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, Taylor Swift releases her fourth studio album; catch her on “Late Show With David Letterman” Tuesday, “The View” Wednesday, and Thursday’s “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.” Also, Kendrick Lamar releases his major-label debut; he’ll be on “Conan” Monday. Bat For Lashes drops her third album, The Haunted Man (incidentally, she recently did a haunting, dark cover of Rihanna’s “We Found Love“). Meanwhile, P.O.S.’s fifth studio album streets, Swedish House Mafia say goodbye, Bayside make five covers, and Tony Bennett duets with Latin stars. Additionally, Titus Andronicus, Diamond Rings, and Gary Clark Jr. release new material. In TV this week, tune into Adam Lambert on Tuesday when he guest stars (glampire style, natch) on the Halloween special for “Pretty Little Liars.”
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Taylor Swift, Red: Taylor Swift has expanded her musical palate while on the road. She’s sang with Usher, Nicki Minaj, and Justin Bieber among others, so we’re not too surprised by the sonic variety on Red. In fact, if she rapped her way through it, we wouldn’t blink (OK, maybe we would, but we bet she’d pull it off). Check out the sweet pop song “State of Grace,” which went to No. 1 on iTunes in like, a minute, as well as the “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” video. She also genre hops between her “Begin Again” ballad, the classic country roots style on “Red,” and the dubstep-tipped “I Knew You Were Trouble.”
+ Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city: Kendrick drops his major-label debut album today. While his much-talked-about Lady Gaga collabo didn’t make the cut (though she is rumored to be an uncredited appearance), there’s still a hefty 12 tracks to groove to (15 in the Deluxe version). Watch a live video version of “Swimming Pools (Drank),” which he performed during the 2012 VMA Tour, and check out the Pharrell-produced “good kid,” and also “Compton” and “The Recipe,” which both feature Dr. Dre. Also, Drake guests on “Poetic Justice” and Mary J. Blige lends her voice to “Now Or Never.”
+ Bat For Lashes, The Haunted Man: This is Natasha Khan’s third album. Check out the video for the devastatingly gorgeous “Laura,” an ode to someone who’s “more than a superstar” despite the inevitability of their waning spotlight and fleeting youth. Also, watch the rhythmic “All Your Gold” video where Khan proves she’s not only a skilled singer but an impressive interpretive dancer. Another highlight (and there are many) is the electro-fluttery “Oh Yeah.”
Check out more new album releases, upcoming TV appearances, and performances after the jump.
+ P.O.S., We Don’t Even Live Here: The co-founder of label and collective Doomtree, the rapper is joined by some Doomtree cohorts along with some surprise collabos for his fourth studio effort. For “How We Land,” Bon Iver’s Justin Vernon chimes in for the sing-along chorus hook while fellow Minneapolis rhymer Astronautalis guests on “Wanted Wasted.” Boyz Noise, Gayngs’ Ryan Olson, Housemeister and Innerpartysystem’s Patrick Nissley contribute to the production. (We also wish him well as he undergoes an emergency kidney transplant; he’s postponing his tour).
+ Titus Andronicus, Local Business: While rocking out is still at their core, the Jersey boys’ third album is also a more personal and a hopeful record. As singer Patrick Stickles told MTV Hive: “It’s about trying to determine your own values, your own morality, the freedom that comes that comes from life… Out of the void of meaningless there can come great freedoms, hope.” Check out “(I Am) The Electric Man,” which was inspired by a 200-volt electric shock, “My Selective Eating Disorder” and the confessional “Tried To Quit Smoking,” which addresses regret.
+ Swedish House Mafia, Until Now: As one of the most popular EDM acts with some big hits earned in the genre, when Axwell, Steve Angello and Sebastian Ingrosso announced they’re calling it quits, it came as a shock. Their final tour date takes place March 9, 2013, in Los Angeles. As part of their victory lap and farewell, they’ve put together this DJ mix, which compiles their chart hits and the deluxe edition comes with their hot remixes for artists, including Coldplay, Usher, and Florence + The Machine.
+ Bayside, Covers — Volume 1: The Queens quartet takes on classic tunes and give them their frenetic pop-punk sheen on this EP. Check out their rendition of Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).” Other songs covered are Elvis Costello’s “Oliver’s Army,” Del Shannon’s “Runaway,” Van Morrison’s “Wild Night,” and The Ronettes’ “Be My Baby.”
+ Diamond Rings, Free Dimensional: The gender-bending, ’80s-tipped sophomore album dips into tongue-in-cheek territory on the last half of the 10-song set, like on “(I Know) What I’m Made Of.” However, the melancholic confessional “Everything Speaks” and dancey, romantic songs such as “All The Time” and the percolating, rhythmic “Runaway,” fare better. Watch the video for the brooding synth/dance-pop of “I’m Just Me.”
+ Gary Clark Jr., Blak and Blu: While he’s a soulful bluesman at heart, twentysomething Gary Clark Jr. adds contemporary flourishes to his major-label full-length debut. The Austinite’s 13-song set rollicks with good time soul vibes on “Ain’t Messin’ Around,” the R&B leaning title track, and the sizzling, rocking blues of “When My Train Pulls In.”
+ Tony Bennett, Viva Duets: For Viva Duets the 86-year-old teams with Latin stars to cover his greatest hits, and he knows how to pick his leading ladies. Listen to “Steppin’ Out With My Baby,” where the crooner recruits Christina Aguilera, and “Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me), backed by Gloria Estefan. He also collaborates with solid male duet partners, such as Marc Anthony on “For Once In My Life.”
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, Oct. 22
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Tony Bennett
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Wu Tang Clan
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Gary Clark Jr.
“Conan” — Kendrick Lamar
“The View” — Alanis Morissette
“The Voice” — “The Battles, Part 5″ Featuring coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton, and advisers Billie Joe Armstrong, Mary J. Blige, Michael Buble, and Rob Thomas
Tuesday, Oct. 23
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Barry Manilow
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Taylor Swift
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Aimee Mann
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — M. Ward
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Prince
“The View” — Tony Bennett
“The Voice” — “The Battles, Part 6″ Featuring coaches Christina Aguilera, Cee Lo Green, Adam Levine, and Blake Shelton, and advisers Billie Joe Armstrong, Mary J. Blige, Michael Buble, and Rob Thomas
“Pretty Little Liars” — Adam Lambert guest stars
“The X Factor” — “Judges House #3″ featuring judges Simon Cowell, Demi Lovato, L.A. Reid, and Britney Spears
Wednesday, Oct. 24
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Rhett Miller
“Late Show With David Letterman” — The Lumineers
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Axl Rose, The Whigs
“Conan” — Two Door Cinema Club
“The View” — Taylor Swift
Thursday, Oct. 25
“Anderson Live” — Martina McBride cohosts
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Adam Levine, Carly Rae Jepsen
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Gary Clark Jr.
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Ciara
“The View” — Psy
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — Usher, Cher Lloyd
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Taylor Swift
Friday, Oct. 26
“VH1’s Big Morning Buzz” — Daughtry
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Diamond Rings
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — The xx
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — Adam Levine
Photo credit: UMG