No, not NOTHING nothing! “Nothing”! It’s the new album from N.E.R.D.!

Good Lord, I’m corny.

Anyway, this week’s list of new releases is headed up by the fourth effort from Pharrell, Chad and that other dude that doesn’t do shit. To my mild shock, it turned out to actually be a decent album. Probably my favorite Pharrell-related effort other than “In Search Of…”, the first N.E.R.D. album. It sounds fun, Pharrell’s voice and lyrics are less annoying than usual, and they keep the guests to a reasonable minimum-in this case, you get a quick cameo from T.I., a song featuring Nelly Furtado, and a song produced by Daft Punk (not surprisingly, it’s the best song on the album). I reviewed it for Eat Sleep Drink Music and you can check that review out right here.

In other news, it’s also the fourth time around for country singer Jason Aldean. His new “My Kinda Party” extends an olive branch to the pop community via a duet with Kelly Clarkson that’s already gaining some buzz. Jason is joined on the new release slate by Elvis Costello, whose “National Ransom” continues the barrage of studio albums Costello’s been churning out lately. Former opera prodigy Charlotte Church is all grown up and is releasing her first album in half a decade, “Back to Scratch”. There’s also a new set from Neil Diamond, on the heels of his Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nomination. Even more country goodness with a new Brad Paisley live/studio combo, the third effort from hipster-pop duo Matt & Kim, and “Soulsville”, the first effort in nearly a decade by Huey Lewis & the News.

Good Charlotte’s back on the comeback trail with “Cardiology”, and Train is re-releasing their Gold album “Save Me, San Francisco” with a couple of new tracks, including a holiday song. Speaking of the holidays, the officially preggo Mariah Carey is returning to the holiday well. Her 1994 hit “All I Want for Christmas is You” has become something of a holiday standard, and there’s hope that “Merry Christmas II You” will not only spawn a standard or two of it’s own, but will also put Mariah’s career back on the right track after a couple of moderately performing albums. There’s a good chance it’ll become one of the two or three biggest holiday titles this year.

As always, make sure you’re checking out Pause and Play to get a full list of this week’s releases.

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