A chunk of new releases out this Monday (gotta get the albums out early for Black Friday sales), as well as some on the usual Tuesday (Nov. 22) drop date. I've included info and links for the ones you want to know about most below, plus some other ones you may never have heard of (but should know), with audio & video for your listening and viewing pleasure. Click here to check out releases that dropped over the past few months ...
Big Time Rush, Elevate (Columbia/Nickelodeon)
Mary J. Blige, My Life II...The Journey Continues [Act1] (Geffen)
Kate Bush, 50 Words For Snow (Anti-)
The influential 53-year-old singer-songwriter from London issues her second album of 2011 and 10th overall, "seven tracks set against a background of falling snow" and featuring special guests like Elton John, Andy Fairweather Low and on the title track, British writer/broadcaster/raconteur Stephen Fry. NPR music critic Ann Powers chose 50 words to describe the new album: "Powdery fantasia. Contemplative. Winter matins. Playful. Opium reverie. Grounded. Ghost story. Sensual. Artistic recalibration. Unhurried. Drummer's holiday. Quiet. Ode to the white keys. Imaginative. Exploration of the lower register. Floating. Mother-son duet. Solitary. Snowed-in erotica. Collaborative. Joni Mitchell answer record. Inimitable. Supernatural space odyssey. What we'd expect from Kate Bush.” The LP has already garnered an average score of 93 on Metacritic. Listen to "Wild Man" below.
Chris Cornell, Songbook (Universal)
A live acoustic album from former frontman of Soundgarden, Audioslave and Temple Of The Dog that includes unplugged renderings of songs like "Black Hole Sun" and "I Am The Highway."
Cloud Control, Bliss Release (WEA)
The debut record of a warm psyche-retro rock band from Australia sees its U.S. release. Check out some of the tracks after the jump, along with the rest of this week's new releases.
Michael Jackson, IMMORTAL (Epic)
In a similar vein to The Beatles Love album and Cirque du Soleil show, this album is a re-imagining of more than 40 Michael Jackson songs by musical designer Kevin Antunes (Justin Timberlake, Rihanna, Madonna), who has created a compilation/soundscape for Cirque du Soleil's Michael Jackson THE IMMORTAL World Tour production.
Matisyahu, Miracle (!K7)
The Hasidic Jewish reggae-rapper presents a holiday album "to give the Jewish kids something to be proud of. We've got Adam Sandler's song, which is hilarious, but I wanted to try to get across some of the depth and spirituality inherent in the holiday in a fun, celebratory song."
Mobb Deep, Black Cocaine EP (Infamous)
The hip hop duo made up of Havoc and Prodigy marks the first recording by since Prodigy's release from prison; a self-titled full-length is due to follow sometime in 2012.
Nickelback, Here & Now (Roadrunner)
Rihanna, Talk That Talk (Def Jam)
Ruff Ryders: Past Present Future, Ruff Ryders: Past Present Future (Ruff Ryders)
A collection with tracks by hitmakers like DMX, Eve, The Lox, Swizz Beatz and Drag-On along with Ruff Ryders developing artists like Mook, Sheila, Hugo, and Lil' Waah.
Saving Grace, King Is Coming (Facedown)
Bob Seger, Ultimate Hits: Rock And Roll Never Forgets (Capitol/EMI)
A 26-track, two-disc career-spanning collection that encompasses the Detroit rock and roller's hits — "Night Moves," "Turn The Page," "Hollywood Nights," "Like A Rock," "Her Strut," "We've Got Tonight," "Against The Wind," "Still The Same" and others — as well as his two No. 1 radio singles from 2011, "Downtown Train" and "Hey Hey Hey Hey (Going Back To Birmingham)."
Taylor Swift, Speak Now World Tour Live (Big Machine)
The DVD and Blu-ray releases comprise all 17 songs performed on the North American leg of the Speak Now World Tour, as well as bonus content. The live CD is made up of select performances from the Speak DVD. Click here to see Tracy May's photos from her Nov. 12 stop at the forum.
The Wildfire, Lost Summer EP (Caveman Records)
Yelawolf, Radioactive (Xenon)
The Alabama rapper presents a sophomore LP with an all-star cast of guests — Eminem, Mystikal, Kid Rock, Lil Jon and others. Check out "Let's Roll" feat. Kid Rock below.
Br'er, City Of Ice (Edible Onion)
Philadelphia-based musician Benjamin Schurr is Br’er, who uses the alias to create dark sentimental soundscapal pop. Listen to "You Go, We'll Stay Here" below.
Doomtree, No Kings (Doomtree Records)
The Duke Spirit, Bruiser (Shangri-La)
London’s own The Duke Spirit returns with a third album recorded with acclaimed producer Andrew Scheps (Johnny Cash, Weezer, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, U2) "We put our songs on a diet, got them lean, mean and hungry sounding," singer Liela Moss has said of the dozen stripped-down tracks on the band's new album. Listen to "Don't Wait" below.
Make Do and Mend, Part and Parcel EP (Paper + Plastick)
Brett Netson, Simple Work for the Dead (The New Black Records)
The Built To Spill guitarist presents his debut LP.
Nirvana, Nevermind: A 20th Anniversary Tribute (Pride)
A double DVD set made up of two documentary films — the first traces Nirvana’s rise to world stardom, the second looks at the band’s legacy.
New York Dolls, Lookin' Fine On Television (MVD)
Bob Gruen's archival (early 1970s) footage of the legendary NYC punk band New York Dolls eventually became the critically acclaimed doc, All Dolled Up. For this release, more of his footage was edited down to 15 live music video-style clips.
RIOT, Immortal Soul (Steamhammer)
Sea Lions, Everything You Always Wanted To Know About Sea Lions But Were Afraid To Ask (Slumberland)
Sunbears!, You Will Live Forever (New Granada Records)
The Jacksonville duo issues their first-ever LP. Click here to read my review of the album. Then, listen to "Give Love a Try" and watch the video for "They Think They're Soooo Philosophical," both cuts off the album, below; the band plays a CD release party at New World this Wed., Nov. 23; tickets are $8.
Toh Kay, Streelight Lullabies (Pentimento Music Company)
Tomas Kalnoky, frontman for Warped Tour faves Streetlight Manifesto, sparse, personal arrangements of 10 Streetlight Manifesto in his solo acoustic LP.
Various Artists, Punk Goes Pop Volume 4 (Fearless Records)
Another compilation by PGP. Among the performers are Allstar Weekend (Chris Brown’s "Yeah 3X"), Go Radio (Adele’s "Rolling In The Deep"), I See Stars (Britney Spears’ "Till The World Ends") and The Ready Set ("Roll Up" by Wiz Khalifa).