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).
Happy birthday week, America! This week, Jay-Z drops his highly anticipated Magna Carta Holy Grail on the Fourth of July via a Samsung app. There’s also word that Hova will perform a free concert atop New York City’s Ed Sullivan Theater Marquee on July 8. And J’s not the only one who will be causing a musical ruckus on Thursday: Demi Lovato, Ne-Yo, The Roots, J. Cole, John Mayer, and more will perform at VH1’s “Philly 4th of July Jam 2013.” Also, NBC’s “Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2013” lineup includes Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, and Tim McGraw. Meanwhile, PBS broadcasts “A Capitol Fourth 2013,” featuring Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Candice Glover, Scotty McCreery, Darren Criss, and more. Additional albums hitting this week include The Lone Ranger: The Wanted, which compiles music inspired by the film starring Johnny Depp, and EDM act Pretty Lights drops tunes to get your dance on, because every great birthday celebration needs a twerk or three. To usher in the weekend, ease into fireworks hangovers on Friday with Imagine Dragons on “Good Morning America” and John Mayer on “Today.”
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Jay-Z, Magna Carta Holy Grail: There’s always tons of anticipation before a new Jay-Z album arrives, and this time around is no different. Hova’s been revealing a daily dose of his album lyrics (with a peek at his guest collabs) leading up to Magna Carta Holy Grail’s July 4 release date via his Samsung app. Check out the lyrics for “Holy Grail” featuring Justin Timberlake, which name-checks Kurt Cobain, references Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” and explores the perils of fame. On “Heaven,” Jay ponders religion and borrows a line from R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion,” and delves into race issues with Frank Ocean on “Oceans.” Meanwhile, Hov and his wife, Beyoncé, reprise “Bonnie & Clyde” outlaw love themes with “Part II (On The Run).” Later, Jay-Z gives an intimate glimpse into his “paranoia of not being a great dad” with the song titled after his daughter, “Blue Ivy,” and “BBC” features an all-star cast with Beyoncé, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Nas, Timbaland and Swizz Beatz. July Fourth can’t come soon enough!
Check out more new album releases, upcoming TV appearances, and performances after the jump.
+ Various Artists, The Lone Ranger: Wanted: Featuring 14 songs inspired by the 2013 “The Lone Ranger” reboot (premiering Wednesday, July 3), The Lone Ranger: Wanted features covers of traditional cuts along with brand-new material. The vibe fits the Western flick’s aim with a dusty country vibe and folk groove. Originals include Ben Kweller’s “Holy Water,” Iron & Wine’s “Rattling Bone,” and Lucinda Williams’ “Everything But The Truth.” Iggy Pop, Grace Potter And The Nocturnals, The Pogues’ Shane MacGowen and others contribute to the compilation.
+ Pretty Lights, A Color Map Of The Sun: Colorado-based producer Derek Vincent Smith, also known as Pretty Lights, releases his fourth effort. As with all of his previous discs, this sample-based album will be available for free download from his website on the July 2 release date. Fans can also purchase a double-disc version, which provides an additional 13 tracks he composed to use as samples he employed within this album’s mix, as well as a vinyl edition. Stream Pretty Lights’ A Color Map Of The Sun via his website.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Tuesday, July 2
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Ciara
“Chelsea Lately!” — Ciara
Wednesday, July 3
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — ZZ Ward
Thursday, July 4
“Philly 4th of July Jam 2013” — Broadcast from Pennsylvania, featuring performances by Demi Lovato, John Mayer, Ne-Yo, The Roots, J. Cole and more on VH1.
“Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks Spectacular 2013” — Broadcast from New York, featuring performances by Mariah Carey, Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez and Tim McGraw on NBC.
“A Capitol Fourth 2013” — Broadcast from Washington D.C., featuring Barry Manilow, Neil Diamond, Candice Glover, Scotty McCreery, Darren Criss and more on PBS.
Friday, July 5
“Good Morning America” — Imagine Dragons
“Today” — John Mayer
Photo credit: UMG