This week we have a mixed bag of releases for you music fans out there. We've got your hip-hop pop; your redneck country; your hipster indie rock; and a R&B diva trying to stage a comeback. Let's get to it. Throw your hands in the air, if youse a true player.
Bruno Mars - Doo-Wops & Hooligans - So, Mr. Mars gets arrested a few weeks before the release of his debut album on cocaine charges and everyone acts like they want to go join the Parent's Music Resource Center. What happened to the days when if you heard someone stopped using drugs, you knew that meant their next album was going to suck? Seriously, Mars' stuff isn't my cup of tea, but if a bump is what it takes for him to put out hits so be it. I wasn't going to let him babysit my kids either way. Drug talk aside, the lead single off this album, "Just the Way You Are" has already hit #1 on the Billboard Singles chart and my opinion, based on scientific theory, is that this CD will sell one zillion copies in its first week. Why? Because your little sister is stupid, and so are all her friends.
Toby Keith - Bullets In the Gun - Last week I peed all over Kenny Chesney. This week brings a new release from Toby Keith, a man I hold in almost as low regard. Where I've always thought Chesney would have preferred to perform straight pop songs if it paid as well as country, I've never doubted Keith's country background. My dislike of the man really doesn't have much to do with his music as much as it has to do with his mouth. This is a dude that to this day has never apologized for his part in running the Dixie Chicks out of country music. Whenever he has been asked, he plays the, "Oh, that's old news, there's more important things to worry about now," card, which is easy to say when it's not your career that has been ruined. Oh well, that's all old news. For all the Keith fans out there, the new album is being described as full of lighthearted songs that still have a sense of melancholy, due to a recent breakup in Keith's life.
Guster - Easy Wonderful - Guster is one of those bands that everyone figured would breakout of their cult status at some point and become huge. Hell, the first time I ever heard of them was when I saw them in concert as the opening act only to walk out with one of their t-shirts, and my wife will vouch for me when I say I never buy band t-shirts. Forming in 1991, the band keeps chugging along, performing sold out shows on college campuses across the country. The new CD is their sixth studio album.
Faith Evans - Something About Faith - It's gotta be hard to be Faith Evans. No matter what you do, you'll always be most famous for being the widow of "Biggie" Smalls. Now at age 37, she's trying to make a comeback in the R&B game, which was a young woman's game when she first broke and has become even more so since her hiatus. Too old to compete with Rhianna and Beyonce, and not old enough to be packaged with your En Vogue or Jody Watley nostalgia tour, she's in a position that a lot of acts in a lot of genres have found themselves in when they look around and find their peak hit 5 years ago. The new album is her first on her new label, so if you are feeling generous and want to hear some slow jams for old times sake, drop a couple of bucks on Mrs. Evans today.