Things are starting to perk up a wee bit with this week’s new releases. While there’s still not a big-name slam-dunk release in the near future, I guess there’s enough mid-range releases to make up for it? Wishful thinking? Here’s a couple of this week’s more important releases…

The Decemberists The King is Dead- I gave The Decemberists a chance. After hearing The Crane Wife in a co-worker’s cubicle at the beginning of 2007, I bought it…was nonplussed pretty quickly and sold it back. I skipped 2009’s Hazards of Love entirely, and probably won’t be running out to get this new album, even with the added incentive of featuring R.E.M.’s Peter Buck on a couple of tracks. Not that I dislike the band or anything-they’re just not my speed. Although if this album has a more pronounced R.E.M. influence…I don’t know. Maybe I’ll give it a shot. Maybe.

The Script Science & Faith- When I did a piece on The Script’s new single, I had no idea that the album was coming out this week. However, the Irish heartthrobs’ second full-length indeed arrives on U.S. shores today. I must admit, the overseas/domestic release thing is pretty disconcerting these days, especially since it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to get the album when it’s initially available. What’s the incentive for waiting? A song with B.o.B.? Not good enough. At any rate, The Script’s first album was decent. I might give this album a shot, depending on how much dough I have to spend and whether I hear good things from the samples I’m gonna check out before plunking down a ten spot.

James Blunt Some Kind of Trouble- Something tells me ol’ Blunty is gonna need more than a video on which he strips naked and a dalliance on the Oprah show to regain the brief moment he spent as the hottest male singer around a few years back. I still have nightmares about “You’re Beautiful”, although I suppose I should also admit that I bought the album it came from (used-for three bucks. Right after it came out, too! Score!!) So, yeah…this is another one of those albums that had a delayed release in America…it’s been out in Blunty’s (I like that name) native U.K. for several months. Not that I think it matters-his career is probably over.

Social Distortion Hard Times & Nursery Rhymes- Blah blah blah. Legendary. Blah blah blah. Mike Ness. If you’re reading this and you do know who Social D is, you’re probably cussing me out for being flip. If you’re reading this and you don’t know who Social D is, their Wikipedia page can probably tell you much more than I can. The seminal hardcore band teased this new album (their first studio effort in seven years) with a performance on Kimmel last week, and although I feel like bands like this always preach to the choir, there’s a little antiestablishment elf in me that hopes that Social D winds up debuting at #1 next week. Not likely, but faintly possible.

Check out a review of the new Social D album on Broken Headphone.

Also out today, the first new music from Gregg Allman in fourteen years, plus a new Kidz Bop effort (yay!) and live albums from Phish and Pearl Jam (although not together, because that album would be 7 hours long and probably smell bad.)

Want the entire list of this week’s new releases? Make sure you mosey on down to Pause and Play and check out this week’s releases as well as the schedule of new music releases for the foreseeable future.

You might also want to check out Pause and Play founder Gerry Galipault’s interview with the esteemed Jeff Giles over at my second home, Popdose.

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