It’s a wacky week in release land. After Miley Cyrus and Eminem decided to move their albums up to an off-cycle Monday release, instead of the usual Tuesday, virtually every act followed suit. Except for The Chemical Bros. and Sia, all of these albums are available now.
The big question is can either Eminem or Cyrus knock Drake out of the No. 1 spot next week? We say yes and we’re betting on Eminem to come in at No. 1 with sales of 500,000+plus. In fact, we’re going out on a limb and saying he’ll surpass Sade’s “Soldier of Love” for the biggest opening frame of this year. Don’t let us down, Slim Shady…
The Chemical Bros., “Further” (Freestyle Dust/Astralwerks): Those masters of the beats are back with their seventh studio album full of instrumentals and vocals handled largely by the duo’s Tom Rowlands.
Miley Cyrus, “Can’t Be Tamed” (Hollywood): Teen queen Cyrus is like a foal kicking at the barn door eager to show the world that Hannah Montana is all grown up. Read review here.
Eminem, “Recovery” (Shady/Aftermath/Interscope): The follow up to last year’s ‘Relapse” already seems like a big winner, given such tracks as “Not Afraid” and “Love the Way You Lie” feat. Rihanna. Not that he’s ever gone away, but we sense a huge new chapter starting today for Marshall Mathers. Read Katie Hasty's review here.
Macy Gray, “The Sellout” (Concord): After finding herself without a label, double -Grammy winner with the spacey attitude and child-like, soaring voice returns with a stripped-down album that goes back to her roots. The album title is ironic get it? She debuts with Bobby Brown on one track.
Herbie Hancock, “The Imagine Project” (Hancock/RED): Legendary jazz artist turns 70 this year and “The Imagine Project” is the opening salvo of the celebration. Artists such as Dave Matthews Band Seal, Pink, John Legend and many, many more join Hancock for this audio and video collection of all new recordings centered around peace and global responsibility.
Ozzy Osbourne, “Scream” (Epic): Heavy metal mad-man Osbourne is promoting this set, his 10th studio album, like a brand new artist. First single “Let Me Hear Your Scream” is already a rock hit. Plus, Ozzy is headed on an 18-month worldwide tour (!!) starting Aug. 14.
Robert Randolph and the Family Band, “We Walk This Way” (Warner Bros.): One of best live acts around, Randolph and his band linked with T Bone Burnett for this tasty set of covers including Bob Dylan’s “Shot of Love” and Prince’s “Walk Don’t Walk.” Guests include Ben Harper and Leon Russell. Randolph is a steel guitar master who deserves superstardom. Help him out.
The Roots, “How I Got Over” (Def Jam): Serving as the house band for Jimmy Fallon has done nothing to diminish this seminal outfit’s penchant for sharply-drawn, trenchant hip hop. Led by ?uestlove and Black Tongue, more than a decade after its amazing “Things Fall Apart,” the Roots remain as vital a musical force as always. Guests include John Legend, Joanna Newsom and Monster of Folk.
Sia, “We Are Born” (Monkey Puzzle/Jive): Sweet-voiced, quirky Australian singer/songwriter has been contributing to other folks’ records, like Christina Aguilera’s “Bionic,” so it’s nice to have her back where she belongs: helming her own project. Check out the infectious “Clap Your Hands” as well as a cover of Madonna’s “Oh Father.”