Late Bloomer: Don't get caught napping on Kanye's hugely anticipated Late Registration -- tucked in as a bonus track is the full-length take of "Diamonds (From Sierra Leone)." Unlike the version that appears as the 13th track and guests Kanye's boss, Jay-Z, the hidden cut is a non-remix. Also look out for a sample of Donal Leace's "Today Won't Come Again" on "Hey Mama," and producer Jon Brion's cornucopia of odd instruments -- including vocoder and xylophone -- throughout. Other tracks include "Heard 'Em Say" (featuring Maroon 5's Adam Levine), "Crack Music" (featuring Game) and "We Major" (featuring Nas and Really Doe).
Can You Keep Another Secret?: Rihanna, also an employee at Jigga Inc., tacks a secret treat onto the tail end of her debut, Music of the Sun -- a remix of her club-tastic "Pon De Replay," this time co-starring the rowdy Elephant Man. Other tracks include: "That's La, La, La," "You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)" and "There's a Thug in My Life."
Planning for a Breakthrough: Chances are many of you have already heard Death Cab for Cutie's Plans, what with mtvU's exclusive stream and all. But fans won't want to overlook some extra bonus goodies iTunes is offering -- including bonus cover songs of Teenage Fanclub's "Start Again" and Freedy Johnston's "Bad Reputation" -- and indie-files should take note of guest spots by Beulah's Bill Swan and Harvey Danger's Sean Nelson. Tracks include: "Your Heart Is an Empty Room," "What Sarah Said" and "Someday You Will Be Loved."
Also in Love: Eric Clapton's Back Home is being touted as his first collection of original material in five years, but it seems the guitar icon couldn't steer clear of at least some cover-age, what with a rendition of George Harrison's "Love Comes to Everyone" and the Spinners' "Love Don't Love Nobody." Nor could the frequent collaborator go it alone, with John Mayer, Steve Winwood and Billy Preston paying visits. A limited-edition DualDisc is due the same day. Tracks include "One Track Mind," "One Day" and "Back Home."
Splish Splash: Dip into Moistboyz IV as well as the latest from Brooks & Dunn and a new album by Lazy on Water Music, then dry off with Sizzla's new one and Rihanna's Music of the Sun.
Super-Duper Releases: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, who release Souls' Chapel this week, would find good company with Conjure One (Extraordinary Ways), Killer Mike (Ghetto Extraordinary) and Robert Walter (Super Heavy Organ).
Song Titles Of The Week:
"Funny Thing About Getting Pistol Whipped Is ..." (From Autumn to Ashes' Abandon Your Friends)
"The Donky Donk" (Knoc-Turn'al's Return of the Hustler)
Tony Yayo's Thoughts of a Predicate Felon: The G-Unit rep -- who wore a T-shirt proclaiming "My Album Is In Stores" at Sunday's VMAs, even though it's not due until Tuesday (August 30) -- regroups his pals on "I Know You Don't Love Me" and ropes in Eminem and Obie Trice for "Drama Setter." A limited "G-Unit Collectors Edition" version has a bonus DVD featuring interviews with G-Unit, plus a making-of doc and the "So Seductive" video.
Anastacia's Anastacia and Les Paul's Les Paul & Friends: Producer Dave Stewart chips in on the pop singer's latest, bridging it with another album due this week, Stewart's former Eurythmics partner, Annie Lennox, who performed at Live 8. So did Bon Jovi, and their guitarist, Richie Sambora, surfaces on the star-studded Les Paul & Friends. Les Paul's first album since 1978 also guests Sting and Joss Stone, Eric Clapton, Joe Perry and Keith Richards.
Various artists - Austin City Limits Music Festival: Live From Austin, Texas 2004: Move over, South by Southwest -- the acclaimed PBS project brought in a flurry of big talent in its own right for last year's gala. The disc immortalizes the event and features the Pixies, Franz Ferdinand, Dashboard Confessional, Los Lonely Boys, Ben Harper, Trey Anastasio and more.
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