As Black Friday approaches, expect a landslide of releases. This week alone, we have new sets from “American Idol” winner Lee DeWyze, Josh Groban, Kid Rock, Rihanna and Nelly, as well as holiday sets from the “Glee” cast and Annie Lennox. Plus, Bruce Springsteen”s “The Promise” celebrates his masterpiece, “Darkness on the Edge of Town,” 32 years after its initial release.
Lee DeWyze, “Live It Up” (19 Recordings): Season 9 “American Idol” winner explores different aspects of relationships on his post-”Idol” major label debut.
Jackie Evancho, “O Holy Night” (Syco/Columbia) “America”s Got Talent” runner up showcases her preternaturally-evolved pipes on this CD/DVD combo featuring classical crossover tunes she performed on the show as well as a few holiday favorites.
Josh Groban, “Illuminations” (143/Reprise): Classical crossover pop sensation links with unlikely bedfellow Rick Rubin for his fifth album. Rubin pushed him to stretch his boundaries, but not break them in this mainly self-penned effort.
Kid Rock, “Born Free” (Atlantic/Top Dog): Rick Rubin chips in again here as Kid Rock follows up his 3.2 million-selling “Rock N Roll Jesus” with this Nashville-inflected effort that includes collaborations with Martina McBride, T.I. and others.
Annie Lennox, “A Christmas Cornucopia” (Decca): Silver-throated British singer interprets a number of holiday standards, as well as weighs in with her original composition, “Universal Child.”
Nelly, “5.0” (Derrty/Universal Motown): After a bit of a career slip, Nelly returned with first single, “Just a Dream,” his highest-charting hit in five years. Guests on “5.0” include Chris Brown, Plies, T.I., Akon, Kelly Roland and Keri Hilson.
Pink, “Greatest Hits…So Far!!!” (LaFace): Singer”s best-of collection includes such hits as “Get the Party Started, ” “Just Like a Pill,” and “Trouble,” as well as two new tunes, among them, new hit “Raise Your Glass.”
Rascal Flatts, “Nothing Like This” (Big Machine): Country superstar trio takes flight on new label, Big Machine, but the song remains the same–more pop-influenced country with often catchy, upbeat melodies.
Rihanna, “Loud” (SRP/Def Jam): Ri-Ri has already scored two top 5 tunes, “What”s My Name” and “Only Girl in the World,” from her new upbeat set that seems to be a return to form after the dark “Rated R.”
Bruce Springsteen, “The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story” (Columbia): The 3 CD/3 DVD collection examines every facet of Springsteen”s classic 1978 dark opus, including 21 never-before-released outtakes from the album, two live DVDs and a documentary about the making of the album.
Keith Urban, “Get Closer” (Capitol Nashville): Country star from the land down under”s seventh studio album features artwork voted on by his fans, all of whom will surely want the deluxe version available through Target.
Various Artists, “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album” (Columbia): The kids from New Directions take on the holidays in what is sure to be a blockbuster. The song selection rangers from the traditional, such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” to more recent classics, like “You”re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”