This week at your local record store (if you even have a local record store), there will be an epic battle. A rumble for the ages. On one side, multi-tattooed rapper Game with his long-delayed R.E.D. Album (a title that certainly has nothing to do with his Blood affiliation). On the other side, legendary pop diva Barbra Streisand with an album called What Matters Most: The Songs of Marilyn & Alan Bergman. OK, so maybe this isn’t really an epic battle for the ages. After all, I couldn’t care less about either of these albums. Game wore out his welcome with me a long time ago, and the fact that this album has been tossed around release schedules for the past year and change doesn’t bode well for it’s success. And despite the fact that I have The Gay, I’ve never really checked for her beyond her big hits and Bee Gee collaborations (and that one song with Bryan Adams was nice.) I wonder if there’s gonna be one person in the entire world who purchases both albums. If there is, I think I’d want to meet him or her.

What would be even crazier? If the same person who bought the Game and Streisand albums went ahead and purchased The Muppets: The Green Album. With Muppet-mania reaching a level not seen since Jim Henson’s death, it’s the perfect time for some of pop and rock’s biggest acts to pay tribute to songs that probably inspired them when they were growing up (and still sound great-these are some well-written tunes.) OK Go, My Morning Jacket and Weezer (natch) are among the acts that appear on this compilation.

Dave Stewart is a busy, busy man. The former Eurythmic produced Stevie Nicks’ comeback album earlier this year, he’s collaborating with Mick Jagger, Joss Stone and others on a project entitled SuperHeavy, and he’s got his own album out called The Blackbird Diaries. Martina McBride & Colbie Caillat stop by for a song each. Annie Lennox? Nowhere to be found. There are also new joints from electro-pop outfit CSS, alt-rock legend Stephen Malkmus (his new album is produced by Beck…pretty sweet), and there’s some stuff going on on the reissue tip as well.

Remember when the O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack won the Album of the Year Grammy, surprising a ton of people (including me)? Well, that was a decade ago, ladies and gentlemen, and now’s the time for the obligatory tenth anniversary deluxe treatment. The country-folk soundtrack has been repackaged with a second disc containing 17 (!) extra tracks! There’s also a best-of set from punk/alt pioneer & best-selling author Patti Smith, the wide release of a Sonic Youth compilation that was originally sold exclusively at Starbucks locations, and a cool set on Hip-O Select that looks at R&B diva Stephanie Mills’ initial rise to fame on 20th Century Records. It runs from 1979-1981 and contains many of her biggest hits, including the smash “Never Knew Love Like This Before”.

Make sure you’re checking out Pause & Play for a comprehensive listing of current and upcoming releases!

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