(yawn & stretch)

Hope everyone’s had a relaxing and enjoyable Memorial Day weekend. Those of us record industry watchers will note a similarly sleepy new release schedule. May has been big on releases, with Vampire Weekend and Daft Punk leading the charge. Although April is more popularly known as the month that goes in like a lion and out like a lamb, it seems like that old adage applies to music in May 2013 as well. Not that there aren’t some goodies to drool over, though. Here’s a look at some of the key releases in this week’s somewhat abbreviated schedule.

If you thought Alice in Chains was done for good following the death of lead singer Layne Staley in 2002, then you were in the majority. However, Jerry Cantrell and company got themselves a new vocalist, William DuVall, in 2005 and went right on being successful. Their last album, Black Gives Way to Blue, sold strongly and had a few radio hits to boot. The new AIC album, The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here, is out today, and is sure to feature more heavy music from the most unlikely of grunge-era dinosaurs.

British musician Tricky was never huge here in the U.S., but he was certainly influential. Along with acts like Massive Attack (who he performed with for a while,) Tricky was responsible for bringing trip-hop to the unwashed masses. False Idols is the artist’s first album in nearly three years.

ivplayThe-Dream is one of those singer/songwriter/producers who has tried really hard to be a successful performer, but it hasn’t quite taken. Beyonce, Rihanna and just about every popular artists in modern pop/R&B can lay claim to having scored a smash with one of his hits, but the man born Terius Nash hasn’t quite been able to translate that songwriting acuity to a string of hits for himself. Will his new album, IV Play, be the set that breaks him into superstardom? Probably not. But it does have a solid guest list, including both Carters (Shawn AKA Kay-Z and Beyonce,) Mary J. Blige, Big Sean and Fabolous.

Finally, let’s talk about John Fogerty. The legendary Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman is a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member. His influence is so pervasive that everyone and their mother came out to guest star on his brand new album, Wrote a Song for Everyone. Kid Rock, Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, and members of Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and Dawes all feature on the album.

For the rest of this week’s new releases, and a look into what may be coming out in June, make sure you check out Pause and Play.

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