Now, this is what I’m talking about. It’s less than a week until the Grammys, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I’m getting ready for my first legitimate trip to a record store to buy new music in 2012. Lots of stuff happening this week, boys and girls, so rev your engines and let’s get started.

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for all of 2012 so far, you are well aware that A Different Kind of Truth, Van Halen’s first full album of new material with David Lee Roth at the helm in thirty frickin’ years (and their first album of new material with ANY lead singer since the late Nineties) is in stores today. Anticipation runs high for this bad boy, with most folks saying it’s surprisingly good. As you’re digging around online looking for reviews, make sure you check out our look through VH’s sterling discography. Part Two will be published later today.

Guess what, folks? It’s time for another “Now That’s What I Call Music” compilation. The venerable “mixtape” series (in the original sense of the word) has reached the 41st volume, which, as per usual, features most of the songs that have been plastered all over the radio in the past several months, including Adele’s “Someone Like You”, LMFAO’s “Sexy And I Know It” and hits from the likes of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry.

If the “Now” series had existed back in the Seventies, it’s pretty safe to say that Paul McCartney would’ve been featured in many of the volumes. The Cute Beatle is still cranking the albums out, and his latest effort (Kisses From the Bottom… kinda gross, actually)  is a standards album! I know many of you may run away screaming when confronted with that concept, no matter who the artist is, but I think Paul has generated enough goodwill for something like this to actually go over. Another concept that’s been run to the ground-ironically enough-is Beatles covers, and for her first album in some time, 70s radio staple Roberta Flack (last seen performing with Maxwell on the Grammys a couple of years ago) is revisiting some of her favorite Beatles songs on Let It Be…Roberta. This makes more sense than many Beatles covers albums, considering Flack has long made her home at the Dakota, the New Yorkbuilding where Yoko Ono lives, and where John Lennon made his home until his 1980 death.

As if that wasn’t enough, there’s even more! The Fray is a band that’s been somewhat unfairly maligned as the American version of Coldplay. These Northwestern boys are way more mainstream pop-rock than Coldplay is, and if there was an earnest-off, The Fray’s Isaac Slade would kick Chris Martin’s ass. Anyway, their third album, Scars & Stories is out today. On the other side of the coin, Of Montreal, an act whose music defies description. It’s indie-rock, it’s pop-dance, it’s freak-funk. Who cares? It’s good! They’ve got a new one, Paralytic Stalks, out today.

Tim McGraw didn’t satisfy your country jones with his album a couple weeks back? Make sure you check out the new one from Dierks Bentley, simply titled Home. Finally, this week’s exhaustive New Release Report wraps up with the Mark Lanegan Band. The former Screaming Trees frontman is back with the optimistically (not) titled Blues Funeral.

As always, make sure you’re checking out Pause and Play for a complete list of this week’s releases. ‘Cause, you know, we miss a couple sometimes! Happy Tuesday!

Be Sociable, Share!