The last major release date before Christmas yields a few nice treats, including a long-awaited set from Natasha Bedingfield, a stripped-down set from Adam Lambert, as well as rapper T.I.”s “No Mercy” and Daft Punk”s highly-anticipated soundtrack to “Tron: Legacy.”
Natasha Bedingfield, “Strip Me” (Epic): British songstress of “Unwritten” fame returns after a long break with a provocatively titled new set of uptempo tunes. First single, the title track, showcases a different sound, full of heavy beats and echo.
Daft Punk, “TRON: Legacy” (Walt Disney): French duo combines its trademark electronica with traditional orchestration for the adventurous, futuristic score to 1982″s “Tron,” itself composed by electronic pioneer Wendy Carlos. And the amazing thing is they never remove their helmets.
Duffy, “Endlessly” (Mercury): English thrush who broke big with “Mercy” two years ago returns for a second set of retro pop-soul that suits her amazing pipes perfectly.
Flyleaf, “Remember to Live” (A&M/Octone): As lead singer Lacey Sturm preps for her impending motherhood and a break from the band, Flyleaf delivers this placeholder to keep fans happy until the group can provide a full-on follow up to 2009″s “Memento Mori.” The EP contains seven songs, including five older tracks, as well as two reinventions of previously released tunes.
Hinder “All American Nightmare” (Universal Republic): Rockers from the heartland return with their third major-label effort. The slight glam sound from album No. 2 is gone for straight-ahead rock. First single, the title tune, already had a strong showing on Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks, peaking at No. 7.
Juanes, “P.A.R.C.E.” (Universal Latino): Colombian superstar Juanes unleashes his fifth album that deals with, in part, with his reconciliation with his wife and the birth of their new home.
Adam Lambert, “Acoustic Live” (19 Recordings/RCA): “American Idol” runner up from season eight throws a few tidbits to the faithful with this set of five unplugged tunes, including “Aftermath” and “If I Had You.”
Plain White T”s, “Wonders of the Younger” (Hollywood): “Hey There Delilah” dudes are back with another melodic/harmony filled soft rock.
T.I., “No Mercy” (Grand Hustle/Atlantic): T.I. may be incarcerated, but that won”t stop him from unleashing his seventh album, “No Mercy” (previously titled “King Uncaged”). There”s a passel full of guests on the effort, including Kayne West, Kid Cudi, the Neptunes, Chris Brown, Eminem, The-Dream and Christina Aguilera, on top track “Castle Walls.”