Debelah Morgan, Unified Theory Top New Pop Releases

Rise, from UK's Gabrielle, also sees U.S. release.

Pop/R&B singer Debelah Morgan's Dance With Me and Unified Theory's self-titled debut top this week's list of new pop albums.

Dance With Me is Morgan's third album, and she's hoping for better success this time around than with her two previous albums, which had tepid sales. After losing a previous record contract, she wrote and recorded the new LP in her basement, with her brother Giloh.

"She really persevered, and therefore her vision is very much her own," Peter Galvin, Atlantic Records product manager, said. "We didn't have to hook her up with an outside producer to make the music work."

The album's title track and first single (RealAudio excerpt) uses a sample from the 1950s Richard Adler/Jerry Ross show tune, "Hernando's Hideaway." The catchy dance song moved up 13 spots, to #68, on this week's Billboard Hot 100, with heavy radio airplay.

The LP also features "Rain," a soulful disco song, and romantic tracks such as "Can't Stop Loving You" and "I Remember."

The debut album by Unified Theory, composed of former members of Pearl Jam and hippie-rockers Blind Melon, also hits stores this week.

After the 1995 overdose death of Blind Melon singer Shannon Hoon, Melon guitarist Christopher Thorn and bassist Brad Smith took time off from working in bands. Two years ago they prepared to start anew, drafting ex–Pearl Jam drummer Dave Krusen and young vocalist Chris Shinn for their new project.

"It's time to explode creatively," Smith said. "I'm definitely more focused now. ... When I was in Blind Melon, I was a stoner 24/7. Not this time. I want the success. The bottom line is: If you write good music, you might sell 100,000 records. Then, your next album may sell 200,000."

Their debut features a tighter pop-rock sound than the free-flowing jams of Blind Melon, as on the first single, "California."

Also hitting stores Tuesday is Rise, an album from British pop singer Gabrielle that has already sold more than a million copies worldwide, according to Universal Records.

The album, whose title track samples the Bob Dylan song "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," features production work from Johnny Dollar (Massive Attack, Neneh Cherry) and Richard Stannard (Spice Girls).

Other new albums for this week include Blur guitarist Graham Coxon's The Golden D, eclectic Texas quintet Blue October's Consent to Treatment and Jukebox Heroes, an anthology from '80s hitmakers Foreigner that includes "Cold As Ice," "Double Vision" and "Hot Blooded" among its 39 tracks.