I don’t know if it’ll be acknowledged elsewhere on the site today, but as many of you know, today marks the 4th anniversary of the death of Michael Jackson. We still miss you MJ.

There are a few big releases this week, although nothing like last week’s Kanye/J. Cole/Mac Miller madness. We do, however, have another top-tier rap release coming courtesy of Washington, D.C. native Wale. Starting off more in the Kanye conscious mode, Wale found himself significantly more successful after joining Rick Ross’s Maybach Music Group. Whatever helps you sleep at night, I guess. Anyway, the freshly minted superstar releases his third album, The Gifted, today. Guest spots come from Rihanna and Mr. Rozay himself.

Mavis Staples has had one heck of a career. The earthy soul mama has one of the most powerful voices in the stratosphere, and that voice has carried her from gospel to funk to disco to Prince and back to gospel. Following her critically acclaimed You Are Not Alone album, Miss Staples teams up with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy once again for One True Vine.

Carrying on the tradition of great soul women, india.arie‘s got a new one out today. The guitar-strumming Grammy winner has been gone for a couple of years, taking a self-imposed vacation. She returns refreshed with an album called Songversation. india’s always been good for a pick-me-up anthem without seeming too preachy or self-righteous, making her a favorable alternative to, say, Lauryn Hill. Dunno what the market for her is these days, but I’ll certainly give Songversation a listen or two.

Bret JamminFinally, let’s tell the tale of Bret Michaels. The man’s got more lives (literally and figuratively) than your average housecat. He’s one of the few survivors of the hair metal era, and he even survived a “reality” show in which women made complete asses of themselves to win his alleged affections. Jammin’ with Friends is the name of his latest set, and true to it’s title, it finds Bret and a host of guests, ranging from former bandmate C.C. Deville to Miley Cyrus to Jimmy Buffett and Joe Perry. Of course, they’re tackling a bunch of old Poison hits as well as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “Margaritav….” OH GOD STOP THE INSANITY. If you buy this, you deserve what you get!

Anyway, here’s a few other notable releases:

August Burns Red | Natalie Cole (Now with more Spanish!) | Forever The Sickest Kids | Jane’s Addiction (Live in NYC) | Legendary Pink Dots | Omar | Queensryche (Geoff Tate-less) | Jay Sean | Skillet | Smith Westerns | Serj Tankian (Now with more symphony!) | Tiesto | Transplants

Check out the full list of releases over at Pause and Play.

Be Sociable, Share!