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).
It’s a HUGE week for album releases, making this an all-album Week In Pop edition. This week, MTV Artist To Watch Hunter Hayes releases Encore. Also, don’t forget to stream Hunter’s “Artist To Watch Live” performance from New York City’s Webster Hall tomorrow night on MTV.com! Meanwhile, Mac Miller releases his sophomore set, Watching Movies With The Sound Off, and new dad Kanye West drops the provocative Yeezus. Also, J. Cole’s Born Sinner finally sees the light of day after many delays, 3OH!3’s Omens streets, Kelly Rowland gets personal on Talk A Good Game, and Hanson releases album No. 6, Anthem. For 24 hours (!!) of music goodness, check out the O Music Awards on June 19 at 7 p.m. ET, which features performances by 50 bands, including the Jonas Brothers, Hanson, Kate Nash, Atlas Genius, and more!
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Hunter Hayes, Encore: Rising country star Hunter Hayes has been making serious waves recently, what with cowriting songs for Rascal Flatts, touring with Carrie Underwood, and nabbing three 2013 Grammy nominations. But you have to figure he was destined to do big things — after all, he DID cut his first album at the age of 9 (!!). (It also doesn’t hurt that he’s also absolutely adorbz.) The now-drinking-aged phenom is re-releasing his major label album, this time as Encore. The deluxe record is aptly named as it gives his debut eponymous album’s release a new shine, including songs from the debut with eight new and re-recorded tracks. Check out his new romantic and anthemic track, “Light Me Up,” which he’s offering as a free download, and watch his “I Want Crazy” performance from the 2013 CMT Awards.
+ Mac Miller, Watching Movies With The Sound Off: Pittsburgh rapper Mac Miller switches things up for his second studio album, even rapping over the jazz-tinged Pharrell Williams-produced tune “Objects In The Mirror.” “What I like to do when I’m writing a song like this is something in my life that happens, I take the emotion,” he revealed to “RapFix Live” of the song. Listen to the “Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family” star’s NSFW “Watching Movies,” where he spits dark rhymes to a foreboding beat, and watch the superhero-themed “S.D.S.” video, where Corey Feldman shows up, natch. Also check out “Suplexes Inside Of Complexes And Duplexes” featuring Jay Electronica and “Gees” featuring Schoolboy Q.
+ Kanye West, Yeezus: If you think fatherhood was going to chill Yeezy out, think again. The innovative provocateur has loads on his mind, and Yeezus aggressively takes the listener on a NSFW, hostile, raging, and ambitious ride on songs like the squalling “New Slaves,” “Black Skinhead,” “I Am A God,” and the pulsating opener “On Sight.” And while he may have said “This album is all about giving … no f***s at all” during his New York City Yeezus listening event, the album showcases exactly the opposite: The inspiration seems more conscious vehement commentary on various perceived injustices than the “eff it” detachment his statement implies.
Check out more of this week’s new album releases after the jump.
+ J. Cole, Born Sinner: Jay-Z protégé J.Cole opens his long-postponed sophomore album with the line “It’s way darker this time” on “Villuminati.” It signals the personal themes he explores on the record where human fallibility and its contradictions are displayed, from the braggart to the humbled (“Let Nas Down“), confessed cheater (“Runaway”) to temptation (“She Knows” with Amber Coffman). Listen to boast track “Forbidden Fruit” featuring Kendrick Lamar, watch the video for “Power Trip” featuring Miguel, and stream the album in its entirety via J. Cole’s website.
+ 3OH!3, Omens: For 3OH!3’s Omens, the Colorado-based electropop duo went old-school for the recording process. “We did it just like we used to, back in 2004. In my basement in Boulder, Colorado, just the two of us,” Nat explained to Buzzworthy. The duo’s first album in three years features 11 tracks. Watch 3OH!3’s “Back To Life” and “Youngblood” videos, and stream Omens in its entirety via SoundCloud.
+ Kelly Rowland, Talk A Good Game: The newly appointed “X Factor” judge is clearing the air on her new album, exorcising bad relationships and reviving the good ones. The former comes by way of “Gone” with Wiz Khalifa, where Kelly gives a guy the ultimate kiss-off and “Dirty Laundry,” which is a heartbreaking confessional about an abusive relationship. On the positive side, Kelly reunites with her Destiny’s Child soul sisters, Beyoncé and Michelle Williams, on “You’ve Changed.”
+ Hanson, Anthem: The brothers Hanson — Isaac, Taylor, and Zac — aim for the rafters on their aptly named ninth studio album, Anthem. To wit, check out the hooked-up riff rock “Fired Up” and “You Can’t Stop Us,” which shimmy with classic rock undertones and sing-along lyrics. Also, watch their “Get The Girl Back” video, which features actors Kat Dennings, Nikki Reed, Drake Bell, and Drew Seeley.
Photo credit: Atlantic Records