Eminem! Eminem! Eminem!

Yep, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 arrives on this date, marking what could wind up being the 2nd biggest first-week opening of 2013 behind Em’s one time archnemesis Justin Timberlake. After a string of increasingly shitty albums, Eminem turned the ship around a bit with 2010’s Recovery, and he’s sticking pretty close to the script on this one, with the assistance of Rick Rubin, Kendrick Lamar, Rihanna and others. Will I buy it? No. Eminem’s been working the same lyrical territory for the better part of a decade now. He peaked with “Lose Yourself,” and quite frankly, he doesn’t have anything new to say. So…y’all enjoy him. I’ll be playing the back.


She’s baaa-aaaack!

You know who else was popular in the late ’90s and early oughts? Celine Dion. While everyone’s favorite French-Canadian chanteuse has been off the grid for the past few years (raking in the dough via a Vegas residency,) she’s returned with a comparatively edgy new album called Loved Me Back To Life. With nothing to lose commercially (what is her audience nowadays?), Dion has teamed up with the likes of Ne-Yo and Sia (who, interestingly, also appears on Eminem’s album) for a set of state-of-the-art grown-up pop. As someone who has a lot of respect for Celine’s vocal ability (even if her material is sometimes saccharine/boring,) this album might be a bit of a surprise.

You know who else is Canadian? Avril Lavigne. She’s grown up considerably in the past decade or so, although her reality as a twice-married woman in her late twenties is still a bit at odds with the bratty teenager music she insists on still making. Nevertheless, her new album (self-titled) features a ton of collaborations with her current husband, Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger. Believe it or not, musically, this marks a trade up from her last husband, Sum 41’s Derrick Whibley. At any rate, I can’t imagine anyone will care too much about 2013-era Avril. Chad or no Chad.

You know who else no one probably cares about? M.I.A. While I certainly applaud anyone who takes a political stance in an incredibly apolitical musical landscape these days, M.I.A. seems to do it less for informative purposes than for “HEY LOOK AT ME I’M UNIMPORTANT” purposes. Aside from that, she’s not especially talented–or at least, it’s very unlikely that she’ll live up to the promise of her first two albums. So, yeah, Matangi is out. And that concludes the heavy-hitters. Pretty yawn-ish all around.

Also out this week, the first album in a really long time by femme alt-rockers Luscious Jackson, a new solo album from the universally loathed Scott Stapp, and another crack at U.S. success from British boy band The Wanted.

Get the full list of this week’s releases courtesy of our friends at Pause And Play.

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