This week, it's all about the comeback album -- from performers who used to be in massively successful bands, and those returning after falling under or off the radar.
Contraband, the title of Velvet Revolver's debut album, will no doubt be the subject of many a bad joke about the habits of certain bandmembers (ex-Stone Temple Pilots singer Scott Weiland, three former members of Guns N' Roses and a former Wasted Youth). So we'll just say that Velvet Revolver releases Contraband this week.
PJ Harvey comes back on the scene after a four-year absence with Uh Huh Her. Harvey's 2000 release, Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea, met with mainstream success -- will the darker Uh Huh Her have similar luck?
Sonic Youth haven't made many stylistic changes to their sound on Sonic Nurse, but fans of the band will note that bassist Kim Gordon is back on the mic, singing four songs on the album.
For his second solo album (and his first since 1978), Gene Simmons strips off the makeup but stays heavy on the attitude. At least he's upfront about it: The album is called A--hole, and is filled with songs like "Whatever Turns You On."
They got knocked down and got up again, and then released five albums that went relatively unnoticed. Chumbawamba, the tub-thumping British band with a penchant for anarchist drinking songs, release UN this week.
On the Celtic beat, Irish quartet the Corrs release Borrowed Heaven, the band's first studio recording since 2000. Bad Religion may have been nodding to Star Wars by naming their new album The Empire Strikes First, but the punk group's attitude remains political, with titles like the George Orwell-inspired "Boot Stamping on a Human Face Forever." The Calling, having released Camino Palmero in 2001, take the obvious-album-title approach this week, releasing the sophomore disc Two.
Also out this week are !!!'s Louden Up Now, Etta James' Blues to the Bone and the Cowboy Junkies' One Soul Now.
!!! - Louden Up Now (Touch & Go) 311 - Greatest Hits 93-03 (Volcano) 800 Octane - Rise Again (New School) Abel - Live at Alegria (Tommy Boy) Karen Akers - If We Only Have Love (DRG/Koch) Gerald Albright - Kickin' It Up (GRP) Jackie Allen - Love Is Blue (A440) Karrin Allyson - Wild for You (Concord Jazz) Bad Religion - The Empire Strikes First (Epitaph) George Benson - Irreplaceable (GRP) Erin Bode - Don't Take Your Time (MAXJAZZ) Br. Danielson - Brother Is to Son (Secretly Canadian) Sleepy Brown - For the Grown and Sexy (DreamWorks) Bruces - The Shining Path (Misra) J.J. Cale - To Tulsa and Back (Sanctuary)
Read: [article id="1486127"]"The Calling Returning With New LP, New Hired Hands"[/article]
Clarks - Fast Moving Cars (Razor & Tie) Bootsy Collins - Play with Bootsy (Thump) Corrs - Borrowed Heaven (Atlantic) Cowboy Junkies - One Soul Now (Zoö/Rounder) Dirty Projectors - Slaves' Graves and Ballads (Western Vinyl) Jay Farrar - Stone, Steel & Bright Lights (Transmit Sound) Fastball - Keep Your Wig On (Rykodisc) Faust - Rien (Table of the Elements) BC Gilbert - Ordier (Table of the Elements) Bebel Gilberto - Bebel Gilberto (Six Degrees) Joao Gilberto - In Tokyo (Verve) Harry Gregson-Williams - Soundtrack to: "Man on Fire" (Varése Sarabande) PJ Harvey - Uh Huh Her (Island)
Read: [article id="1487170"]"PJ Harvey Album Preview: Heartache, Madness Haunt Uh Huh Her"[/article]
The Helio Sequence - Love and Distance (Sub Pop) Hot Cross - Fair Trades and Farewells (Level Plane) Etta James - Blues to the Bone (RCA Victor) Katie Melua - Call Off the Search (Universal) John Morgan and William Stromberg - Soundtrack to: "Starship Troopers 2" (Varése Sarabande) David Murray and the Gwo-Ka Masters Featuring Pharoah Sanders - Gwotet (Just a Memory/JustinTime) My Chemical Romance - Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge (Reprise) Nina Nastasia - Dogs (Touch and Go) Paatos - Kallocain (Inside Out) The Paper Chase - God Bless Your Black Heart (Kill Rock Stars) Part Chimp - Chart Pimp (Monitor) Phosphorescent - The Weight of Flight (Warm Electronic) Pigmy Love Circus - The Power of Beef (Go-Kart) Queensrÿche - The Art of Live (Sanctuary) Railroad Earth - The Good Life (Sugar Hill) Tarralyn Ramsey - Up Against All (Casablanca) Graeme Revelle - "The Chronicles of Riddick" soundtrack (Varése Sarabande) Royal City - Heart's Little Ease (Rough Trade) Heidi Saperstein - Zara (Kimchee) SheDaisy - Sweet Right Here (Lyric Street/Hollywood) Gene Simmons - A--hole (Sanctuary) Sizzla - Jah Knows Best (Sanctuary/Ras) Stephan Smith - Slash and Burn (Artemis) Society - All My People (Pyramid) Sonic Youth - Sonic Nurse (Geffen) Tiger Saw - Gimme Danger/Gimme Sweetness (Kimchee) Glenn Tilbrook - Transatlantic Ping Pong (Compass/Quixotic London) J. Van Tongeren - Soundtrack to: "Van Helsing: The London Assignment" (Decca) Tree a.k.a. Lil' Hollywood - Real Life Stories (Bungalo) Tye Tribett - Life (Columbia) Vandermark 5 - Elements of Style ... Exercises in Surprise (Atavistic) Velvet Revolver - Contraband (RCA)
Read: [article id="1485400"]"Velvet Revolver Album Preview: GN'R + STP = Uphill Battle"[/article]
Val Watson - Urbal (Thump) Jim White - Drill a Hole in That Substrate and Tell Me What You See (Luaka Bop) The Wiggles - Whoo Hoo Wiggly Gremlins (Koch) X-ecutioners - Revolutions (Columbia) Rachael Yamagata - Happenstance (RCA Victor) Various artists - 30 Seconds Over DC (2.13.61) Various artists - Punk-O-Rama 9 (Epitaph) Various artists - The Statesmen of Jazz: A Multitude of Stars (Arbors) Various artists - A Trip in House (Varese Sarabande) Various artists - Warped Tour 2004 (SideOneDummy) DVD: Laura Fygi - Live at North Sea (Verve) DVD: Macy Gray - A Day in the Life (Image Entertainment) DVD: Luciano Pavarotti & Friends - 2003 (Decca) DVD: Radiators - Earth Vs. the Radiators: The First 25 (Image Entertainment) DVD: Kate Rusby - Live From Leeds (Compass) DVD: Various artists - Pick a Winner (w/ CD, Load) DVD: Various artists - Travel the World With Putumayo (Putumayo) Beastie Boys - To the 5 Boroughs (Capitol)
Read: [article id="1486304"]"Beastie Boys Album Preview: Political Bleats And Old-School Beats"[/article]
Phish - Undermind (Elektra/Asylum) Josh Gracin - Josh Gracin (Hollywood Records) Mobb Deep - Amerikaz Nightmare (Jive)
Read: [article id="1486014"]"Mobb Deep Blinded With '80s Science For 'Twisted' Beat"[/article]
Wilco - A Ghost Is Born (Nonesuch) Brian Wilson - Gettin' in Over My Head (Rhino) Stevie Wonder - A Time 2 Love (Motown) Pixies - Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies (4AD) The Cure - The Cure (Geffen) Lloyd Banks - Hunger for More (Interscope) Brandy - Afrodisiac (Atlantic)
Read: [article id="1488121"]"Brandy Album Preview: Singer Opens Up On Afrodisiac -- Or Does She?"[/article]