Here’s a more chill list of new releases than you’ve gotten over the past couple of weeks. If you look, you’ll see that the volume is still there, but the wattage has dimmed a bit. Of course, record sales or popularity are not a good determining factor when it comes to how good an album is, and you’ll see that this week’s list has got some pretty high-quality joints.

I’m definitely not a KISS fan, although I respect their longevity as well as Gene Simmons’ legendary business acumen. The masked men have been doing it for forty years now, and their fan base is one of the most loyal in the entire entertainment business, not just music alone. Their latest album is called Monster, and I’m sure the KISS Army will be out in full force to support.

It’s been a hot minute since The Wallflowers have had an album out. In that period, lead singer Jakob Dylan has recorded two solid (if not commercially successful) solo albums. Now, the guys that brought you “6th Avenue Heartache” and “One Headlight” are back with a new album called Glad All Over. Current single “Reboot The Mission” features The Clash’s Mick Jones, and is one of my favorite songs of the year so far. It’ll be interesting to see if the entire album lives up to the single’s promise.

Meshell Ndegeocello is one of those artists I’d travel to the end of the Earth for. I’ve been a fan since Plantation Lullabies (which was almost twenty years ago–can you believe?) and she’s never failed to impress in the time since. Her latest album is called Pour une ame Souveraine, and it’s a tribute to singer/songwriter Nina Simone. If you’re not up on your Dr. Simone, grab a listen to every female artist from Lauryn Hill to Fiona Apple-all owe her a debt of gratitude. Guests on the album include Sinead O’ Connor and Cody ChesnuTT.

Hard rock/metal fans are gonna have a banner week-as new albums are arriving from Coheed & Cambria (the first in a two-part series that probably sounds more pretentious than it is…or not…,) As I Lay Dying, and our Metal Monday subjects from last week, Converge! They are joined on the release schedule by Irish boy band The Script (album creatively titled III,) rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson (following up last year’s excellent The Party Ain’t Over with the Justin Townes Earle-produced Unfinished Business,) and neo-jazz/soul star Robert Glasper, whose Black Radio Rediscovered EP is an addendum to his solid Black Radio LP, released earlier this year. Big names appearing on this iteration of the project include Popblerd Patron Saint Ahmir “?uestlove” Thompson, Erykah Badu and Solange Knowles.

Also, albums from hot new artist Ellie Goulding (whose “Lights” has become a top five hit,) comeback efforts from Suzanne Vega and rappers Xzibit and MJG (of Eightball and… fame.) On the reissue tip, Sony expands the entries in their Playlist series with volumes from the likes of Destiny’s Child, Johnny Mathis and Ricky Martin, while Hip-O Select unearths an unreleased album from Temptations singer David Ruffin. Also, the hit albums in the Beach Boys’ lengthy catalog get a remastery do-over, so make sure you take a listen to those as well.

As usual, Pause & Play has a list of everything on the release schedule, even the stuff we forgot! So check ‘em out!

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