A number of veteran acts, such as Eric Clapton, Phil Collins, OMD and The Doobie Bros. returns with their first albums in years, but the top releases of the week belong to country superstar Kenny Chesney and a still-incarcerated Lil Wayne.
Kenny Chesney, “Hemingway’s Whiskey” (BNA): Country superstar’s latest takes its name from a Guy Clark song and contains his usual blend of feel-good and heartbreak songs.
Eric Clapton, “Clapton” (Reprise): It may be the guitar god’s 19th solo album, but he’s seldom alone. He’s joined by Steve Winwood, Wynton Marsalis, Sheryl Crow, Allen Toussaint, Derek Trucks and others on this blues-flavored outing. Our favorite title? “My Very Good Friend The Milkman.”
Phil Collins, “Going Back” (Atlantic): Collins’ love affair with classic R&B continues with this set of Motown and soul covers, his first new studio album in eight years. Tracks including “Going to a Go-Go,” “Love is Here” and “Papa was a Rolling Stone.”
The Doobie Bros., “World Gone Crazy” (HOR Entertainment): Venerable rock outlet releases first studio album in 10 years. Guests include Willie Nelson and one-time Doobie, Michael McDonald.
The 88, “The 88” (88/Rocket Science): After serving as The Kinks’ Ray Davies back up band and sharing bills with the Flaming Kips and Rilo Kiley, Los Angeles pop-rock band returns with a energetic new set of catchy tunes.
Ben Folds & Nick Hornby, “Lonely Avenue” (Nonesuch): Folds provides the music and the vocals, novelist Hornby provides the lyrics. Legendary arranger Paul Buckmaster provides the string arrangements. Hornby, best known for penning “High Fidelity,” would send Folds the lyrics who would set them to music. It’s as accessibly, melodic and clever as you’d think it would be.
Jimmy Eat World, “Invented” (DGC/Interscope): Popmeisters’ sixth studio album reunites them with producer Mark Trombino. who helmed their first three sets. http://www.hitfix.com/events/jimmy-eat-world-invented
Lil Wayne, “I am Not a Human Being” (Young Money/Cash Money): On Monday, his 28th birthday, Lil Wayne releases this download only set. Guests include Nicki Minaj (of course), Drake, Jay Sean, Tyga and Lil Twist. CD version comes out Oct. 12. Lil Wayne comes out of prison in November.
Gucci Mane, “The Appeal: Georgia’s Most Wanted” (1017/Bricksquad/Asylum/Warner): Rapper’s latest, produced by Swizz Beatz, kicked off with first single, “Gucci Time,” which peaked at No. 18 on Billboard’s Rap Songs chart.
Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. “History of Modern” (Bright Antenna): It’s been 21 years since Andy McClusky and Paul Humphries quit making records together, but it sounds like no time has passed on this new set that recalls the band’s electro pop of yore.
Mark Ronson and the Business Intl, “Record Collection” (RCA): Producer, best known for his work with Amy Winehouse, releases his third album as an artist, this time backed by a rotating core of seven musicians. We also hear him sing for the first time instead of leaving the vocal chores to others.
Seal, “Seal VI—Commitment” (Reprise): Smooth baritone releases a new album of self-written material produced by David Foster, who helmed Seal’s 2008 cover album, “Soul.”
Soundgarden,” Telephantism” (A&M/UMe) Deluxe CD and DVD version (single disc comes out next Tuesday) of greatest hits set includes all the hits, some rarities and live versions spanning the Seattle rock band’s career. http://www.hitfix.com/events/telephantasm-a
Neil Young, “Le Noise” (Reprise): Eight tracks of stripped-down Young produced by Daniel Lanois features both acoustic and electric tunes, handled solo by Young. The songs are meditations on life and death.