Spring has sprung and so has the bounty of new releases. March 22 features a wellspring of new titles including fresh sets from The Strokes, Chris Brown, Green Day and Jennifer Hudson.
Richard Ashcroft, “United Nations of Sound” (Razor & Tie): The Verve frontman”s first solo album in four years, and first since the band officially parted ways in 2009, has a little bit of everything from live orchestration to major beats, but probably no Rolling Stones samples. We kid.
Chris Brown, “F.A.M.E.” (Jive): Latest from Brown includes “Deuces,” which was originally from his mixtape with Tyga, as well as first official single, “Yeah 3X.” Justin Bieber (everybody SCREAM!) and Lil Wayne also show up.
Solomon Burke, “Hold On Tight” (Verve): “Hold on Tight” is the iconic R&B singer”s last album recorded prior to his October passing. The Rock & Roll Hall of Famer recorded here with Dutch band De Dijk.
Kirk Frankin, “Hello Fear” (Gospo Centric): Gospel superstar”s latest is a sure thing to come in at No. 1 on Billboard”s Gospel chart, as have his last nine albums. The burning question is how high can it go on the Billboard 200.
Green Day, “Awesome as Fuck” (Reprise): New live album and DVD capture the best of the trio”s 2009-2010 world tour. See review here.
Gucci Mane, “The Return of Mr. Zone 6” (Warner): The rapper has called this album a return to “the streets,” hence the title. It features collaborations with Wale, Master P, Birdman and Waka Flocka Flame, as well as Rocko and Webbie, who appear in the video for first single, “I Don”t Love Her.”
Jennifer Hudson, “I Remember Me” (Arista): Oscar winner and weight loser shows why she could be the next Whitney Houston (without the crazy) on her gorgeous sophomore set.
[More after the jump…]
Josh Kelley, “Georgia Clay” (MCA Nashville): Former adult contemporary artist (remember the 2001 hit, “Amazing?”) takes a walk on the country side, joining his brother, Lady Antebellum”s Charles Kelley. Title track is already a top 20 hit.
Adam Lambert, “Glam Nation Live” (19 Recordings/RCA): It seems a bit early for a live album/DVD from “American Idol’s” Lambert, but we”re sure his legion of Glamberts disagree. The concert was taped at Indianapolis”s Clowes Hall last August.
The Lonely Forest, “Arrow” (Trans): Guitar-based rock band is the first signing to Trans, the label run by Death Cab for Cutie”s Chris Walla, who felt passionate enough about the Northwest-based band to also produce and engineer the set.
Panic! At the Disco, “Vices & Virtures” (Decaydance/Fueled By Raman): Panic”s first album since the quartet became a duo is a cross between the puppy-like excitement of its 2005 debut, “A Fever You Can”t Sweat Out” and 2008″s somewhat strange “Pretty.Odd.” First single “The Ballad of Mona Lisa” reached No. 1 iTunes” Top Alternative Songs chart, but deserved more mainstream love.
The Strokes, “Angles” (RCA): Critics are calling the New York rockers” first album since 2006″s tepid “First Impressions on Earth” its best since its seminal 2001 debut “Is This It.”
Various Artists, “Sucker Punch” (WaterTower Music): The soundtrack to Zack Snyder”s sci-fi thriller includes re-imagined versions of Eurythmics” “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This” by the film”s star Emily Browning, a mash up of Queen”s “I Want It All/We Will Rock You” and the “Sucker Punch remix” of “Army of Me” by Bjork featuring Skunk Anansie.