It's a strangely busy week for new album releases, and no matter what sort of sounds you're into, there are plenty of options. If you're a fan of classic metal, there are new albums by Ozzy Osbourne, Danzig and Vince Neil. Into funky, groovy hip-hop? The Roots' How I Got Over streets today. Still dig those big, block-rocking beats? Check out the just-released Chemical Brothers album Further. Macy Gray, Marah, Cyndi Lauper, Herbie Hancock, Stars, Robert Randolph and Sia all have new music that is in stores today. It's an embarrassment of riches.
But really, there are two new albums that will battle it out for chart supremacy this week, a pair of highest-profile LPs that are already creating buzz from coast to coast. In one corner, there is Eminem's new album Recovery, which ditches a lot of the rapper's gimmicks in favor of raw, straightforward songs that recall his earlier, harder work. On the other side of the coin, today marks the release of Miley Cyrus' latest album Can't Be Tamed, a departure from her typical sound that ventures deeper into the world of electronic music, dance rhythms and even a bit of hip-hop.
What we have are two dominant pop stars with two huge albums. Which one will come out on top? Here's the tale of the tape.
Eminem: Slim Shady has been rhyming since the age of 14 and has been a mainstream star since 1999's The Slim Shady LP. However, he has jumped in and out of the mainstream since then, at one point essentially disappearing for nearly four years.
Cyrus: The young star got her first acting job in 2001 and began recording music on "Hannah Montana" in 2006 and has been consistently in the spotlight since then.
Advantage: Eminem. He only has a few extra years at the top of the game, but he has already had at least one comeback. That experience could mean everything.
Eminem: The man born Marshall Mathers is known as his main recording name as well as the alter-ego Slim Shady.
Cyrus: "Miley" is actually a nickname. The girl was born Destiny Hope Cyrus, but her parents called her "Smiley" because she smiled so much. That nickname eventually evolved into "Miley."
Advantage: Cyrus. One nickname is better than two somewhat silly ones.
Eminem: Mathers was named the best-selling artist of the first decade of the century, and he has moved over 80 million albums around the world. The Eminem-lead film "8 Mile" also earned over $116 million in box office receipts.
Cyrus: She has moved nearly 20 million albums worldwide and has sold millions of singles (including the 2009 smash "Party in the U.S.A."). Her box office record is even more impressive. Her recent starring vehicle "The Last Song" pulled in over $80 million, "Hannah Montana: The Movie" roped in $155 million worldwide and 2008's "Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus: Best of Both Worlds Concert" took in over $65 million.
Advantage: Cyrus. Though Eminem has sold more albums, Cyrus' cross-platform infiltration has exposed her to far more fans.
Eminem: Shady owns 11 Grammy Awards, 10 MTV Video Music Awards, two Juno Awards and actually owns an Oscar for "Lose Yourself," his song from "8 Mile." That's among the many other accolades that declare him one of the best rappers alive and also one of the best of all time.
Cyrus: Miley has an MTV Movie Award, a boatload of Teen Choice prizes and a smattering of Kids Choice Awards.
Advantage: Eminem. Heck, he has the same number of Academy Awards as Martin Scorsese, for Pete's sake.
Eminem: "Not Afraid," which may or may not cast Eminem as Neo from "The Matrix" amidst a city full of destruction.
Cyrus: "Can't Be Tamed," wherein she wears angel wings and writhes in a cage.
Advantage: Draw. Both of them are visually arresting but not quite as eye-poppingly great as Katy Perry's "California Gurls" or Lady Gaga's "Alejandro."
Who will sell more albums this week: Miley Cyrus or Eminem? Let us know in the comments!