It’s hardly a scenario she could have ever dreamed of as a girl growing up in Checotah, Okla., but Carrie Underwood finds herself potentially toppling Michael Jackson from the top of the charts. Will her third studio album, “Play On,” knock Jackson’s soundtrack “This is It” out of the No. 1 spot a week from now or will he hold strong?
“Play On” is just one of many strong releases out Tuesday, albeit the only one with chart-topping potential. Other popular titles include the “Glee” soundtrack (note this is Vol. 1, Vol. 2 already has a Dec.8 release date; “Now That’s What I Call Music 32,” the latest in the never-ending series of current pop/R&B hits, the Foo Fighters best-of compilation, and Andrea Bocelli’s holiday album, ” My Christmas.
Amerie, “In Love & War” (Island Def Jam): R&B singer returns after a long absence and a change of labels from Columbia to her own imprint, distributed by IDJ. The set includes collaborations with Lil Wayne, Fabolous and Trey Songz.
Andrea Bocelli, “My Christmas” (Decca): Italian classical crossover superstar releases an album full of David Foster-produced traditional tunes, such as “Silent Night,” “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “What Child is This” and featuring Mary J. Blige, Natalie Cole, Reba McEntire, and the Muppets.
Julian Casablancas, “Phrazes for the Young,” (Cult/RCA): Strokes leader and primary songwriter brings his distinctive vocal delivery to his creatively spelled solo debut, produced by Jason Lader and Bright Eyes” Mike Mogis. Casablancas will celebrate the release by playing a series of weekly shows in Los Angeles throughout November.
Foo Fighters, “Greatest Hits,” (RCA): Best-of collection includes all the songs you know and love, such as “Big Me,” “All My Life,” and “Learn to Fly,” plus two new tunes, “Wheels” and “Word Forward.” The DVD includes additional live material.
Say Anything, “Say Anything” (RCA): Los Angeles rock band releases its third studio set, helmed by veteran producer Neal Avron. Bolstered by first single, “Hate Everyone,” the album follows up the group”s 2007 double disc, “In Defense of the Genre.” A 32-date tour ends Nov. 22
Shwayze, “Let It Beat” (Suretone/Geffen): LA hip hop artist produced by Cisco Adler surrounds himself with such high profile guests as Kanye West, Snoop Dogg and Vince Vaughn on his second Suretone set.
Carrie Underwood, “Play On” (19 Recordings/Arista Nashville): Country music thrush and former “American Idol” winner returns with her third CD, destined to come in at the top of the both the pop and country charts. First single, “Cowboy Casanova” indicates a move to a more rock sound.
Various Artists, “Fantastic Mr. Fox” (Abkco): The soundtrack to Wes Anderson”s stop-motion children”s movie contains new music from Pulp leader singer Jarvis Cocker, but also includes tunes from old folkie Burl Ives, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and score composer Alexandre Desplat.
Various Artists, “Glee: The Music-Season One, Volume 1” (Columbia): Gleeks rejoice: All your favorite hit turns featured on the popular TV show are here, including Queen”s “Somebody to Love,” Neil Diamond”s “Sweet Caroline” and, of course, Journey”s “Don”t Stop Believin”.” If they aren”t here, they”ll be on Vol. 2, which comes out Dec. 8.
Various Artists, “NCIS: the Official TV Soundtrack, Vol. 02” (CBS): Do we think Jethro and his team listen to Bob Dylan, Norah Jones, John Mellencamp, Sheryl Crow, Joss Stone and the Sick Puppies around the bureau? When they can get their hands on previously unreleased and exclusive tracks like the ones on this collection, we bet they do.
Various Artists: “Now That”s What I Call Music! 32” (Sony Legacy): Never-ending compilation of current top 40 hits continues to appeal to the ever-decreasing non-download segment of music fans. Edition 32″s 19 tracks include hot, hot smashes from Black Eyed Peas, Taylor Swift, Jay Sean, Lady GaGa and more than a dozen other hitmakers from the past few months.
Weezer, “Ratitude” (Geffen): The band”s seventh studio set, produced by Jackknife Lee, takes its name from a word suggested by Rainn Wilson and is fronted by first single, high school boy clarion call “(If You”re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To.” The collection includes songwriting contributions from all four members, but features vocals only by band founder Rivers Cuomo.