The week before Thanksgiving is typically the week that record companies bring out their big guns. There will be quite a few major records battling for chart supremacy this week, and most of them will have a 24-hour jump on the average music release, since many of the albums are being made available for sale on Monday instead of Tuesday. Here’s what you should be looking for:

Kanye West “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy”– Kanye’s fifth album has been met with rapturous acclaim by the hip-hop press and mainstream wags alike. Not much of a surprise-despite bad press, Kanye’s never really gotten bad REVIEWS. While I was underwhelmed by a lot of the songs individually, I’m looking forward to hearing the album as one cohesive piece. Kanye’s one of those folks who still makes albums to be listened to as albums as opposed to as a collection of singles.

My Chemical Romance “Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys”– I’ve complained several times that rock bands don’t seem to bring it like they used to back in the day-MCR is one of those bands keeping old school rock ‘n roll pop circumstance (and pretentiousness) alive. They certainly have a very loyal army of fans. It’s been four years since their last album-can they keep the momentum going or have their fans abandoned them the same way they ditched Fall Out Boy and other bands who were popular three or four years ago?

Ne-Yo “Libra Scale”– There’s certainly a major difference sound-wise between Ne-Yo and MCR, but both acts are releasing concept albums today, and neither album has a concept that I’m willing to waste any print space on, because they’re a little confusing and probably not integral to your enjoyment of the album. At any rate, the 21st century Babyface is coming off the success of his excellent third album “Year of the Gentlemten”. “Libra”‘s been compromised by tons of leaks and release date changes. However, Ne-Yo is in a master class as far as songwriters go, really the closest thing to a modern day MJ. So silly concept aside, “Libra Scale” definitely deserves a listen.

Other noteworthy new albums being released this week include “Pink Friday”, the highly anticipated debut album by rapper Nicki Minaj, as well as “Body Talk” by Robyn-a compilation of sorts, combining the two “Body Talk” EPs she’s released so far this year with new material. Two of the music industry’s biggest cash cows of 2010 return for some of that Christmas money-Ke$ha attempts to combat the sophomore jinx with “Cannibal”, while Justin Bieber recasts his teen-pop hits as acoustic anthems with “My Worlds Acoustic”.

On the re-issue tip, two titles strike my fancy. Nine Inch Nails’ seminal debut, “Pretty Hate Machine”, is getting the redux treatment. By far my favorite NIN album, “Hate” is being gussied up with new artwork and an extra track in addition to the usual remaster deal. There’s also Jay-Z’s first American Hits collection, featuring a second disc of rarities. Despite the fact that I own each of Jay’s studio albums, that second disc has me seriously considering purchasing this compilation. I’m such a sucker.

Of course, get the full list of new releases at Pauseandplay.com.

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