The weather’s supposed to be getting warm soon, right? As spring approaches, the level of music releases arriving in stores and online seems to be picking up as well. No home-runs this week, but a healthy smattering of releases are arriving that should appeal to music fans of all shapes and sizes. Let’s take a look at some of them.

Marsha Ambrosius: Late Nights & Early Mornings: The singing half of R&B/rap duo Floetry got caught up in the Dr.Dre/Aftermath “my album is coming out in Nevuary” vortex for a while. Thankfully, she freed herself from that issue and is officially releasing her solo debut. The first two singles, “Hope She Cheats on You (With a Basketball Player” and “Far Away” have been reasonably well-received, and more importantly, have been GOOD. Who knows? 2011 might be the year of the female British soul vocalist. Caron Wheeler, where you at?

Beady Eye: Different Gear Still Speeding– Well, whaddya know? Jesse just wrote about the new album by Oasis minus Noel Gallagher last week and now it’s in stores available for your consumption! JOB definitely digs the album, which contains more mature songwriting from Liam Gallagher and sensitive production from the legendary Steve Lillywhite. Might this be one of 2011’s sleeper albums? Quite possible.

Lucinda Williams: Blessed The highly regarded singer/songwriter is returning with her first album in 2 1/2 years. My buds at Popdose are already going gaga for this record, Lucinda’s first in 2 1/2 years (would you believe that 2008’s Little Honey was the first Top Ten album of her career?)

Dropkick Murphys: Going Out in Style– It’s two weeks until St. Patrick’s Day, and the holiday has just received it’s official soundtrack with the release of the Murphys’ latest album. If I don’t mention that this album is coming out, they might kick me out of Boston.

Middle Brother: Middle Brother– This week’s sleeper pick comes courtesy of Middle Brother-sort of an indie rock supergroup, featuring John McCauley (lead singer of raucous, rootsy New Englanders Deer Tick), Taylor Goldsmith (lead singer of California country-rock outfit Dawes) and Matt Vasquez from Delta Spirit, who I’m not as familiar with as the other two bands. I got an early listen to this album-kick ass. With rootsy stylings all the rage these days, I feel pretty comfortable that most folks who are on the more folk-y side of things will dig this. If you liked Monsters of Folk, pick this up.

Indie fave Lykke Li has an album out today also, and if you have a hankering for the music that was popular 10 years ago, you might want to check out Country Boy, the first solo album from Staind’s Aaron Lewis. If you have a hankering for the music that was popular fifteen years ago, then the new  John Popper (of Blues Traveler/junior militia fame) might be good for you. If you have a hankering for reissues of product that’s already been reissued to death, check out the latest titles in Universal Music’s “Icon” series. Artists featured include The Gap Band, Loretta Lynn, Kool & the Gang and .38 Special. The fact that these compilations exist is an extreme head scratcher for me-how many times are you going to repackage and reissue the same 12 songs?

Make sure you check out the full list of this week’s new releases (and new releases for the foreseeable future) by checking out Pause and Play!


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