The first albums in several years by moody British rockers the Cure and American singer/songwriter Tracy Chapman are both set to hit stores this week.
The Cure's Bloodflowers, which revives the veteran gloom-rock band's signature sound on such tracks as "Maybe Someday" (RealAudio excerpt), is their first album since Wild Mood Swings (1996). The band, known for its chiming guitars and Robert Smith's passionate vocals, released its first album, Boys Don't Cry, in 1980, but this is "the Cure's most perfect album," Smith said in a statement from the band's label, Elektra.
Chapman's Telling Stories follows up New Beginning (1995), which included her biggest hit, the bluesy "Give Me One Reason."
(For a select list of Tuesday's releases, click here.)
Telling Stories continues Chapman's tradition of inserting social commentary into her songs. The new "Nothing Yet" reflects on the trials that blacks have faced in the U.S.
Chapman became an immediate star in 1989 with the acoustic guitar-based single "Fast Car" (RealAudio excerpt).
The Chapman and Cure albums are likely to sell well in their first week, but future sales will depend on whether they generate new hits, according to Larry King, rock buyer at Tower Records on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles.
"It's a slightly different world than when they were popular," King said. "Things have changed so radically just in the last 18 months. The Cure might all of a sudden find their core audience moved into the world of preschools and mortgages, and they didn't seek out a new audience."
Other releases of note this week include the fourth album by noise-rock band Boss Hog. White Out finds the band, fronted by onetime Pussy Galore guitarist Cristina Martinez, taking a more melodic direction than on past releases and even experimenting with dance beats.
Florida rapper Trick Daddy will release Book of Thugs: Chapter AK, Verse 47 next week. The album features a guest appearance from rapper Mystikal.
"Instead of Florida-based, the album is nationwide," Trick Daddy said. "Just so the up-North crowd won't say I'm strictly Southern, and the California crowd won't say I'm strictly Southern. Both coasts should be able to understand where I'm coming from."
The Who's BBC Sessions, following similar collections from the Beatles and Led Zeppelin, captures performances recorded by the classic-rock band for English radio from 1965 to 1973.
(Correspondent Corey Moss contributed to this report.)