Well, just about every day in the Popblerd offices could be called “strangeland,” but in this case, we’re talking about the new studio album from British trio Keane. Their last album and a half (one of them was an EP–I’m trying to be clever here, folks…) explored sounds beyond their typical emotional piano pop, to mixed results. So this album is being touted as a return to form. As someone who digs Keane in any incarnation, I’m excited to hear this album.

They are joined on this release date by British singer Michael Kiwanuka, who you might remember from a “Who The Hell Is?” column we posted a month or so ago. His debut album is entitled Home Again, and it is being released today, with one caveat. It’s a digital-only release. So, if you’re someone that likes CDs (yes, there are still some of us,) then you’ll either have to hit Amazon and spring for an import copy, or you’re gonna have to wait until later this summer, when a physical version is released. Or you could just download it from your digital provider of choice and burn it to a CD, I guess.

I discovered Silversun Pickups upon obtaining a copy of their most recent album, 2009’s Swoon. I dug it fair enough, and this sets the stage for my likely purchase of their new album, Neck of the Woods. They’re definitely a favorite of the staff–we covered their single “Bloody Mary (Nerve Endings)” when it debuted a few weeks back.

Casual fans know him as Gene Ween, superfans know him as Aaron Freeman, and the mercurial musician is set to release the first solo album under his given name, Marvelous Clouds. Is it becoming a prerequisite that every street date has at least one release with the word “clouds” in it? Some artists who are releasing albums today with titles that do not include the word “clouds” include Glenn Frey (riding the standards train with After Hours-his first studio album in nearly two decades), film composer/songwriter/husband of Ingrid Michaelson Greg Laswell, hit making gospel/pop duo Mary Mary, R&B lothario Tank, and Nickel Creek’s Sara Watkins, whose album Sun Midnight Sun features an all-star cast that includes her brother Sean, as well as Fiona Apple, Jackson Browne and Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith.

Reissues/Comps: For your child who’s too young to even listen to Justin Bieber (“mom, what does ‘swag on you’ mean?”) there’s Kidz Bop Ultimate Hits. For your older child who’s over-tanning and sneaking out at night wearing skimpy-ass clothes, there’s Pitbull‘s Original Hits, which covers the years before he was Jennifer Lopez’s favorite guest rapper. For your geeky brother (that would be me in this situation) there’s Stop Us If You’ve Heard This Before!, a rarities collection from Canuck nice-guys Barenaked Ladies, and for your diva sister (or your gay brother) there’s The Essential Mariah Carey, yet another compilation (there are several) that takes a look at Mimi’s decade on Columbia Records.

WTF Release of the Week: There are actually several to choose from!! Damon Albarn (of Blur & Gorillaz fame) is releasing Dr. Dee, a song cycle about John Dee, who apparently was a medical advisor to Queen Elizabeth I. This album was recorded with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra. For something even wackier than that, check out Dee Snider (of Twisted Sister fame) and his album Dee Does Broadway, which is…a collection of show tunes! Ever wanted to hear what Dee with Patti LuPone would sound like? It’s here! What about Dee with Clay Aiken? It’s here too! The third album in this week’s WTF trilogy is AM/FM, an album of classics from the Sixties and Seventies recorded by Rita Wilson, AKA Mrs. Tom Hanks. Rita was able to rustle up guest shots from Sheryl Crow, Patty Scialfa and Jackson Browne (there he is again!) for this release. I guess between his wife doing covers and his son rapping, the Hanks’ family is much more musical than we thought.

As always, get a full list of this week’s releases over at Pause and Play.

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