It's going to be a tight race for the top spot on the sales chart next week as Mase is welcomed back, Young Buck bursts outta cashville with his debut solo album, and R. Kelly is saved by happy people.
With his Mr. Rogers-inspired video for "Welcome Back," the first single off his album of the same title, Mase has made it perfectly clear that he's back and ready for another shot at chart-topping success. The rapper hasn't released an album since 1999's Double Up, after which he announced plans to retire from rap and devote himself to spirituality.
Rapper Young Buck will release his debut solo album, Straight Outta Cashville, this week. The G-Unit member released Thuggin' Til the End in 2000 with rapper D-Tay, but gained notoriety when he appeared on G-Unit's debut album, Beg for Mercy, which went double platinum.
Despite all his legal troubles, R. Kelly is a happy man, and he's announcing it to the world via his newest release, the double album Happy People/ U Saved Me. The first album finds Kelly content and optimistic, while the second disc finds him turning to God for help with his troubles.
Rounding out the major hip-hop releases is an album from Pitbull, the young Cuban-American rapper who was featured in a freestyle spot on the Kings of Crunk album. His debut, M.I.A.M.I., hits stores Tuesday.
Indie rockers Guided by Voices are releasing their final album, Half Smiles of the Decomposed, this week. The Dayton, Ohio, group will tour behind the disc and then disband after 17 years.
Jason Mraz has found the "Remedy" for fans of his last album who are eagerly awaiting another release: a live album, called Tonight, Not Again.
Also out this week are albums from the Motown Philly boys Boyz II Men (Throwback), the saucy G. Love & Special Sauce (The Hustle), country sensation Tim McGraw (Live Like You Were Dying) and jazz man Chick Corea and his Elektric Band (To the Stars).
Out Tuesday, August 24:
- Aberfeldy - Young Forever (Sanctuary/Rough Trade)
- Geri Allen - The Life of a Song (Telarc)
- Keren Ann - Not Going Anywhere (Blue Note)
- Apostle of Hustle - Folkloric Feel (Arts & Crafts)
- Battery Cage - World Wide Wasteland (Metropolis)
- Beep Beep - Business Casual (Saddle Creek)
- Eric Bibb - Friends (Telarc)
- Boyz II Men - Throwback (Koch)
- Junior Brown - Down Home Chrome (Telarc)
- Capital D - Insomnia (All Natural)
- Vassar Clements - Livin' With the Blues (Acoustic Disc)
- Clinic - Winchester Cathedral (Domino)
- Comas - Conductor (Yep Roc)
- Chick Corea Elektric Band - To the Stars (Stretch)
- DJ Escape - Bangin 03 (Tommy Boy)
- Donovan - Beat Cafe (Appleseed)
- Dave Douglas - Bow River Falls (Koch)
- Drive-By Truckers - The Dirty South (New West)
- E.S.T. - Seven Days of Falling (two discs, 215)
- Steve Earle - The Revolution Starts ... Now (Artemis)
- Endochine - Day Two (Fresh Tracks)
- Finn Brothers - Everyone Is Here (Nettwerk)
- Dora Flood - Highlands (Elephant Stone)
- Bill Frisell - Unspeakable (Nonesuch)
- Further Seems Forever - Hide Nothing (Tooth & Nail)
- G. Love & Special Sauce - The Hustle (Brushfire/Universal)
- Amos Garrett - Acoustic Album (Stony Plain)
- Groundtruther - Latitude (Thirsty Ear)
- Guided by Voices - Half Smiles of the Decomposed (Matador)
- Hot Rod Circuit - Reality's Coming Through (Vagrant)
- Ice City - Welcome to the Hood (Roc-A-Fella)
- Inouk - No Danger (Say Hey)
- Insomniacs - Switched On! (Estrus)
- Instruction - God Doesn't Care (Geffen)
- Jim Jones - On My Way to Church (Koch)
- Cledus T. Judd - Bipolar and Proud (Koch)
- Kidz Bop Kids - Kidz Bop Halloween (Razor & Tie)
- David Kilgour - Frozen Orange (Merge)
- James Last - With Strings Attached (Recall)
- LTNO Vs. Dead Sexy Inc. - Hellywood Sons (Cleopatra)
- Mase - Welcome Back (Bad Boy)
Buy Now: Amerikaz Nightmare (Violator/Jive)
Read: "Mase: The Second Coming"
- Tim McGraw - Live Like You Were Dying (Curb)
Buy Now: Live Like You Were Dying (Curb)
- Tift Merritt - Tambourine (Lost Highway)
- Ian Moore - Luminaria (Yep Roc)
- Jason Mraz - Tonight, Not Again - At the Eagles Ballroom (Elektra)
Buy Now: Tonight, Not Again - At the Eagles Ballroom (Elektra)
- Nora O'Connor - Til the Dawn (Bloodshot)
- Tara Jane O'Neil - You Sound, Reflect (Quarterstick)
- Steve Oliver - 3-D (Koch)
- Overkill - Unholy (Recall)
- Alan Parsons - A Valid Path (Artemis)
- Pinetop Perkins - Ladies Man (M.C.)
- Pitbull - M.I.A.M.I. (TVT)
- R. Kelly - Happy People/ U Saved Me (Jive)
Buy Now: Happy People/ U Saved Me (Jive)
Read: "R. Kelly Album Preview: Dancing, Loving, Turning To The Lord"
- Radian - Juxtaposition (Thrill Jockey)
- Rich Robinson - Paper (Key Hole)
- Rosavelt - The Story of Gasoline (Gaff Music)
- Sadies - Favourite Colours (Yep Roc)
- Saxophone Summit - Gathering of Spirits (Telarc)
- The Sermon - Volume (Alternative Tentacles)
- Shades of Soul - Shades of Soul (Narada)
- Shark Quest - Gods & Devils (Merge)
- Terrorfakt - Cold Steel World (Metropolis)
- Testament - Days of Darkness (Recall)
- The Start - Initiation (Nitro)
- Jeff Timmons - Whisper That Way (SLG/Denon)
- Daby Toure - Diam (Real World)
- Twilight Singers - She Loves You (Birdman/One Little Indian)
- Butch Walker - Letters (Epic)
- Mike Watt - The Secondman's Middle Stand (Red Ink/Columbia)
- Charlie Watts & the Tentet - Watts at Scott's (Sanctuary Classics)
- West Indian Girl - West Indian Girl (Astralwerks)
- "We Will Rock You" original cast - "We Will Rock You" soundtrack (Capitol/EMI)
- Wiley - Treddin' on Thin Ice (XL/Beggars Banquet)
- Nancy Wilson - R.S.V.P. (Manchester Craftsmen's Guild)
- Young Buck - Straight Outta Cashville (Interscope)
- Zolar-X - Timeless (Alternative Tentacles)
- Various artists - Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster (Emergent Music)
- Various artists - Disney's Karaoke Series: Aladdin (Walt Disney)
- Various artists - Disney's Karaoke Series: Radio Disney Chart Toppers (Walt Disney)
- Various artists - Ultimate Beatdowns Vol. 1 (DRT)
- Various artists - "Wicker Park" soundtrack (Lakeshore)
- DVD: Joni Mitchell - "Refuge of the Roads" (Shout! Factory)
- Björk - Medúlla (Elektra/ Asylum)
Read: "Bjork Album Preview: Beautiful, Baffling and Bothersome Medúlla"
- Jill Scott - Beautifully Human: Words & Sounds 2 (Sony)
- Insane Clown Posse - Hell's Pit, Version 1 (Psychopathic)
- Insane Clown Posse - Hell's Pit, Version 2 (Psychopathic)
- Various artists - Passion of the Christ: Songs
Read: "Scott Stapp, Lauryn Hill, P.O.D., MxPx Head Up 'Passion Of The Christ' LP"
- Christine McVie - In The Meantime (Koch)
- Alan Jackson - What I Do (Arista)
- Anita Baker - My Everything (Blue Note)
- Nelly - Sweat (Universal)
Read: "Nelly Explains The Fine Line Between Sweat And Suit"
- Nelly - Suit (Universal)
- Tears for Fears - Everybody Loves a Happy Ending (Hip-O Records)
- Prodigy - Always Outnumbered Never Outgunned
Read: "Twista, Kool Keith, Juliette Lewis Smack Up New Prodigy LP"