Welcome to Buzzworthy’s “The Week In Pop,” where we round up new album releases, talk show musical guests, TV performances by your favorite pop stars and more (so you don’t have to).
We don’t have to wait until Friday to hear Nicki Minaj’s Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded — it officially hits streets on Tuesday! Also, there’s a mix of new and old-school releases this week: Check out stellar debut albums from Of Monsters And Men (catch their performance on “VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live” on Friday) and The Jezabels, while an entire catalog’s worth of reissues from The Smiths find new life along with a reissue from will.i.am. Boy bands continue to take over the TV airwaves with The Wanted performing on “American Idol” while One Direction will be the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live.” The week caps off in gothy-soulful heaven with Florence + The Machine’s “MTV Unplugged” appearance.
Check out this week’s album releases and television show music guests below.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
Tuesday, April 3
+ Nicki Minaj, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded: One of the billion things I love about Nicki Minaj is that she stays true to her vision (no matter how out there it seems) AND it’s often humorous, even when the topic and sound are serious. Take alter ego Roman’s hilarious swipe at haters in “I Am Your Leader.” There’s something for everyone over the 19 tracks, from the rousing dance party pop club banger “Starships” to the old-school style of the title track with Lil Wayne. There are also myriad star collabs — including Drake, Nas, Young Jeezy, 2 Chainz and more — but she shines brightly on her own, showing an impressive diversity as a bona fide pop star and formidable rapper.
+ Of Monsters And Men, My Head Is An Animal: Iceland produces some amazingly unique artists, from Björk to Sigur Rós and the next Icelandic export making serious waves on these shores is Of Monsters And Men. Their folkish style is wrapped in lush, orchestral instrumentation, but they’ve got a great pop sensibility, too, with sing-along choruses and pretty male-female vocal interplay. Fave songs from this debut album include “King and Lionheart,” “Lakehouse” and their breakthrough single “Little Talks.”
+ The Jezabels, Prisoner: Their debut, which came out digitally a couple months back, gets its physical release. The Sydney-based band’s singer, Hayley Mary, has a compelling, versatile voice that can caterwaul from the appealing indie rock shimmer of “Endless Summer” to Kate Bush-styled drama (“Prisoner,” “Nobody Nowhere”) to gothy-soul à la Florence Welch (“City Girl,” “Long Highway”), which floats above lush and moody indie rock.
Check out more new album releases and upcoming TV appearances and performances after the jump.
+ Bear in Heaven, I Love You, It’s Cool: While these guys made news when they posted a stream of their album several months in advance of its release on their website (which was slowed down and stretched out to play over the course of 112 or so days), don’t hold the clever marketing ploy against them. Fans of synth-swathed pop with danceable rhythms will find a lot to love. It’s cool.
+ The Smiths, The Smiths; Meat is Murder; The Queen is Dead; Strangeways, Here we Come; Hatful of Hollow; The World Won’t Listen; Louder Than Bombs; Rank: Attention fellow gloomsters with a love of humorous irony: If you are missing an album from The Smiths’ catalog, check out this reissue. The entire set gets remastered by guitarist Johnny Marr and engineer Frank Arkwright.
+ will.i.am, Lost Change: 10th Anniversary Expanded & Limited: A decade ago, will.i.am made a soundtrack for the internet movie Lost Change, and it was released as part of the “Beat Generation” series. The reissue includes instrumentals.
+ Wilson Phillips, Dedicated: The trio of Chynna Phillips and sisters Carnie and Wendy Wilson return with a new studio album composed entirely of Beach Boys and Mamas And The Papas covers. A fitting dedication as the Wilson siblings are the daughters of Beach Boys genius Brian Wilson; Chynna is the daughter of of The Mamas And The Papas’ John and Michelle Phillips.
TV SHOW APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, April 2
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Karmin
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Los Campesinos!, rebroadcast
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Eli Young Band
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Jennifer Love Hewitt
“Live With Kelly” — the latest “American Idol” castoff, Heejun Han
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Lionel Richie
“Smash” — “Hell on Earth”
“The Voice” — Live Performance, Week 1
Tuesday, April 3
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Debbie Gibson and Dee Snider
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Dr. John featuring Dan Auerbach
“Live With Kelly” — Far East Movement
“The View” — Randy Jackson
“The Voice” — Live results, four go home
Wednesday, April 4
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Barenaked Ladies
“Late Show With David Letterman” — The Punch Brothers
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Cee Lo Green, Seal
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Lionel Richie
“Conan” — Heartless Bastards
“Chelsea Lately” — Toby Keith, rebroadcast
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Kenny Chesney, Tim McGraw
“American Idol” — Eight finalists compete
Thursday, April 5
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Willson Phillips
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Eric Hutchinson, rebroadcast
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Needtobreathe
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Walk the Moon
“Conan” — Good Old War
“Live With Kelly” — Melanie Fiona
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Jennifer Love Hewitt, Rascal Flatts
“American Idol” — One of eight voted off. The Wanted perform, video premiere of Jennifer Lopez’s “Dance Again.”
Friday, April 6
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Of Monsters And Men
“Late Show With David Letterman — Girls Generation, rebroadcast
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Rodrigo y Gabriela
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Common
Saturday, April 7
“Saturday Night Live” — One Direction is the musical guest
Sunday, April 8, on MTV
“Unplugged: Florence + The Machine”: Shot at New York’s famed Angel Orensanz Center, British songstress Florence Welch belts out live performances of new and old tunes in one of the prettiest settings we’ve ever seen.
Photo credit: Getty Images