Welcome to Buzzworthy’s “The Week In Pop,” where we round up new album releases, talk show musical guests and TV performances by your favorite pop stars and more (so you don’t have to.)
This week, Marina And The Diamonds challenges social mores via electropop on her new record, and she inspired our own Sam Lansky to write that she’s “pretty much the coolest pop star ever.” AGREED! She’ll be on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” Monday night. Meanwhile, Aesop Rock drops his first solo album in five years, and Serj Tankian releases his third solo studio effort on Tuesday. Both of them self-produced their albums; Serj hits “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Wednesday. Also, Duran Duran are releasing a live album, and JJAMZ’s debut album streets. MTV PUSH Artist Of The Week Azealia Banks and 50 Cent both release delayed and much-anticipated mixtapes. Lastly, Nicki Minaj ushers in the weekend when she hits “Tonight Show With Jay Leno” on Friday.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Marina And The Diamonds, Electra Heart: On her sophomore album, the Welsh pop chanteuse enlists heavyweight producers, including Dr. Luke, Diplo and Stargate, the latter of whom produced “Radioactive.” Also peep the Dr. Luke, Diplo and Cirkut produced “Primadonna” and “Sex Yeah,” which is a smart meditation on historical gender inequality: “If women were religiously recognized sexually/ We wouldn’t have to feel the need to show our ass-ets to feel free.” Sing it, sista!
+ 50 Cent, 5 (Murder By Numbers): 50 just dropped his new mixtape on Friday, and it won’t cost you a cent, 50 or otherwise. You can download the mixtape for free. it was originally anticipated to be his official album release, but he tweeted, “My official Interscope album is called STREET KING IMMORTAL due out in nov.” For now, he gives us 10 new tracks, gratis.
+ Azealia Banks, Fantasea Mixtape: Last month, she quit Twitter and on Tumblr said she wanted out of “the rap game”, but just prior revealed there’d be a Styles P feature and talked to MTV News about the mixtape saying, “It’s gonna be hip-hop, there’s a lot of hip-hop on it.” The single “Aquababe” is def in the rap vein, too. Confused if it’s rap or not? Find out when the delayed mixtape hits Wednesday.
Check out more new album releases and upcoming TV appearances and performances after the jump.
+ Duran Duran, A Diamond In The Mind: Pairing classic hits (“Hungry Like A Wolf, “Rio,” “The Reflex”) with newly penned material (check out their supermodel counterparts in the “Girl Panic!” video), the glitzy guys who continue to celebrate the decadent, dancy ’80s this side of the millennium recorded the live CD at MEN Arena in Manchester, England last December.
+ of Verona, The White Apple: This electro-pop outfit have already graced your ears on “Teen Wolf” and “Friendzone,” and now they’re releasing their debut album. We’ve been hot on their tail ever since their SXSW performance at the Woodies (definitely check their performance of lead single “Castles“), but finally we get the full length from the L.A.-based rockers.
+ JJAMZ, Suicide Pact: Q: What do you get when you blend band members’ talents from Rilo Kiley, Maroon 5, Phantom Planet, and The Like? A: An indie pop smoothie with a superstar cosign. Check out “Heartbeat,” which Katy Perry tweeted as her “favorite song of summer.” It’s available for free download. “Never Enough” is a bittersweet ballad about love, both between friends and the unrequited kind.
+ Aesop Rock, Skelethon: On his sixth album, the rapper works through personal losses with his trademark dense, cerebral flow. On the beats-to-piano and a capella morphing “Cycles To Gehenna,” a nighttime motorcycle ride gets pensive: “Here’s how a great escape goes/ when you can’t take your dead friends’ names out your phone.” Also check out “Zero Dark Thirty” and “ZZZ Top.” Guests include Kimya Dawson and Dirty Ghosts’ Allyson Baker.
+ Serj Tankian, Harakiri: On his latest solo effort, the erstwhile System of a Down’s lead singer/songwriter explores the recent news of unexplained animal deaths around the planet, pondering whether they were mass suicides and why. He metaphorically looks at the political (“Occupied Tears”), scientific (“Cornucopia”), philosophical (“Figure It Out”) and spiritual (“Harakiri”) implications of this and more, with some humor injected in on occasion.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, July 9
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Kimbra
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Marina And The Diamonds
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Frank Ocean
“The Talk” — guest co-host LeAnn Rimes
Tuesday, July 10
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — B.o.B.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — The Dirty Heads
Wednesday, July 11
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Zac Brown Band
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Serj Tankian
“The View” — Queen Latifah
Thursday, July 12
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Kenny Chesney
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Grace Potter & The Nocturnals
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Cloud Nothings
“Duets” — Week 8, “Superstars’ Choice” for songs, one eliminated. Featuring Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles
Friday, July 13
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Nicki Minaj
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Yoko Ono, Sean Lennon
“Today” — Zac Brown Band
Photo credit: Atlantic Records