Welcome to April! With the improving weather comes a (slightly) more consistently decent new release schedule. As usual, there’s something for everyone on the docket, and this week’s spotlight releases run the gamut from pop to country to hip-hop. Let’s check ’em out.
Raise your hand if you’d have thought that New Kids on the Block were still gonna be a big deal in 2013. The ’80s teen idols returned a few years ago after a 15 year break and resumed selling out arenas around the world. Their last album, The Block, debuted at #2 on the charts, making it their highest charting album since 1990’s Step by Step. They’ve survived two generations of boy bands, and even though the members are now all in their forties, they can still hang. 10 is their first independent release, and even though it’s nowhere near as guest-heavy as The Block was, the songs appear to not be as pandering on this album as they were on the previous album, either. First single “(I Like The) Remix” hasn’t really gained much traction, but it’s a pretty dope song. Hoping the rest of the album is up to snuff, too.
If you’re a country music fan, you’ve very likely heard of The Band Perry. They made an immediate impact on the music scene with “If I Die Young.” It topped the country and adult contemporary charts, and made it as high as #14 on the pop charts. The success of the hit pushed their 2010 debut album to Platinum sales. The impressively coiffed group of siblings is hoping to kick the sophomore slump right in the butt with the release of Pioneer. First single “Better Dig Two (what is up with these guys and death?)” has already proven to be a pretty big hit, topping the country charts. Expect this to be the week’s highest charting debut. Hell, they might even unseat Justin Timberlake from the top of the charts.
The last of our three spotlight releases comes from controversial rapper/artist/designer (and VMA winner) Tyler the Creator. He’s been the face of the L.A. based Odd Future collective for a couple of years now, although he hasn’t been as commercially successful as his cohort Frank Ocean. Tyler’s taken a lot of flak for un-PC lyrics and a general bad attitude, but his fans certainly like him. Tyler’s third album is entitled Wolf and features cameos from just about the entire Odd Future gang (including Ocean as well as buzzy rapper Earl Sweatshirt.) Also on board-Pharrell Williams and Erykah Badu. Tyler has noted that he’s backing off of the controversial lyrics a little bit. We’ll see if that leads to continued success, I suppose.
Other artists releasing albums this week include Alkaline Trio, “Pitchfork soul” singer Charles Bradley, Cold War Kids, Killswitch Engage, Mudhoney, Telekinesis, and Gretchen Wilson. Get your full list of this week’s releases (via our friends at Pause and Play) here.