I know I’ve mentioned my frustration with labels who release several superstar albums in the same week before, but I believe my point is valid enough to bear repeating. Last week, new albums by Lil Wayne and the Red Hot Chili Peppers were both released. The Chili Peppers’ label had to know that an album by that band had the capability to do really well in it’s first week, but that there was no way that it was going to come close to outselling an album by the most popular rapper in the universe. Sure enough, the Peppers’ album is on tap to sell something like 250,000 copies in it’s first week-a great number that will ultimately be dwarfed by the million or so units Weezy is going to move within the same time frame. Meanwhile, had the Chili Peppers’ album been released a week earlier or a week later (maybe, depending on how much Tha Carter IV slides in week 2), they could potentially be looking at a #1 album. Would the numbers have been different? Likely not. But #1 still sounds a lot better than #2, and there’s nothing coming out this week that could have potentially challenged Anthony, Flea and Co. Except…
George Strait is one of those guys who seems to put out a new album every year, and pulls out the same six figure sum annually. He’s as dependable a music star as you can find these days, and as I’m not very familiar with his music, I wonder if he’s really that good or if his albums are as interchangeable as those big-ass cowboy hats he wears on every album cover. Here For A Good Time is the name of Strait’s umpteenth album, and it’s sure to debut atop the country charts.
There’s been quite a bit of buzz surrounding Lindsey Buckingham lately. Not only has the talented singer/songwriter announced yet another Fleetwood Mac reunion for 2012, he also showed up in a “What’s Up With That?” skit on Saturday Night Live, playing himself. All that is sure to be solid promotion for Seeds We Sow, which is the name of his latest solo album. After going decades between albums, Sow is Lindsey’s third release in six years. Gotta love increased productivity!
I’ve only taken a brief taste of The Rapture via the Danger Mouse-produced album they put out a few years ago. I wasn’t crazy about it, but it was OK, I guess. Plenty of other folks liked it though, and The Rapture retains a solid fan base even as they go indie with the new release In The Grace Of Your Love. They are joined on the release schedule by Hank Williams III (who generally eschews his last name professionally). Hank is going balls out with three separate releases-there’s a “traditional” Hank III country release, as well as a “doom rock” project (what is doom rock? I’m old!) and an odd record that mixes speed metal and…cattle calling? Yep, you read that right. *hums theme to “Deliverance”.
On the “Where Have They Been?” tip, we have the first U.S. release in 22 years from Grace Jones. Hurricane has actually been out overseas (where people appreciate Grace a little more), but is finally getting some American love. Music listeners, take heed and check out the place where Rihanna got more than a little of her style from. There’s also a new album from Leather Tuscadero herself, Suzi Quatro. The seminal female rocker has not released an album in the U.S. in 31 (31!!!) years. In The Spotlight is the name of the album, it reunites Suzi with producer Mike Chapman, and contains…a Rihanna cover? I swear I didn’t make it up.
Check out the full list of this week’s releases here and make sure you’re checking Pause and Play (and us, of course) out weekly!