Some big name stuff coming out today, so let’s get right to it. Ladies and gentlemen, prepare to open your wallets!!

Chris Brown “F.A.M.E.”– The acronym in the title stands for “forgiving all my enemies”, which doesn’t exactly put me back on Team CB (well, to be fair, I was never on the dude’s team to begin with). No one forced you to beat the shit out of your girlfriend, doggie. Anyway, considering the barrage of hits he’s had recently (no pun intended), it looks like Chris still has a very strong fan base, and his fourth album is expected to debut atop the charts next week. I’m assuming it will feature the Grammy nominated “Deuces”, as well as the slow jam “No BS”, the Euro-poppy “Yeah 3X” and current hit “Look at Me Now”, which features the ubiquitous Lil Wayne and the now-desperate-for-relevance Busta Rhymes. I think Bieber might be on this one too. Hopefully, the Biebs isn’t taking career advice from this dude.

Jennifer Hudson “I Remember Me”– Weight Watchers may have melted lots of pounds off of J. Hud’s frame, but it certainly hasn’t negatively affected her Earth-rattling vocals. On the plus side here, first single “Where You At” is one of R. Kelly’s better recent songs, and there are three joints here co-produced by Alicia Keys and Swizz Beatz (who have built up some serious goodwill following Whitney’s “Million Dollar Bill”. On the minus side, I realize it’s Jennifer’s Weight Watchers theme and all, but does anyone need another cover of “Feeling Good”?

Duran Duran “All You Need is Now”– So, the latest comeback effort from Duran Duran was released online a few months back, but the physical version comes out today, and it has a ton of extra tracks (see, there’s a benefit when you buy physical sometimes!). Simon, Nick, John and Roger are in good form on this one, thanks to some killer production from Mark Ronson. So, you mean…in order for Duran Duran to make a really good album, all they had to do was sound like Duran Duran again? Who knew?

The Strokes “Angles”– Jesse’s already reviewed this. As for me? I’ve always liked these dudes. Despite their whole “too cool for the room” vibe, they at least know how to make songs with memorable hooks and great riffs. The Entertainment Weekly review I read of this album praised it and dissed it at the same time, which really confused me. What does that mean? I need to listen to the damn album by myself and form my own opinion.

Guess what? That’s just the beginning! Also out this week (in something resembling alphabetical order), United States of Sound, the new solo album by Richard Ashcroft of The Verve. This one’s produced by No I.D., better known as Common and Kanye’s main man. This could be a very interesting record. Also on the interesting side, the last album legendary soulman Solomon Burke made before his death. Entitled Hold on Tight, it was recorded with Dutch band De Dijk. Before I commit a crime here, can someone give me the proper pronunciation of this band’s name? ‘Cause if the band’s name is pronounced the way I think it’s pronounced, I’m just gonna go ahead and make a joke about Burke working very well with De Dijk (the man had 27 kids). Moving on…

Moving on, there’s a new one from Edwyn Collins (remember 1995’s awesome “A Girl Like You”?), which features contributions from Franz Ferdinand’s Alex Kapranos and Johnny Marr, as well as a new set from inspirational titan Kirk Franklin, a completely unnecessary live album from Green Day (is this how we know our favorite bands jump the shark? When they start making tons of shitty live records?), a completely unnecessary studio album from Gucci Mane, the country debut from former John Mayer clone Josh Kelley (AKA Mr. Katherine Heigl, AKA the brother of the dude in Lady Antebellum with the beard), a live stopgap album from Adam Lambert, a new one from Panic! at the Disco (whose fifteen minutes ran out about three years ago), and brand new sets from Saliva and Yellowcard (both of whose fifteen minutes ran out about three years before Panic! at the Disco’s did).

Want more than just the highlights? Annoyed with my editorializing? Make sure you check out Pauseandplay.com, which is where I get all my info from. Just don’t blame them for my editorializing.

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