Adele’s reign at No. 1 may come to a halt next week as March 8 brings new releases from a number of potential spoilers, including Avril Lavigne’s “Goodbye Lullaby,” R.E.M’s “Collapse Into Now” and the fifth volume of tunes from “Glee.” There are other strong new releases from Lupe Fiasco, Raekwon and Exene Cervenka.
Exene Cervenka, “The Excitement of Maybe” (Bloodshot): X frontwoman”s new solo album includes first single, the horn-laden (!?!?!) “Already in Love.” Not very punk, you say? We say Cervenka has earned the right to do whatever she wants. Catch her at SXSW if you can.
Bruce Cockburn, “Small Source of Comfort” (True North): Canadian singer/songwriter/truthteller releases his first studio album in six years. It”s a welcome return.
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Avril Lavigne, “Goodbye Lullaby” (RCA): She”s ditched the “Sk8terboi” teen princess act and her first husband, Deryck Whibley (although he sticks around to produce some of “Lullaby”) and shows us she”s all grown up. First single, the Max Martin-produced “What the Hell,” has done well, but Lavigne says the spiky, fun track is not indicative of the rest of the album.
Lupe Fiasco, “LASERS” (1st & 15th/Atlantic): The album”s title is short for “Love Always Shines Every Time Remember,” which means the hip-hop artist must be in a good frame of mind. First single, Word I Never Said,” was produced by Alex da Kid, best known for his work with Eminem and B.o.B. It”s Lupe”s first album since “Lupe Fiasco”s The Cool,” which spent nine weeks at No. 1 on Billboard”s “Top Rap Albums.”
Raekwon, “Shaolin Vs. Wu-Tang” (Ice H2O): Fresh off his appearance on Justin Bieber”s “Never Say Never” remix album, Wu-Tang Clan vet grabs some friends old and new, including Ghostface, Rick ross, Busta Rhymes, Method Man and Estelle to remind us what he does best.
R.E.M., “Collapse Into Now” (Warner Bros.): Athens, Ga.”s finest returns with its 15th studio album and strongest collection in years. Read review here.
Various artists, “Glee: The Music, Season Two, Volume 5” (Columbia): The latest edition includes two original tunes, as well as covers of Do You Wanna Touch” (with guest star Gwyneth Paltrow), Justin Bieber”s “Baby,” Queen”s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and Michael Jackson”s “P.Y.T.”