It’s mid-November, just a week and change until Thanksgiving, so of course there are a ton of albums coming out today. Most of them, however, are either compilations or repackagings. Some of them are worth it. Some of them, not so much. Anyway, here’s a sampling of the new old stuff you’re gonna see in stores and online this week.

Easily, the biggest news is a massive reissue of Bruce Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. The Boss’s fourth studio album, it contains some of Springsteen’s most memorable songs-including the title track, “Badlands”, and “Prove it All Night” (which wound up being the closest thing “Darkness” had to a hit single). The revised version is now a 3 CD/3 DVD behemoth, containing a documentary about the recording of the album as well as over 20 unreleased tracks. Bruce fans, who are quite the devoted lot, are probably jizzing in their pants right now.

Also on the reissue/compilation front, you get  Billy Joel’s “The Hits”, a single-disc distillation of the Piano Man’s classics. Billy Joel’s one of those artists who has too much good material for a single disc compilation, so I’m not really sure why this exists. There’s also Rod Stewart’s “Once in a Blue Moon”, a collection of rock (not standards) covers that was recorded back in 1992 but never released (Rod hit paydirt with “Unplugged and Seated” a year later. On a more modern tip, two of the biggest female artists of the decade are releasing their first hits compilations-Pink and Nelly Furtado. Ms. Furtado’s “Best of” charts her transformation from hippie-chick to dance-centric MILF, while Pink’s “Greatest Hits…So Far” follows her from her beginnings as a blue-eyed soulstress to the feisty pop-rocker she is today.

“Featuring…” collects the many collaborations Norah Jones has done over the years, and might be one of the few instances where you’ll find Dolly Parton and Q-Tip on the same album, while fans of Jimi Hendrix and The Bee Gees will be treated to new career-spanning box sets.

Far as new stuff goes, this week’s big “get” is Rihanna’s fifth (FIFTH???) album, “Loud”. If you’d told me five years ago that I’d be checking for Rihanna as much as I do now, I’d have had you checked for rocks in your head. Her evolution as an artist (or her access to better material) has been one of the more surprising developments of the past few years. I’m on board till she makes a shitty record, and despite the fact that I think “Only Girl (in the World)” is fairly mediocre, I still think “Loud” will be a solid album.

Rihanna (and Bruce) will be vying for the top spot on next week’s charts with some pretty big names, including 4th quarter assassin Josh Groban. His new “Illuminations” album finds the crooner replacing David Foster in the producer’s chair with Rick Rubin (big step up), but while Josh seems like an incredibly nice guy, his music just isn’t my cup of tea. Then you’ve got Kid Rock, whose music sucks for the most part AND seems like an asshole. “Born Free” is the title of his latest-let’s see if he catches lightning in a bottle like he did last album with “All Summer Long”.

On the country tip, Rascal Flatts and Keith Urban both release new albums today, and Nelly (who has no ties to country music except for that duet with Tim McGraw which I secretly like) finds himself on the comeback trail. The dude who was once the 2nd hottest rapper out (after Eminem) caught a massive brick a couple years back with “Brass Knuckles”. “5.0” is the name of his latest, and despite the fact that he can’t count (this is actually his sixth studio album), a comeback seems like it might be on the horizon for him, as “Just a Dream” has shaped up to be quite a solid hit.

If THAT wasn’t enough, there’s Christmas albums from the “Glee” cast and Annie Lennox (separately), the debut album from “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze (which is certain to flop massively), and comeback efforts from Eighties stalwarts Juice Newton (a duets album) and Freddie Jackson (the poor man’s Luther).

If that isn’t enough for you, make sure you check out Pause and Play for all the hot poop on new music!

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