The 4th of July is Wednesday, and peoples’ minds will be less on buying music than it will be on tasty BBQ items, shooting of fireworks, and watching baseball on TV. This might be why the release schedule is somewhat lighter than in past weeks. There are still a couple of big names that might make some noise, though.

First and foremost is Chris Brown. One would think, that with the level of bad publicity Chris has gotten over the years, that his career would’ve fallen into the toilet. However, it’s a new day and people don’t seem as fazed by bad behavior as they once were. So acts that could’ve killed Chris’s career 20 or 30 years ago are shrugged off these days. Last year’s F.A.M.E. kicked off his comeback in earnest, selling close to a million copies and winning Chris his first Grammy Award. This year’s Fortune offers a similar mix of R&B slow jams and electro-thumping uptempo numbers. Will it continue his success? Although public reception to most of the songs released so far has been muted, I wouldn’t count Team Breezy out. I guess a little bad behavior goes a long way in some circles.

Flo-Rida doesn’t sell as many albums as Chris Brown (and certainly doesn’t get into as much trouble as Chris does,) but the rapper sells singles by the bushel. He’s got songs I’ve never even heard of that have sold millions of downloads, and he’s a fixture in the Top Ten of the pop chart. Will Wild Ones be the first album to bring him some of that full-length cake? Doubt it, but guest appearances from Jennifer Lopez and Redfoo of LMFAO ensure that other singles on this album will be smashes individually.

That’s pretty much it, folks. The rest of the new releases are fairly niche-y, so you might cop the new Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) release, H.N.I.C. 3, if you’re into that old school hardcore rap. You might grab Keller Williams & the Travelin’ McCourys’ Pick if you want some stone to the bone bluegrass. The new Nile album, At The Gate Of Sethu, may satisfy your metal jones, and your Skynyrd Southern rock fix might be satiated with Jimmie Van Zant‘s Feels Like Freedom. Jimmie is the cousin of legendary Lynyrd Skynyrd singer Ronnie Van Zant.

Reissues: Funkytown Grooves (quickly becoming my favorite reissue label) is bringing out a handful of Ray Parker Jr. (& Raydio) albums from the early Eighties. Two Places At The Same Time, A Woman Needs Love, The Other Woman and Woman Out of Control (see a theme?) are all being given bonus tracks. Sony Music’s Playlist series is also having a busy week, with anthologies coming out from The The, Tyrese, and Our Lady Peace, among others. Meanwhile,Rhino and the estate of the late Donny Hathaway is digitally re-releasing two live albums (originally released in 1972 and 1980) as well as 1978’s (incomplete) The Best of Donny Hathaway.

WTFF Release of The Week: The soundtrack to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Master. I’m still scratching my head about how that movie got made to begin with.

For a full list of this week’s releases, make sure you check out Pause And Play.

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