It's the battle of the female superstars this week as Mariah Carey, Madonna and Barbra Streisand all throw down new titles on Tuesday. Streisand may be old enough to be Carey's-- or even Madonna's-- mom, but she still has both of them beat when it comes to overall U.S. album sales. Plus, she just appeared on "Oprah" last week, so she's not messing around in terms of ratcheting up album sales. (We know Carey made a brief appearance on "Oprah" two weeks ago as well).
Who's going to come in at the top of the chart? Our money is on Carey, but we think both Madonna and Streisand will be top 5. What are your thoughts?
AFI, "Crash Love" (DCG/Interscope): California rockers' third major-label album sees a return to their rock roots following the synth-fueled "Decemberunderground." First single, "Medicate," is available for "Guitar Hero 5."
Alice in Chains, "Black Gives Way to Blue" (Virgin): Seminal Seattle rockers are back with their first studio album since 1995 and their first with new lead singer William DuVall. Who would have thought 13 years ago that they'd be singing with Elton John? First single, "Check My Brain," soared to no. 1 on Billboard's Rock Songs Chart.
The Avett Brothers, "I and Love and You" (American Recordings/Columbia): Next big things from North Carolina release their Rick Rubin-produced major-label debut. Their folk rock is surrounded by acoustic instrumentation, including banjo, but the strongest element is always their strong sense of melody. Check out our interview with bassist Bob Crawford here.
Breaking Benjamin, "Dear Agony" (Hollywood): Fourth album from video game faves includes first single, "I Will Not Bow," which is already a hit at rock and active rock radio. The song is also featured in the new Bruce Willis film, "Surrogates."
Mariah Carey, "Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel' (Island/Def Jam) Mimi returns with a new album for her lambs. First single "Obsessed"-her jab at Eminem-did well, but the best is still yet to come from "Memoirs." See review here.
Chromeo, "DJ Kicks" (K7): Critically adored Montreal duo and remixers (check out the pair's with Vampire Weekend) blends funk, disco, dance and pop on their latest album.
Ghostface Killah, "Ghostdini: Wizard of Poetry in Emerald City (Def Jam): a few weeks after Rae won released his new solo album, fellow Wu-Tang Clan member follows with his latest solo effort. However, "solo" is really a misnomer here since the rapid rapper surrounds himself with such guests as John Legend, Lloyd, Fabulous and Estelle.
Selena Gomez, "Kiss and Tell" (Hollywood) Hot off her appearance on Forever the Sickest Kids' album, the "Wizards of Waverly Place" star is the latest Disney Channel creation to grab the brass ring with a solo record.
Madonna, "Celebration" (Warner Bros.): How do you say goodbye to your label home for the past 25+ years? With a greatest hits package that, even at a walloping 36 songs (34 classics and two new tracks), still doesn't cover all your hits. Configured lots of different ways-single disc, double disc, CD/DVD combo... Madge any way you want her. The title track just became Madonna's 40th (you read that right) No. 1 on Billboard's Hot Dance Club Play Chart. Catch her on David Letterman on Wednesday.
Karen O and the Kids, "Where the Wild Things Are" soundtrack (MySpace/Interscope): Yeah Yeah Yeahs front woman Karen O is hanging out with the beasties for the soundtrack to the Spike Jonze-directed film of the Maurice Sendak children's classic. O wrote a number of tracks for the film, including the sweet first single, "All is Love." She's joined by her Yeah Yeah Yeahs bandmates, as well as members of the Raconteurs, Deerhunter and the Greenhornes. The soundtrack also features music from composer Carter Burwell.
Miranda Lambert, "Revolution" (Columbia Nashville): Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood aren't the only young blondes making a fuss in Music City. If you're looking for music that is undeniably country, check out Lambert's third album. She's feisty, she's handy with firearms and she can sing a blue streak.
Paramore, "Brand New Eyes" (Fueled By Ramen/Atlantic): Nashville-based emo group is having quite the time: two songs on the "Twilight" soundtrack, multiple tours, including opening for No Doubt; a best new artist Grammy nomination and lead singer Hayley Williams hasn't even turned 21 yet. For their third album, Paramore stayed close to home, recording in Nashville with producer Rob Cavallo, who helmed their "Twilight" hit, "Decode."
Hope Sandoval & The Warm inventions, "Through the Devil Softly" (Nettwerk): Former Mazzy Star lead singer pairs with My Bloody Valentine's Colm O'Ciosoig for their follow up to 2001's "Bavarian Fruit Bread." Some call her vocal style hypnotic, others call it droning. You either love her or you hate her. If you fall in the former camp, you'll be happy to know she's o tour this fall.
Barbra Streisand, "Love is the Answer" (Columbia): We know she's a bit out of Hitfix's demographic, but a new release from Babs is always a reason for celebration. The voice remains breathtakingly clear and unerring on this collection of jazz standards and classics produced by Diana Krall. According to the Recording industry Assn. of America, Streisand is the top-selling female recording artist in history... take that, Madonna and Mariah.
Various Artists, "Ciao My Shining Star: The Songs of Mark Mulcahy" (Shout! Factory): A who's who of the alternative music world-from Radiohead's Thom Yorke (listen here), to REM's Michael Stipe, Frank Black, Dinosaur Jr. and Fountains of Wayne's Chris Collingwood-pay tribute to Miracle Legion former lead singer Mulcahy. Proceeds from sale of the album will go to Mulcahy to help him continue raising his young daughters following his wife's unexpected death last year.
Zero 7, "Yeah Ghost" (Atlantic): You may not know their name, but you're heard their music, which has been licensed for numerous commercials and TV shows. Ambient, downtempo British group led by Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker has featured a rotating line up of vocalists, including Sia, Tina Dico and Jose Gonzalez. Unlike the previous efforts, much of "Yeah Ghost" is instrumental.