Zzz: In case you've been sleeping for the past month or so, a fellow by the name of Jay-Z has a new album dropping this week. If that whole weekend promo stunt he pulled wasn't enough to wake you up, maybe Kingdom Come guest spots by his lover, Beyoncé, as well as contributions from John Legend, Usher and Pharrell will. Still not convinced? The deluxe version boasts a DVD with live clips, behind-the-scenes footage and more. Expect this one to wake up the chart in a big way.
The Poop on Snoop: With Jamie Foxx, Nate Dogg, LaToiya Williams and Stevie Wonder helping him out with his new album, Snoop Dogg doesn't have much to feel blue about. But that shouldn't stop you from feeling his LP, Tha Blue Carpet Treatment: It's packed with 21 tracks, including "Candy (Drippin' Like Water)," "I Wanna F--- You" and "Beat Up on Yo Pads."
UTube: U2 have bundled up 18 slices in the form of U218 Singles, but if that's not enough to entice you, they've also put together a limited version with a DVD that, not-so-incidentally, is also being sold separately. Oh, and the music comp also features two new cuts: their cover of "The Saints Are Coming" with Green Day, plus "Window in the Skies," a second tune they laid down at Abbey Road Studios with producer Rick Rubin.
Killer: As if the artwork of their new As Daylight Dies weren't enough, Killswitch Engage gave fans who preordered — get this — a dog tag designed by bassist Mike D'Antonio. Said item has a code that unlocks a Web site featuring an outtake from the Daylight recording sessions. On top of that, New England retailer Newbury Comics offered fans a signed booklet from the Boston band with their preorders.
Pac'ing It Up?: In case you didn't hear, Tupac Shakur apparently left a song or two lying around after he passed. The seemingly endless line of posthumous releases continues this week with Pac's Life, a 13-cut comp featuring Ludacris ("Playa Cardz Right [Male]," which also features Keon Bryce), Lil Scrappy ("Don't Sleep") and Chamillionaire ("Sleep"). Swizz Beatz also contributes, putting his remix sheen on the lead track, "Untouchable."
Dudes by Any Other Name: "American Idol" finalist Chris Daughtry might be taken for a slimmed-down Vin Diesel, but he's bringing his own action this week with Daughtry, a 12-track disc he's releasing under the same name. He recorded the effort with session musicians — oh, and some guy named Slash, who appears on "What I Want." Another aspiring singer, Lukas Rossi, also gets a shot this week with Rock Star Supernova's eponymous debut, finally overshadowing the legal issues that have dominated news surrounding the band that also features GN'R vet Gilby Clarke, ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted and Mötley Crüe skin-pounder Tommy Lee. That CD — preorders of which were tacked with a bonus DVD — includes songs called (seriously) "Make No Mistake ... This Is the Take," "Be Yourself (and 5 Other Cliches)" and "Social Disgrace." Yeeeah.
Winging It: The wait is over, peeps: Winger are dropping their first album in 14 years. Winger IV — which, notably, is the band's fourth album — finds founding fathers Kip Winger, Reb Beach and Rod Morgenstein ganging up for one more dose of hair-brained tuneage. Ethan Van Sciver, who pencils "Superman" and "Batman" comics when he's not doing Winger artwork, also lends a hand with the album cover. And in the blue corner, there's Europe, who also have a new Job-ber — sorry, that one's for "Arrested Development" fans only — in the DVD "Live in Sweden: The Final Countdown Tour 1986 - 20th Anniversary Edition." That sucker has a previously unissued goodie, the instrumental "Where Men Won't Dare" — yes, the jokes keep coming this week — plus some bonus video of the band recording The Final Countdown. Unfortunately, it doesn't come with a ringtone.
Brand-New Brand New (Couldn't Resist): Long Island, New York, is getting a bit louder this week with the evocatively titled The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, the latest by emo pop-punkers Brand New. The LP sees the band on its third label in as many albums and setting forth "Archers Bows Have Broken," "Limousine (MS Rebridge)" and "Welcome to Bangkok." Unfortunately for those across the pond, the effort won't be hitting European stores until January 12. At which point it won't be so brand-new. On to the next release ...
Not Brand-New at All: It's getting to be the holiday season, which means it's also time to hit the vaults for some surefire sellers. P.O.D.'s Greatest Hits (The Atlantic Years) chalks up 17 songs by the Christian critters, including the never-before-released "Going in Blind" and "Here We Go," plus the "Passion of the Christ" soundtrack contribution "Truly Amazing." There's also a repolished version of MxPx's Let It Happen - Deluxe Edition, with six unreleased tracks and a bonus DVD; Emery's The Question: The Deluxe Edition, also with a wealth of unreleased cuts and a DVD; Jamiroquai's self-explanatory High Times: Singles 1992-2006, with two fresh joints; The Legend of Johnny Cash Vol. II, which pulls together hookups with Dylan, Hank Williams Jr. and Waylon Jennings; and rare 1971 releases from Karen Dalton (In My Own Time) and Jackie Mittoo (Wishbone), the former of which includes adoring liner notes from Nick Cave and Devendra Banhart.
But while those might fit into your stocking, this batch of back-catalog boxes won't: Robert Plant's Nine Lives contains a hefty nonet's worth of CDs, brimming with unreleased treats, not to mention a nifty DVD; the Doors' limited 40th anniversary Perceptions goes two steps further with a dozen discs, loaded with unearthed tracks and surround-sound mixes; and David Crosby's three-disc Voyage, which culls recordings from the sperm donor himself as well as slices from the Byrds, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, Crosby & Nash and ... oh, well, you get the idea.
Song Title of the Week:
"The World Gets Smaller When You Dream" from Dave Fischoff's Crawl
Various artists' Plague Songs: Haven't read the Bible? Perhaps you'd like to hear it instead. No, we're not talking book-on-tape style, we're talking Plague Songs, a fresh comp that finds artists taking delight in revisiting the storied tales of locusts, boils and other desert desserts. The 10 original tracks feature rocketing newbie Imogen Heap, Rufus Wainwright, the Magnetic Fields' Stephin Merritt, plus a long-awaited return from woefully underrated Roots buddy Cody Chestnutt. Now that's sick.
Swan Lake's Beast Moans: With songs like "A Venue Called Rubella," "The Partisan but He's Got to Know" and "Are You Swimming in Her Pools?," how can you go wrong with this 13-track platter of indie-rock goodness? The maiden release by this north-of-the-border band brings together Daniel Bejar (New Pornographers, Destroyer), Spencer Krug (Wolf Parade) and Casey Mercer (Frog Eyes), who collaboratively wrote and produced the opus.
Various artists' Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids: Enough of your 'Mon-ing — it's time to let your kids in on the action. Partly an effort to support St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, the outing corrals members of Alkaline Trio, Pennywise, TSOL and the Donnas, who all lend their "kiddified" expertise to classics by the punk pioneers. Former Queens of the Stone Age bassist/singer Nick Oliveri also rears his head, for an appropriate rendition of "Suzy Is a Headbanger."
· Stephen D. Anderson - Remembering the Rain: The Music of Bill Evans (Art of Life) · Antiquus - Eleutheria (Cruz del Sur) · Tim Barry - Rivanna Junction (Suburban Home) · Ben & Vesper - More Questions (Sounds Familyre) · Maya Beiser - Almost Human (Koch) · Cheryl Bentyne - The Book of Love (Telarc) · Blackmore's Night - Winter Carols (Locomotive) · Woody Bradshaw - Lightning in a Bottle (Thump) · Brand New - The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me (Interscope) [Buy Now] · Paul Brill - Harpooner (Young American) · Guy Clark - Workbench Songs (Dualtone) · Steve Cole - True - (Narada) · Crescent Shield - The Last of My Kind (Cruz del Sur) · Dark Meat - Universal Indians (Cloud) · Darzamat - Semidevilish (MVD Audio) · Daughtry - Daughtry (19 Recordings/ RCA) [Buy Now] Read: "Chris Daughtry Drafts Fuel Guitarist, My Chemical Romance Producer For LP" · Dirty Faces - Get Right With God (Jagjaguwar) · Enter Chaos - Dream Worker (MVD Audio) · Fat Jack and Mascaria - Timespan · Dave Fischoff - Crawl (Secretly Canadian) · Frontside - ... For Ours Is the Kingdom, the Power and Glory ... (MVD Audio) · Robin Gibb - My Favorite Carols (Koch) · Great Big Sea - In Concert: Courage & Patience & Grit (with DVD; Zöe/Rounder) · Handful of Hate - Gruesome Splendour (Cruz del Music) · Hopewell - The Notbirds EP (Tee Pee) · Hybrid - I Choose Noise (Distinct'ive) · Il Divo - Siempre (Columbia) [Buy Now] · Jay-Z - Kingdom Come (deluxe version with DVD also available; Roc-A-Fella) [Buy Now] Read: "Jay-Z's 'Retirement' Is Finally Over: New Album Due In November" · Simon Joyner - The Skeleton Blues (Jagjaguwar) · Killswitch Engage - As Daylight Dies (Roadrunner) [Buy Now] Read: "Killswitch Engage Turn On The Heavy For Glass-Shattering As Daylight Dies" · Kyau & Albert - Worldvibe (enhanced; Water) · Patti Labelle - The Gospel According to Patti Labelle (Bungalo) · Loreena McKennitt - An Ancient Muse (Verve) · Nightmares on Wax - My Definition: One Artist, One Album, One Journey (My Definition) · P-1 - Power (Esntion Silver) · Marty Raybon - When the Sand Runs Out (Aspirion) · Rock Star Supernova - Rock Star Supernova (Epic) [Buy Now] · Satellite - A Street Between Sunrise and Sunset (MVD Audio) · The Scumfrog - Mega Scum (Effin) · Sizzla - The Overstanding (Koch) · Snoop Dogg - Tha Blue Carpet Treatment (Geffen) [Buy Now] · Speakerfire - Audio Alchemy (EP; Piermont) · Tomasz Stanko - Wolnosc W Sierpniu (MVD Audio) · Summer Hymns - Backward Masks (Misra) · Swan Lake - Beast Moans (Jagjaguwar) · Tralala - Is That the Tralala (Audika) · Turbo - Identity (MVD Audio) · Jimmy Van M - Balance 010 (three CDs; E.Q.) · TK Webb - Phantom Parade (Social Registry) · John Wetton - Amata (MVD Audio) · Winger - Winger IV (Shrapnel) · Darryl Worley - Here and Now (903) · David Young - A Christmas I'll Remember (Universe) · Various artists - Abstract Latin Journey Mixed by Julius Papp (MVD Audio) · Various artists - Brats on the Beat: Ramones for Kids (Go-Kart) · Various artists - Forever, for Always, for Luther: Volume II (digipak; Rendezvous) · Various artists - Plague of Songs (4AD) · Various artists - Rockpalast: Crossroads Festival Vol. 1 (Inakustic) · Various artists - Thankful (Temporary Residence) · Various artists - "Bobby" soundtrack (Island) · Various artists - "The History Boys" soundtrack (Rhino) · Various artists - "National Lampoon's Van Wilder: The Rise of Taj" soundtrack (Eleven Seven)
Notable Reissues and Archival Material :
· Abba - Number Ones (Polydor/UMe) · Charly Antolini - Knock Out 2000 (MVD Audio) · Audionom - Retrospektiv (Kemado) · Kevin Ayers - Joy of a Toy (Water) · Beatles - Love (special edition with DVD also available; Apple/Capitol) · Behemoth - Sventevith (MVD Audio) · Buckcherry - Buckcherry - Special Edition (comes in a slipcase and with a bonus DVD; Geffen) · Eddie Calvert - Songs of the Golden Trumpet (ASV Living Era) · Johnny Cash - The Legend of Johnny Cash Vol. II (Island) · Billy Cobham - Stratus (MVD Audio) · David Crosby - If I Could Only Remember My Name (with DVD) and Voyage (three-CD box set) (Rhino) · Karen Dalton - In My Own Time (Light in the Attic) · Doors - Perceptions (limited-edition box set with six CDs and six DVDs; Rhino) · Emery - The Question: The Deluxe Edition (with bonus DVD; Tooth & Nail) · Enya - Amarantine (box set; Reprise) · Big John Hamilton - How Much Can a Man Take (Sundazed) · Jagged Edge - "The Hits" (Epic) · Jamiroquai - High Times: Singles 1992-2006 (Epic) · Kiss - Alive! 1975-2000 (four-CD box set) and 20th Century Masters: The Best of Kiss - The Millennium Collection Volume 3 (Island) · Kottonmouth Kings - Hidden Stash III (two CDs and DVD; Suburban Noize) · Bettye LaVette - Do Your Duty (Sundazed) · Vera Lynn - The Forces' Sweetheart (two CDs; ASV Living Era) · Freddie Mercury - Lover of Life, Singer of Songs: The Very Best of Freddie Mercury Solo (Hollywood) · Mirah - Joyride: Remixes (K) · Jackie Mittoo - Wishbone (Light in the Attic) · MxPx - Let It Happen - Deluxe Edition (with DVD; Tooth & Nail) · Oasis - Stop the Clocks (special edition with bonus CD and DVD also available; Epic) [Buy Now] · Pendragon - Acoustically Challenged (MVD Audio) · Robert Plant - Nine Lives (nine-CD box set; Rhino) · P.O.D. - Greatest Hits (The Atlantic Years) (Rhino) [Buy Now] · Reel Big Fish - Greatest Hit ... and More (Mojo/Jive) · Sufjan Stevens - Sufjan Stevens Presents: Songs for Christmas Singalong (five-CD box set; Asthmatic Kitty) · Chris Tomlin - The Early Years (two CDs; Sparrow) · Tupac Shakur - Pac's Life (Amaru/Interscope) [Buy Now] · U2 - U218 Singles (limited-edition version with DVD also available; Interscope) [Buy Now] · Tom Waits - Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards (three CDs; Anti) · Robert Pete Williams - An Introduction to Robert Pete Williams (Fuel) · Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings - Struttin' Our Stuff (MVD Audio) · Various artists - A Fine Time! The South Side of Soul Street (Sundazed) · Various artists - An Introduction to Classical Music (Fuel) · Various artists - Dreamgirls - Original Broadway Cast Album: Special Edition (two CDs; Decca Broadway/ UMe) · Various artists - Southern Fried Funk: 22 Funky Soul Grooves From New Orleans and the Deep South (Grapevine)
Music DVDs :
· Natasha Bedingfield - "Live in New York City" (Epic) · Tony Bennett - "An American Classic" (Columbia) · Bizzy Bone - "Live in Concert" (MVD Visual) · Blackalicious - "4/20 Live in Seattle" (MVD Visual) · David Bowie - "Under Review 1976-1979: The Berlin Trilogy" (MVD Visual) · Edgar Broughton Band - "At Rockpalast" (MVD Visual) · John Cale - "An Exploration of the Life and Work of One of the Most Influential and Enigmatic Figures in Music" (Kultur) · Cream - "Classic Artists: Cream" (Image) · Diamond Head - "To the Devil His Due" (MVD Visual) · Europe - "Live in Sweden: The Final Countdown Tour 1986 - 20th Anniversary Edition" (MVD Visual) · Fall Out Boy - "Solid Gold Uncertainty" (Chrome Dreams) · Chris Farlowe - "At Rockpalast" (MVD Visual) · Focus - "Music in Review" (two DVDs; Classic Rock Legends) · Free - "The Free Story: The Essential Albums of All Time" (Classic Rock Legends) · John Wesley Harding & Friends - "A Bloody Show: Live at Bumbershoot 2005" (Arcanum) · Il Divo - "Live at the Greek Theater" (Columbia) · Nils Lofgren & Friends - "Live Acoustic" (MVD Visual) · Joe Lovano Nonet - "Paris Concert" (MVD Visual) · Johnny Mathis - "Gold: A 50th Anniversary Celebration" · Meat Beat Manifesto - "Travelogue Live 05" (MVD Visual) · Reba McEntire - "Video Gold I" and "Video Gold II" (MCA Nashville) · Mission of Burma - "Not a Photograph: The Mission of Burma Story" (MVD Visual) · Murder Junkies - "European Invasion 2005" (MVD Visual) · Nirvana - "In Utero: A Classic Album Under Review" (MVD Visual) · The Osmonds - "Live in Concert: London 2006 - Collectors Edition" (MVD Visual) · Pendragon - "And Now Everybody to the Stage" (limited-edition package with two CDs; MVD Visual) · Elvis Presley - "The Ed Sullivan Shows" (three DVDs; Image) · Archie Shepp Band - "Geneva Concert" (MVD Visual) · Smokey Robinson and the Miracles - "Definitive Performances: 1963-1987" (Motown) · Bruce Springsteen - "Music in Review: The Ultimate Critical Review" (with book; Classic Rock Legends) · U2 - "U218 Videos" (Interscope) · Wendy O. Williams and the Plasmatics - "10 Years of Revolutionary Rock and Roll" (MVD Visual) · The Who - "Who's Better, Who's Best" (Geffen) · Robbie Williams - "Music in Review" (Classic Rock Legends) · Various artists - "A Very Special Latin Christmas: Noche del Paz" (Hip-O) · Various artists - "Awol One: Culturama 777: Audiovisual Bombshelter Vol. 3" (MVD Visual) · Various artists - "No More to Say & Nothing More to Weep For: An Elegy for Allen Ginsberg" (Kultur) · Various artists - "Our Forefathers: The Proto-Punk Box" (four-DVD box set; MVD Visual)
Coming Attractions :
November 28 :
· Incubus - Light Grenades (Epic) [Preorder] Read: "Incubus' Mike Einziger Lends Agent Sparks A Hand Making The Best Brunch LP Ever" · Ying Yang Twins - Chemically Imbalanced (TVT) [Preorder] · Young Buck - Buck Tha World (Interscope) [Preorder]
December 5 :
· Ciara - The Evolution (enhanced; LaFace) [Preorder] Read: "Ciara Talks Single Life, Dreams Of Acting Like A Boy On Evolution" · Lil Scrappy - Bred 2 Die, Born 2 Live (Reprise) [Preorder] Read: "Lil Scrappy Enlists Eminem, 50, Lil Jon For 'Half Sorry, Half Party' LP" · Metallica - "The Videos: 1989-2004" (Warner Bros.) · Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape (Interscope) [Preorder] Read: "Gwen Stefani's New LP, The Sweet Escape, Set For December" · Various artists - Eminem Presents the Re-Up (Shady) [Preorder] Read: "Eminem, New Shady Artists Join 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks On The Re-Up" · Various artists - "Fast Food Nation" soundtrack (Park the Van)
December 12 :
· Mary J. Blige - Reflections (A Retrospective) (Geffen) [Preorder] Read: "Mary J.'s Greatest-Hits LP Brings Three New Songs, Brushes Off Rumors" · Fantasia - Fantasia (J) [Preorder] Read: "Fantasia Collaborates With Her American Idol, Aretha Franklin" · Taylor Hicks - Taylor Hicks (RCA) [Preorder] Read: "Taylor Hicks Planning To 'Wamp' It Up With New Sound On Debut LP" · Bobby Valentino - Special Occasion (Def Jam) [Preorder] Read: "Bobby Valentino Asks Sean Garrett, Rodney Jerkins To Attend Special Occasion" · Young Jeezy - Thug Motivation 102: The Inspiration (Def Jam) [Preorder] Read: "Jeezy Waiting On Kanye For LP; Addresses Rumors Of Tour With Jay, Nas"