That dripping sound you heard? The sound of several hundred thousand undergarments moistening on the way to the record st…uh, the computer to score Under the Mistletoe, the latest release from hearthtrob Justin Bieber. The second major holiday release of 2011 (following last week’s new album by fellow Canuck dreamboat Michael Buble), Bieber’s bid for Christmas album immortality features guest spots by Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men, both of whom have huge-selling holiday albums of their own. Look for this one to sell like hotcakes from now through the end of the year.

Another commercial “gimme”? The new album by Susan Boyle. “Someone to Watch Over Me” is the title of her third album, and it features versions of the now-standard title track, as well as covers of Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence” and Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now”, all of which will hopefully never cross my ears. No disrespect to Susan, the woman can certainly sing. Just definitely not my cup of tea. But blue-haired old ladies and their sandals-and-argyle-socks-loving husbands are gonna buy the shit out of this one at Wal-mart and Target.

As with most November release dates, there’s a glut of big-name releases. As if the Biebs and Boyle weren’t enough, there’s at least three other albums coming out with the potential to do big numbers. Already much-derided, the Metallica/Lou Reed collaboration LuLu hits stores today. While you have to give Metallica props for trying something different (I mean, it’s not like an album with someone who’s NEVER sold records is the most commercially savvy decision in the world), all indications point to this album being a certified piece of shit. Be on the flop-alert for this one. There’s also Ceremonials, the second album from Florence & the Machine (which seems like a bit of a quickie for me…the smarter move would’ve been to put this out at the beginning of 2012) and the latest album by country badass Miranda Lambert, who came into her own as a star last year.

But wait, there’s more! The new album by urban-indie supergroup Idle Warship (featuring rapper Talib Kweli and singer Res) has been available for streaming on Spotify for a couple of weeks now, and it’s a pretty solid effort. That’s definitely one worth shelling out for. While we’re on the hip-hop tip, D.C. rapper Wale made a lot of noise for signing with Rick Ross’s Maybach Music imprint. Let’s see if signing with the Bawse does anything for his career, as his sophomore album, Ambition, gets released today. Also on the release schedule for today, new albums from Megadeth (did Dave Mustaine choose this day on purpose to compete with his former Metallica bandmates?) and singer/rapper/actor Tyrese.

This week’s two major reissue projects are The Beach Boys’ Smile Sessions, an exhaustive set that details the sessions behind pop music’s most storied unreleased album (at least until a few years ago) in finite detail, as well as a 20th anniversary reissue of U2’s Achtung Baby, flush with demos, bonus tracks and remixes. There’s also a super-deluxe fan edition for folks whose wallets are much fatter than mine. Maybe Bono can buy me one as a Christmas gift.

Y’all know the routine. Pause and Play is your source for a complete listing of this week’s (and every week’s) new releases. Check it out!!

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