This Week’s Album Releases: Juvenile, George Michael

Yellowjackets best-of disc and soundtracks to 'Next Friday' and 'The Sopranos' also due Tuesday.

Albums by rapper Juvenile and pop singer George Michael are highlights of Tuesday’s slim lineup of new releases. According to retailers, the number of new issues typically dwindles in December, and this week is no exception.

The soundtrack to “Next Friday,” which includes a reunion of seminal gangsta-rappers N.W.A, is also due Tuesday, as is the eclectic soundtrack for the HBO series “The Sopranos,” featuring tracks by rock icon Bruce Springsteen and bluesman R.L. Burnside.

New Orleans rapper Juvenile issues Tha G-Code, his third album. The follow-up to 400 Degreez (1998) features the single “U Understand.” George Michael’s Songs From the Last Century, features covers of some of the singer’s favorite songs recorded throughout the past 100 years, including a version of the Police’s “Roxanne.”

Dec. 14 album releases:

Juvenile, Tha G-Code (Cash Money/Universal) — New Orleans hip-hopper releases third album and follow-up to 1998′s 400 Degreez. Features single “U Understand” and stars labelmates Lil’ Wayne and the Big Tymers. Produced by Cash Money’s house producer, Mannie Fresh.

George Michael, Songs From the Last Century (Virgin) — Features covers of some of the singer’s favorite songs, including versions of the Police’s “Roxanne” and Bing Crosby’s “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” Also on the album is the Bono/Luciano Pavarotti single “Miss Sarajevo,” featured on the soundtrack to the 1995 film “Passengers.”

Krust, Coded Language (Mercury) — Debut album from Bristol, England, drum & bass producer/DJ known from collaborations with Roni Size on the Reprazent project and record label Full Cycle. The title track features vocals by poet/rapper Saul Williams.

Yellowjackets, The Best of Yellowjackets (Warner Bros.) — Collection of rhythm and jazz group’s best-known songs. Includes the hits “Matinee Idol,” from their 1981 self-titled debut; “Top Secret,” from their 1984 sophomore effort, Mirage à Trois; and “The Chosen” from Dreamland (1995). Features appearances by Bobby McFerrin (vocals) and Luis Conte (percussion).

Various artists, “Next Friday” soundtrack (Best Side/Priority) — Music from sequel to 1995 film “Friday,” directed by Steve Carr, known for music videos such as Jay-Z’s “Hard Knock Life,” and written by and starring Ice Cube. Features the N.W.A track “Chin Check,” their first song in eight years, with Snoop Dogg replacing the late Eazy-E. Also includes “Murder Murder” by Eminem, “Livin’ It Up” by Pharoahe Monch and “You Can Do It,” including Ice Cube, Mack 10 and Ms. Toi. Disc also includes performances by Wu-Tang Clan, Lil’ Zane, Krayzie Bone and Ron Isley.

Various artists, The Sopranos — Music From the HBO Original Series (Columbia) — Songs from the Emmy Award–winning HBO series created by David Chase and starring James Gandolfini. Includes “It’s Bad You Know” by R.L. Burnside, “State Trooper” by Bruce Springsteen and the series’ title track, “Woke Up This Morning” (Chosen One Mix) by Alabama 3.