hometapes)
· Kasper Bjørke – In Gumbo (Plant Music / Defend Distribution)
· Black Swans – Change (digipak; La Société Expéditionnaire)
· Mike Bones – The Sky Behind the Sea (The Social Registry)
· Bottomless Pit – Hammer of the Gods (Comedy Minus One)
· Bright Eyes – Motion Sickness: Live Recordings (Team Love) [Buy Now]
· Chris Brown – Exclusive (deluxe edition comes with DVD; Jive) [Buy Now]
Read: “Pharrell, Will.I.Am Joining Chris Brown’s Exclusive Club”
· Buckethead – The Elephant Man’s Alarm Clock (TDRS) [Buy Now]
· Jimmy Buffett – Live in Anguilla (two CDs and one DVD; Mailboat) [Buy Now]
· By the End of Tonight + Tera Malos – Complex Full of Phantoms (Temporary Residence)
· Captain & Tennille – The Secret of Christmas (Retroactive Entertainment)
· Cassidy – B.A.R.S.: The Barry Adrian Reese Story (enhanced; RCA) [Buy Now]
Read: “Cassidy Talks About Car Crash, Fatal Gunfight — And Explains Why He’s Better Than Ever”
· Citay – Little Kingdom (Dead Oceans)
· The Classic Crime – Seattle Sessions (EP; Tooth & Nail) [Buy Now]
· Clipd Beaks – Hoarse Lords (Lovepump United)
· Imani Coppola – The Black & White Album (Ipecac)
· Cops – Free Electricity (Control Group)
· Demon Hunter – Storm the Gates of Hell (also available as a CD/DVD set or Deluxe Fan Edition; Solid State) [Buy Now]
· Dion – Son of Skip James (Verve Forecast)
· The Dream Jam Band – The Dream Jam Band (two CDs; Dream Jam Band)
· Dri – Smoke Rings (Range Life) [Buy Now]
· The Drift – Ceiling Sky (live; Temporary Residence)
· Alex Dupree & the Trapdoor Band – Los Meridanzas (Belle City Pop)
· Dust Galaxy – Dust Galaxy (Eighteenth Street)
· Einstürzende Neubauten – Alles Weider Offen (Potomak) [Buy Now]
· El Capitan – Stickeen (Grass Roots)
· Five for Fighting – Back Country Live (special edition comes with DVD; Columbia) [Buy Now]
· The Frantic – Audio & Murder (Empyrean)
· Rob Gee – Rob Gee (Rock Ridge)
· God Forbid – Sickness and Misery (Koch) [Buy Now]
· Grizzly Bear – Friend (Warp) [Buy Now]
· Sara Groves – Tell Me What You Know (INO/Columbia)
· Kim Hiorthøy – My Last Day (Smalltown Supersound)
· Infamous Mobb – Reality Rap (Sure Shot) [Buy Now]
· Jeremy Jay — A Place Where We Could Go (EP; K)
· Jay-Z – American Gangster (Roc-A-Fella) [Buy Now]
Read: “Jay-Z’s American Gangster: A Guided Tour By Jigga, Jermaine Dupri, Pharrell And Others”
· Kanekoa – Under the Coconut Sky (Artist Garage)
· Lauren Kennedy – Here and Now (PS Classics)
· Brad Laner – Neighbor Singing (digipak; Hometapes)
· Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra – A Very Ping Pong Christmas: Funky Treats From Santa’s Bag (Ubiquity)
· Little Big Town – A Place to Land (Equity) [Buy Now]
· London After Midnight – Violent Acts of Beauty (limited-edition version also available; Metropolis)
· Ricky Martin – Live: Black & White Tour (also available with DVD; Sony International) [Buy Now]
· Minipop – New Hope (Take Root)
· Monster Magnet – 4-Way Diablo (SPV) [Buy Now]
· The Mother Truckers – Broke, Not Broken (Funzalo)
· Neomenia – Luna Nueva (Locomotive)
· Nonpoint – Vengeance (Bieler Bros.) [Buy Now]
· Oh Astro – Champions of Wonder (Illegal Art)
· Pedro – You, Me & Everyone (Mush)
· The Pine Hill Haints — Ghost Dance (K)
· John Sebastian/ David Grisman – Satisfied (live; Acoustic Disc)
· Statik Selektah – Spell My Name Right (The Album) (Showoff/Brick)
· Sigur Rós – Hvarf/Heim (with DVD; XL Recordings) [Buy Now]
· Silent Fate – The Autumn Machine (TMS)
· Sissel – Northern Lights (Denon)
· Rick Springfield – Christmas With You (Gomer) [Buy Now]
· Sylver – Cross Roads (Toucan Cove)
· Tokyo Police Club – Smith (EP; Paper Bag) [Buy Now]
· The Valley Arena – Sesso Vita (SideCho)
· White Williams – Smoke (TigerBeat6)
· White, Blue, Yellow and Clouds – Introducing: White, Blue, Yellow and Clouds (I and Ear)
· Richard Youngs – Autumn Response (Jagjaguwar)
· Zookeeper – Becoming All Things (Belle City Pop)
· Various artists – A Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live (Rounder)
· Various artists – “Downtown 81″ soundtrack (Recall)

Notable Reissues and Archival Material:

· Aerosmith – 20th Century Masters: The Best of Aerosmith – The Millennium Collection (Geffen/UMe)
· Garth Brooks – The Ultimate Hits (two CDs and one DVD; Pearl)
· David Byrne – The Knee Plays (two CDs; Nonesuch)
· Neko Case – Black Listed (Anti-) and Fox Confessor Brings the Flood (with bonus CD; Anti-)
· Neko Case & Her Boyfriends – Furnace Room Lullaby (Anti-)
· Nat King Cole – Cole Español/More Cole Español; Just One of Those Things/ Let’s Face the Music; Love Is the Thing/ Where Did Everyone Go?; Nat King Cole Sings for Two in Love/ Ballads of the Day; Penthouse Serenade/ The Piano Style of Nat King Cole; Ramblin’ Rose/ Dear Lonely Hearts; Songs From St. Louis Blues/ Looking Back; The Touch of Your Lips/ I Don’t Want to Be Hurt Anymore; Welcome to the Club/ Tell Me All about Yourself (Collector’s Choice)
· Dr. Dre – Death Row Classics: Chronicles – Deluxe (two CDs; Death Row/ Koch)
· Excessive Force – Gentle Death (Metropolis)
· Lisa Gerrard – The Very Best of Lisa Gerrard (4AD)
· Gram Parsons – Archives Volume One: Gram Parsons With the Flying Burrito Brothers Live at the Avalon Ballroom 1969 (Amoeba)
· Merle Haggard – Legends of American Music: Merle Haggard – The Original Outlaw (three-CD box set; Time Life)
· Barrington Levy – Barrington Levy in Dub: The Lost Mixes From King Tubby’s Studio (Cooking Vinyl)
· George Lynch – Guitar Slinger (Cleopatra)
· Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full (deluxe edition with DVD; Hear Music)
· Van Morrison – Still on Top: The Greatest Hits (Hip-O/Ume)
· Moby Grape – Moby Grape ’69 and Truly Fine Citizen (Sundazed)
· Nas – Greatest Hits (Columbia)
· Nazareth – Hair of the Dog – Live (Cleopatra)
· Operation Ivy – Operation Ivy (Epitaph)
· Teddy Pendergrass – The Essential Teddy Pendergrass (two CDs; Philadelphia International Records/ Legacy)
· Plain White T’s – Stop (Fearless)
· Lou Rawls – The Essential Lou Rawls (two CDs; Philadelphia International Records/ Legacy)
· Taylor Swift – Taylor Swift (with DVD; Big Machine)
· Bobb Trimble – Harvest of Dreams and Iron Curtain Innocence (Secretly Canadian)
· Upsetters – Upsetters 14 Dub Blackboard Jungle (Cooking Vinyl)
· Stevie Ray Vaughan & Friends – Solos, Sessions & Encores (Epic/Legacy)
· Russell Watson – The Voice: The Ultimate Collection (Decca)
· John Williams – The Music of Star Wars: 30th Anniversary Collector’s Edition (Sony Classical)
· Robin & Linda Williams – Radio Songs (Red House)
· Various artists – 100 Greatest TV Themes, Vol 2 (four-CD box set; Silva)
· Various artists – An Introduction to Blues Harp (Fuel)
· Various artists – Putumayo Presents: Tango Around the World (Putumayo World Music)
· Various artists – Ultra 2008 (two CDs; Ultra)

Music DVDs:

· Barenaked Ladies – “Talk to the Hand: Live in Michigan” (Shout! Factory)
· Blackfield – “Black Live in New York City” (Koch)
· Michael Bolton – “Best of Michael Bolton Live” (Adrenaline)
· Five for Fighting – “Back Country Live” (Columbia)
· Barry Manilow – “The First Television Specials” (five-DVD box set; Rhino/ Stiletto New Media)
· Ricky Martin – “Live: Black & White Tour” (Sony International)
· Oasis – “Lord Don’t Slow Me Down” (two DVDs; Hip-O)
· Keali’I Reichel – “Kukahi: Keali’I Reichel Live in Concert” (also available in HD format; Punahele Productions)
· The Rolling Stones – “Just for the Record” (five DVDs; Passport)
· Ashley Tisdale – “There’s Something About Ashley: The Story of Headstrong” (Reprise)
· Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble – “Pride and Joy” (Epic/Legacy)
· Paul Weller – “As Is Now” (Adrenaline)
· The Who – “Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who” (Universal)
· Andy Williams – “The Best of the Andy Williams Show” (Time Life)
· Various artists – “Bang Your Head” (two DVDs; Locomotive)
· Various artists – “The Best of the Jammys, Volume Two” (Image)

Digital Releases:

· A.P. – Still Naughty (All Bets Down)
· Blue Scholars – Joe Metro EP (MassLine/Rawkus)
· Cy Curnin – The Returning Sun (self-released)
· Great Northern – Sleepy Eepee (EP; available exclusively on iTunes; physical release due in February; Eenie Meenie)
· Maoi – Carbon Dioxide (Kitty-Yo)
· Rhythm King and Her Friends – The Front of Luxury (Kitty-Yo)

Coming Attractions:

November 13:
· Alicia Keys – As I Am (J)
· The Killers – Sawdust (Island)
· Led Zeppelin – Mothership (also available with DVD; Atlantic)

November 20:
· Beyoncé – “The Beyoncé Experience Live” DVD (Columbia)
· Bloc Party – A Weekend in the City (digital-only reissue with bonus tracks; Vice) and Flux (digital-only EP; Vice)
· Daft Punk – Alive (enhanced two-CD deluxe edition; Virgin)
· Gorillaz – D-Sides (special two-CD, glossy-box edition due same day; Virgin)
· Nine Inch Nails – Y34RZ3R0R3MIX3D (with DVD; Interscope)

November 27:
· Christina Aguilera – “Back to Basics: Live” DVD (RCA)
· Common – ThisIsMe Then: The Best of Common (Relativity/Legacy)
· Justin Timberlake – FutureSex/LoveSounds: Deluxe Edition (with DVD; Jive)