Why do record companies stack all of their commercially viable releases into one narrow window, often leaving weeks upon weeks completely barren of new music from big-name artists? We are still in an economic recession, in case you didn’t know. And even if we weren’t, the average record buyer doesn’t have the funds to spend money on albums by four or five of his favorite artists’ albums at once. The reason I ask this question (this time) is because August historically has been a dead zone for music, and this year is no different. While September is filled past the brim with new music, the past couple of weeks have been tumbleweed city. People shop in August, ya know? Perhaps young people (the most coveted record buyers) actually shop more in August because there’s no, like, school and stuff? Ah well-far be it for me to bring common sense into the equation here. Welcome to another fairly underwhelming list of new music!

One of the latest buzz rappers is this guy called 2 Chainz. I’m tempted to dislike the guy on sight because his name is dumb, but that would be very closed-minded and ignorant of me. His debut album, Based on a T.R.U. Story, has the usual suspects featured: Nicki Minaj, Drake, Kanye, Rick Ross and equally buzzed about new guy Meek Mill. Where are rappers getting their names these days? Geez. This is probably the release that will make the biggest boom.

Hey, did you know that the Juggalos were being considered a gang, and one of the Insane Clown Posse guys was really pissed off about that? Conveniently, the Detroit duo has a new album out this week. You would have to pay me lots and lots of money to get me to listen to an ICP record, but they don’t need me, they’ve got plenty of fans on their own. Their new album is called The Mighty Death Pop, and is sure to contain very little of musical value.

I’m a huge fan of James Taylor, so it would stand to reason that I’m a pretty big fan of his soundalike (and lookalike) son, Ben. The guy’s music is pretty easygoing, with a bit of a 21st century flair. While he doesn’t have the songwriting acuity that his dad has (not many do) he’s one of only a small group of celebrity progeny that’s worth listening to independently. He hasn’t released an album in four years, and he makes his return with a new album called Listening.

Also out this week: guitar legend Steve Vai hits stores with The Story of Light, an album that contains guest appearances from the likes of Aimee Mann. One-hit wonder Daniel Powter (who I hope sends fresh flowers to Nigel Lythgoe and Simon Cowell’s offices daily) is back with a new album called Turn On the Lights. Reggae/jamband Slightly Stoopid‘s Top of the World boasts a bevy of guest appearances from the likes of legendary vocalist Barrington Levy, Fishbone’s Angelo Moore, and G. Love and there are also new albums from Dead Can Dance and…Loverboy? Well, not exactly. Mike Reno and the gang are doing the re-recorded hits thing for most of their new set, entitled Rock ‘n Roll Revival. They even got Bob Rock to co-produce. How about that?

You can get a full list of this week’s releases over at Pause and Play.

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