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 begins and ends with Adam Young (better known as Owl City), who releases The Midsummer Station on Tuesday; he and Carly Rae Jepsen stop by “Today” on Thursday and “VH1’s Big Morning Buzz Live” on Friday. Tuesday also marks a couple reunions: The Darkness return with Hot Cakes, and Bloc Party end their hiatus with Four. Meanwhile, DJ Khaled and a bevy of stars populate his Kiss The Ring, and Trey Songz turns up the R&B for Chapter V. Also, Yeasayer stir up the dancefloor with the percolating, dark Fragrant World. On Tuesday, see which young world-changers win during VH1’s “Do Something Awards.” Presenters include Beyoncé and Ne-Yo, with performances by Flo Rida, fun. and Kids These Days. Finally, scream yourself into a frenzy and into the weekend on Friday when The Wanted hit “Good Morning America.”
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Owl City, The Midsummer Station: Adam Young, a.k.a. the guy behind the synth-pop of Owl City, took a different approach for his new effort. For the first time, he enlisted co-writers and co-producers for his new album. This helped him expand a bit on his sound, like on the anthemic “Shooting Star,” while still maintaining his positive-vibed, sugared songwriting and lyrics. He also teamed up with Carly Rae Jepsen for the summery “Good Time,” which has been certified gold, and for “Dementia,” blink-182’s Mark Hoppus adds some vocals to the more rocking tune.
+ Trey Songz, Chapter V: On his fifth album, the R&B crooner enlists some stars for songs, including T.I. (“2 Reasons“), Rick Ross (“Don’t Be Scared”), Lil Wayne and Young Jeezy (“Hail Mary”) and Meek Mill and Diddy (“Check Me Out”). However, the majority of the 18 tracks feature Songz front and center, such as on the woman’s-body-as-swimming-pool saucy ballad “Dive In” and the emotive “Heart Attack.” Related: does anyone else look at the album cover and feel the urge to shop at H&M?
+ Bloc Party, FOUR: The quartet took a hiatus in 2009 and pursued separate projects for the next four years. This is their first album since they reunited, and fourth overall. Though they spent years apart, here on FOUR, it seems like they hadn’t lost a step at all. “V.A.L.I.S.” seems to speak to this, ruminating on the past and future. “Octopus” encapsulates a similarly jittery, angular spirit they showcased on debut Silent Alarm, though with a poppier vibe. “3×3” sounds extra sinister thanks to Kele Okereke’s vocal theatrics, and on “Coliseum,” he adds a funky sway and romance that finds its way on to “Truth.”
Check out more new album releases and upcoming TV appearances and performances after the jump.
+ DJ Khaled, Kiss The Ring: The Miami-dwelling DJ and producer is back for his sixth album and he brings his famous friends along again for the ride. Kanye West and Rick Ross are featured on “I Wish You Would” (check out the video hybrid of “I Wish You Would” and Kanye West’s “Cold”), Rick Ross, Nicki Minaj, Chris Brown and Lil Wayne populate “Take It To The Head” (the video also features Busta Rhymes and Birdman cameos), Scarface and Nas perform on “Hip-Hop,” and J. Cole, Big K.R.I.T. and Kendrick Lamar take on “They Ready,” to name just a few of the album collaborations.
+ Yeasayer, Fragrant World: On their third album, the band continues to expound on their skittery, sonic experimentations of world-hopping beats with organic and technologically-manipulated layers that are both complex and dance-inducing. R&B influences figure prominently here (“Longevity,” “Blue Paper,” “No Bones”) meshed with dark, doomed themes and some minor-key melody swaths. It’s foreboding, without sacrificing on hooks and fun.
+ The Darkness, Hot Cakes: The glam-metal revivalists lineup fractured in 2006, but last year they reformed with their original lineup. Their return was also buoyed when their signature song, “I Believe In A Thing Called Love,” was featured in a Super Bowl ad. Fans of their bombastic rock may enjoy the straight-ahead rock of “Nothin’s Gonna Stop Us,” the sexed-up “Every Inch Of You,” or the falsetto-rich “Concrete.” But the most surprising track is their take on Radiohead’s “Street Spirit (Fade Out),” which renders the affecting, dreamscape composition into an over-the-top full-throttled freakout of absurdly epic proportions.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, Aug. 20
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Walk The Moon
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Train
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Morning Parade
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Yeasayer
“Live With Kelly” — Nick Lachey
Tuesday, Aug. 21
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Trey Songz
“Late Show With David Letterman” — The Walkmen
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — fun.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Jordin Sparks
“Do Something Awards” — Presenters include Beyoncé and Ne-Yo. Performances by Flo Rida, fun. and Kids These Days
Wednesday, Aug. 22
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Emeli Sandé
Thursday, Aug. 23
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Phillip Phillips
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Smashing Pumpkins
“Today” — Owl City with Carly Rae Jepsen
Friday, Aug. 24
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Owl City with Carly Rae Jepsen
“Good Morning America” — The Wanted
“Today” — Train
Photo credit: UMG