The last couple of weeks have been pretty quiet on the new release front. Well, folks, brace yourselves. ‘Cause there’s a TON of stuff coming out this Tuesday and for the next several Tuesdays. Let’s jump right into it, huh?

Linkin Park occasionally gets lumped in with the whole nu-metal movement, which is kinda sad, because I think Chester Bennington and Mike Shinoda have more musical talent in their pinkie fingers than Fred Durst has in his whole body. At least SOME people realize that-something tells me that Rick Rubin wouldn’t work with the Bizkit if his life depended on it. The band’s fourth studio album, “A Thousand Suns” has been preceded by the single and video “The Catalyst”, which is already #1 on Billboard’s rock charts. This bodes well for the success of the album, I would think.

A decade ago, a new Weezer album would be cause for jumping up and down in the air amongst a certain element of rock fan. Nowadays, folks seem to thumb their noses at the band because…well, I’m not sure why. Maybe there’s just a lot of people out there with an unhealthy attachment to “Pinkerton”? (if that’s the case, though…then why didn’t anyone buy the damn thing when it first came out?). Rivers Cuomo does seem to be doing things a little differently lately-Weezer’s last album had contributions from Dr. Luke, Jermaine Dupri and Lil Wayne, while “Hurley” (the band’s latest effort) has been shrouded in head-scratchiness from the initial announcement of it’s release. All I care about is that Rivers and co. come up with some more great power-pop anthems to nod my head to. That’s all I require.

I’ve only recently discovered Chromeo, but man…talk about a “where have you been all my life” moment. The funkiest Canadians making music today are poised for a commercial breakthrough with their latest effort, “Business Casual”. Anything that reminds me of the Eighties scores points with me, and the Chromeo guys seem to have successfully found the missing link between caffeinated retro-dance and melodic pop. Good shit.

Trey Songz is R&B’s it-dude right now, plain and simple. Remember how R. Kelly came out and pretty much stole Aaron Hall’s career? Trey appears to have done the same with Kelly’s career, after the latter artist’s “Untitled” LP came and went with a thud at the end of last year. Wasting no time following up his commercial breakthrough, “Ready”, Songz is unleashing “Passion, Pain and Pleasure”. His fourth album appears to make a conscious effort to mix the typical mindless club ‘n B anthems (first single “Bottoms Up” features Nicki Minaj, as does just about every other R&B record out now) and a more traditional soul sound. Let’s hope the dude matures properly and doesn’t go the Usher route.

Of Montreal appear to be the hipster band of choice for the alt-R&B elite. Janelle Monae did a song with them on “The ArchAndroid”, and she also appears on the Georgia band’s new album, “False Priest”. Solange Knowles also makes an appearance, but the thing that seals the deal on this record for me? Jon Brion produced it. Everything that dude touches turns to gold. I’m in.

If THAT wasn’t enough, you might also want to check out: “Everything Comes and Goes”, a six-song EP from Michelle Branch that’s her first new solo release in over half a decade. There’s also the solo debuts from Godsmack’s Sully Erna and The Killers’ Brandon Flowers (who apparently suffers from “Dave Matthews Disease” A.K.A. “why are you making a solo record when you are the only recognizable member of the band you’re STILL in??). Robert Plant follows up his Grammy-winning “Raising Sand” album with Alison Krauss with “Band of Joy”, the legendary Mavis Staples brings her gospelly growl to “You Are Not Alone” (produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy), and finally, “Grace & Gratitude Renewed” is the brand new album by…you guessed it, Olivia Newton-John. I suppose I could save an ONJ video for a Hump Day Flashback, but when it comes to Bolivia Neutron-Bomb, why wait?

I get all of my new release info from Pause and Play, and you should too!!!

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