There are no likely blockbusters, but there is some high quality new music here. These are the top new pop music releases among this week's crop of new albums.
The group are continually a target for negativity from music critics, but fans seem to ignore the comments. The band's hit "Drops of Jupiter" <Listen> is familiar to most everyone, and your appreciation of sturdy, if not spectacular, songwriting, and the vocals of lead singer Rob Hotchkiss go a long way to determining if the band is for you.
It has been over 25 years since Barry Manilow routinely topped the pop singles chart with hits like "Mandy" <Listen> and "I Write the Songs," <Listen> but he maintains a large core audience of dedicated fans. This latest collection is similar to Rod Stewart's Great Among Songbook albums in concept, but the delivery is all Barry Manilow. He covers classic songs from the 50's like "Venus," "Unchained Melody," and "Love Is a Many Splendored Thing."
On the heels of Il Divo's latest pop/opera mash-up on the album Ancora, tenor Andrea Bocelli delivers a collection of classically sung European pop songs. This is a good collection for Valentine's Day gift-giving.
It would be hard not to like this album. The Temptations no longer routinely visit the pop singles chart, but their vocal talents have dimmed little with time. This is a thoroughly enjoyable collection of their versions of classic Motown hits by other artists on the label. Among the songs covered are "Can I Get a Witness," "I Hear a Symphony," and "Ain't No Mountain High Enough."
Top level alt-rock artists like Sufjan Stevens and the Magic Numbers lend their idiosyncratic talents to new versions of songs written by revered folk-pop musicians Tim and Jeff Buckley.
Wolfmother was first discussed here in a roundup of hot Australian music by Aussie guest blogger Pop Princess. Now is your opportunity to hear what has so many rock journalists excited. If you have any appreciation for classic Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, and/or Pink Floyd, you owe it to yourself to listen to Wolfmother.
The title song of this collection is already a dance hit in its club version, but this is definitely not a dance album. Headley delivers mature, moving r&b songs for discerning fans of classic soul music.
Much of the music on this album has been available for some time online, but it is at last available in record stores. She Wants Revenge clearly worship before the altar of post-punk legends Joy Division.
Johnson co-wrote Trace Adkins' crossover country hit "Honky Tonk Badonkadonk." Now he is stepping forward as a solo artist.
Wanda Jackson may not be a household name, but she is a legendary figure to early rock-n-roll fans. On her first concert tours in the mid-1950's, she was assigned to share the bill with Elvis Presley. They got along so well that he helped her to intensify her performances such that many fans consider her the first true female rocker. This album is a collection of new recordings of songs associated with Elvis as well as some of Wanda Jackson's personal memories of the King.