Does anyone even have any money left to buy music after the deluge that’s been the last two weeks? While wallets are still smoking from the recent spate of music hitting stores both physical and digital, the spout has been turned down, but not off. While the month of October, in aggregate, will be a slower month than September, there are still 2 or 3 big names each week that will be challenging for chart supremacy. Here’s a look at some of the highlights from this week’s new release schedule.

At some point in the last, say half-decade or so, Muse became one of the biggest bands in the land. Though they’ve never had a huge smash hit and are probably unknown to the average Top 40 listener (not like they play much rock music on Top 40 radio these days) this bombastic British band-who split the difference between prog-rock and a more dramatic Queen-esque style-has become big enough to sell out arenas and write and perform the theme song to the 2012 Olympic Games. The 2nd Law is the title of their long awaited effort, and with Mumford & Sons topping the charts last week, it’s a good time to be a Brit with a stringed instrument, eh?

The Voice has started its’ second season, and music from the reality show’s judges is coming at a feverish pace. Albums from Cee-Lo Green and Christina Aguilera are waiting in the wings, Adam Levine’s Maroon 5 are currently topping the singles chart with their latest single “One More Night,” and good ol’ boy Blake Shelton makes his return today with the first big-ticket holiday album of 2012. Cheer, It’s Christmas contains holiday classics, a handful of originals, and guest shots from Kelly Clarkson (no stranger to reality shows herself,) Reba McEntire, Michael Buble (who knows a thing or two about a monster Christmas album) and, of course, Blake’s wife, country firebrand Miranda Lambert.

I’ll admit, for someone who fancies himself a fan of R&B, I’m not as up on this Miguel cat as I should be. I’ve caught him performing on award shows and the like, and although the music hasn’t grabbed me, at least he’s going for something a little different on the looks/imaging tip. Of course, now it’s kinda cool to be a little different (maybe that means Bilal will start selling records?) Anyhow, enough people in the know have been singing this guy’s praises, so I’ll definitely be giving Miguel’s sophomore album, Kaleidoscope World, a spin. Hope it lives up to the hype.

For those of you who like your music centered right in the middle of the road, there are a few things you might want to check out. Tasteful pianist/vocalist and Elvis Costello wife Diana Krall is returning to the scene with an album entitled Glad Rag Doll. She’ll be joined on shelves by teenage phenom Jackie Evancho.The Simon Cowell protege’s Songs From The Silver Screen will feature the equally tasteful likes of Joshua Bell and Chris Botti. Speaking of Cowell, his SYCO label will also be overseeing the debut release from British X-Factor contestant Cher Lloyd, while Moondancing legend Van Morrison speaks the truth on his aptly titled Born To Sing…No Plan B.

Also on the list this week: new albums by Tori Amos (orchestral renderings of her classic hits,) DJ Drama (with the prototypical all-star cast of rappers, including Young Jeezy, Ludacris and T.I.,) indie pop sensations Matt & Kim, and legendary femme-fronted rock outfit Heart. They were cast as a female Led Zeppelin in the Seventies, strode atop the power ballad-laden charts in the ’80s, and now they’re working with Sarah McLachlan and k.d. lang producer Ben Mink on the new album Fanatic. Look at them getting all Lilith Fair in your ass.

Did I miss something? If so, check out Pause and Play for a complete list of releases.

 

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