Welcome to the middle of June! Here are this week’s key releases:

Black SabbathBlack Sabbath went on without Ozzy Osbourne, and Ozzy Osbourne certainly went on without Black Sabbath. For two decades before he became best known as a doddering reality star, the Prince of Fucking Darkness wowed ’em on tour and lit up rock radio with a string of hits. He’s a fucking legend! And now he’s back with Black Sabbath! The pioneering metal band’s new album is called 13, and it’s the first time Ozzy and Black Sabbath have been together in thirty-five years. Producer? Rick Rubin; a guy who knows a thing or two about making old coots sound good.

Significantly less old coots (but old coots at this point in the game, anyway) are Goo Goo Dolls. They started off as a delightful Replacements knockoff, went on to rule the mid Nineties with radio hits like “Name” and “Iris,” and have spent much of the last decade repeating and re-repeating their past glories. At this point, the only interesting thing about the Goos might be how lead singer Johnny Rzeznik keeps his hair looking the way it does. Their day in the sun long passed, their new album, Magnetic, probably has limited appeal. Unless a radio hit somehow finds its way out of this one, it will most likely be ignored.

Jimmy Eat World‘s earnest brand of rock has also seen better days, commercially. That said, Jim Adkins and his band of merry men continue to make interesting albums and sell them to a faithful cult. Main difference between them and the Goo Goo Dolls? Jimmy Eat World’s handful of hit singles didn’t really alienate their core fan base. Anyhow, the band’s latest set is called Damage, and it marks their first album release in three years, as well as their debut on RCA Records.

Switching gears completely, let’s talk about The Lonely Island. Despite the fact that he now makes infernal, dumb movies with Adam Sandler, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Andy Samberg. He’s legit funny, and when he joins forces with his buddies Akiva and Jorma, the results are generally pretty genius. The Wack Album is the rap/comedy troupe’s latest album, and it features a who’s who of the music business. Their “Wack Wednesdays” songs have been viral successes featuring the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Solange, Robyn, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

Chrisette Michele is one of the more puzzling R&B artists out there. Her debut showed promise, her second album went to #1, her third album went poof, and her fanbase seems to have pretty much evaporated. Her music’s been a little on the inconsistent side (despite significant vocal talent) which might be why people seem to run hot and cold on her. Here’s hoping that her fourth album, Better, is…uh, better than her last one. I must admit to being chagrined when I heard one advance single and was greeted with a healthy amount of Auto-Tune, which is so 2000-late.

Other artists releasing albums this week include:

Joseph Arthur

Big Time Rush

Harry Connick Jr.

Jason Isbell

Dave Koz

Alison Moyet

Prodigy (of Mobb Deep) & Alchemist

for a full list of this week’s new releases, check out my good friends at Pause and Play!

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