Kings of Leon returns with new music, “Come Around Sundown,” in a week chock-full of big names. They”re joined by sets from Sugarland, as well as Elton John and his hero Leon Russell. Rod Stewart revisits the Great American songbook for the fifth time, Shakira shakes her hips again and Liz Phair releases her first set in five years.
Miley Cyrus, “Hannah Montana Forever” (Walt Disney): It”s just a title Miley. Seriously, as Cyrus gets ready to leave her alter-ego behind forever, she takes one more spin around the TV set with this soundtrack that includes collaborations with Iyaz, Sheryl Crow and dad Billy Ray Cyrus and covers all four seasons of the hit show. (Doesn”t it feel like it”s been on for at least a dozen years?)
Mike Gordon, “Moss” (Rounder): Phish bassist releases third solo set, although his Phish-mates are never far away: both Page McConnell and Jon Fishman make appearances.
Elton John/Leon Russell, “The Union” (Decca): John pairs with one of his early idols, Leon Russell, for this stripped-down T Bone Burnett-produced collection of largely acoustic tunes penned by John, Russell and John”s longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin. Read review here.
Kings of Leon, “Come Around Sundown” (RCA): The Followill brothers follow up the ultra-successful “Only By the Night” with a set recorded in New York and that drummer Nathan Followill told Hitfix included some tracks that could be considered “beachy.” Read the review here.
Liz Phair, “Funstyle” (Rocket Science): Released digital this summer, “Funstyle” sees its physical release come to light; her first album in five years. The two-CD set features her rapping as well as returning to her singer/songwriter stripped down roots.
Shakira, “Sale el Sol” (Sony Music Latin): Shakira and her hips shake to Latin rhythms in this primarily Spanish set, the follow-up to the largely electronic, dance-oriented “She Wolf.” The album captures both the glories and sorrows of love with the help of Pitbull and Rene Perez Joglar from Calle 13. Check out her cover of The xx”s “Islands.”
Rod Stewart, “Fly Me to the Moon: The Great American Songbook, Vol. V” (J): After a five-year hiatus, Rod the Mod tackles another set of classic American tunes, including “Moon River,” “I”ve Got You Under My Skin,” “Beyond the Sea,” and the title track.
Sugarland, “the Incredible Machine” (Mercury Nashville): Jennifer Nettles and Kristian Bush”s fourth studio album is a high-volume affair full of arena rock-sized anthems and quirky twists and turns. Nettles” voice is capable of tackling all, but some restraint may have been a nice addition. Read review here.
Third Day, “Move” (Essential): Leading Christian rock group follows up 2208″s “Revelation” with this slab of southern-flavored rock, including the anthemic “Lift Up Your Face.”