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, A$AP Rocky’s long-awaited major-label debut, Long.Live.A$AP, finally drops (watch him on Tuesday’s “Late Show With David Letterman”). Also, Jessie Ware officially brings her music to this side of the pond with her If You’re Never Gonna Move EP (catch her on Wednesday’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”). Meanwhile, Dawn Richard self-released her full-length GoldenHeart, West of Memphis: Voices For Justice drops, which features songs from and inspired by the documentary, and indie rock stalwarts Yo La Tengo drop their 13th effort, Fade (they’re on Tuesday’s “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon”). On TV, “American Idol” Season 12 kicks off with a two-date premiere Wednesday and Thursday. Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, and Keith Urban make their debut as judges and we’ll see the “dysfunctional family” in action (we hope for contestants’ sakes they play nice with them, even if they often can’t with each other).
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ A$AP Rocky, Long.Live.A$AP: After several delays, the dexterous Harlem rapper’s major-label debut finally drops, and it showcases an eclectic range of tastes flavoring its hip-hop core, from the Skrillex-assisted “Wild For The Night” to the atmospheric “Hell” with Santigold and the catchy “F*****’ Problems” with Drake, 2 Chainz, and Kendrick Lamar. While he’s adept at party jams and indulging in finer things (“Fashion Killa”), he also gets personal, opening up about struggles with suicidal thoughts on “Phoenix” and his roots on the confessional “Suddenly.” The album’s Deluxe Edition features four additional tracks, including “I Come Apart” with Florence Welch.
+ Jessie Ware, If You’re Never Gonna Move EP: Having already garnered numerous accolades, including a 2012 Mercury Award nomination, a 2013 BRIT Award nomination, and an MTV Artist To Watch nod on the strength of her full-length debut, Devotion, soulful songstress Jessie Ware has officially reached our shores with her first stateside EP. The five-song set includes three songs from her full-length: “Devotion,” “Sweet Talk,” and “If You’re Never Gonna Move” (formerly known as “110%”), which also gets a remix, and a cover of Bobby Caldwell’s “What You Won’t Do For Love.”
+ Dawn Richard, GoldenHeart: After leaving Bad Boy Records in early 2012, the R&B diva and former Danity Kane and Diddy-Dirty Money member decided to self-release her music and rebuild a fanbase from the ground up. This led to two EPs: Armor On and the holiday themed-Whiteout. Her first full-length record since leaving Bad Boy, GoldenHeart, is one of three that Richard plans to drop in a trilogy, and features the synth-infused dance jam “Pretty Wicked Things” and the sultry “86.”
Check out more new album releases, upcoming TV appearances, and performances after the jump.
+ Yo La Tengo, Fade: The lauded indie rock veterans return with their 13th album (!!). Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew’s latest has a contemplative, hazy undercurrent running beneath the signature style they’ve perfected, from the fuzzy, shimmering, percussive “Ohm,” to the sweet “Is That Enough” with its lovely string arrangements, and the squally opening of “Paddle Forward.” Other gems include the whispery “Stupid Things” and wistful musings on getting older, as seen in “The Point of It.” Also listen to the gorgeous closer “Before We Run.”
+ Various Artists, West Of Memphis: Voices For Justice: This compilation houses music featured in and inspired by the documentary “West of Memphis,” the story of the West Memphis Three’s Damien Echols. Damien was falsely accused of murder, served 18 years in prison, and even faced execution. Echols and two others were freed from prison in 2011. Henry Rollins and Johnny Depp read excerpts from Echols’ death row letters over Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’ original score. Marilyn Manson, Band of Horses, Eddie Vedder, Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, and others also contribute tracks.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, Jan. 14
“Anderson Live” — T-Boz
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Nicki Minaj, The Saturdays
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” –OneRepublic
“Late Show With David Letterman” — José James
“Conan” — Chris Mann
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Keith Urban
Tuesday, Jan. 15
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Vintage Trouble
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Big Boi
“Late Show With David Letterman” — A$AP Rocky
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Yo La Tengo
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Nicki Minaj
“The View” — Robin Thicke
Wednesday, Jan. 16
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — JJAMZ
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Big Boi
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Buddy Guy
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Jessie Ware
“Conan” — Trampled By Turtles
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Jennifer Lopez, Phillip Phillips
“American Idol” — Season 12 premieres on Fox, “Auditions #1.” Featuring judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
Thursday, Jan. 17
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Train
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Phillip Phillips
“Late Show With David Letterman” — The Amazing
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Michael Kiwanuka
“Conan” — Jake Bugg
“American Idol” — “Auditions #2.” Featuring judges Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Keith Urban and Randy Jackson.
Friday, Jan. 18
“The Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Big Boi
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — The Joy Formidable
“The Ellen DeGeneres Show” — Macklemore & Ryan Lewis
Saturday, Jan. 19
“Saturday Night Live” — The Lumineers are the musical guests.
Photo credit: RCA