The sheer volume of releases slows slightly this week from last, but there are plenty of heavy hitters out Sept. 21 including new albums from Zac Brown Band, Maroon 5, Santana, Billy Currington and John Legend.
Zac Brown Band, “You Get What You Give” (Atlantic): The reigning Grammy best new artist winner follows up the double-platinum “The Foundation by continuing with its melange of country, rock, soul and blues that appeals to country and jam fans alike.
Paula Cole, “Ithaca” (Decca): After 2007″s jazz-oriented “Courage,” singer/songwriter Cole returns to her confessional song stylings, this time singing about motherhood, her divorce and finding love again.
Billy Currington, “Enjoy Yourself” (Mercury Nashville): Country singer landed his sixth straight No. 1 with first single, “Pretty Good at Drinking Beer.” The rest of the set follows the upbeat, feel-good tone fun.
Michael Franti & Spearhead, “The Sound of Sunshine” (Boo Boo Wax/Capitol): Coming off the biggest pop hit of his career, last year”s feel-good ditty “Say Hey (I Love You),” Franti and Spearhead fill-up their seventh studio album with feel-good tunes inspired by Franti”s recovery from a burst appendix. http://www.hitfix.com/events/michael-franti-and-spearhead-the-sound-of-sunshine
Selena Gomez & the Scene, “A Year Without Rain” (Hollywood): Disney starlet”s second studio album is off to a strong start with the title track climbing the Hot 100. The music is mainly meant for the teen and tween girl set, but she never panders to her audience.
John Legend & the Roots, “Wake Up” (Sony Music): Legend and the Roots combine to record some of the best-known soul songs from the 60s and ’70s, all of which share a theme of activism and engagement, including Harold Melvin & the Bluenotes” “Wake Up Everybody, and Marvin Gaye”s “Wholly Holy.”
Maroon 5, “Hands All Over” (A&M/Interscope): Adam Levine-led group returns with third album, produced by legendary producer Mutt Lange. It”s another collection of clean, upbeat pop, rock and funk lead by first single, “Misery.” Read review here. r
Methods of Mayhem, “A Public Disservice Announcement (Roadrunner): Tommy Lee-fronted band releases its second album in 11 years. The songs include demos the band posted online and fans then contributed to (We”re curious how the songwriting credits look).
Santana, “Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time” (Arista): Legendary guitarist pairs with the likes of Chris Cornell, Rob Thomas, Chris Daughtry, Gavin Rossdale, Pat Monahan and several others for this set of classic rock guitar tracks such as “Whole Lotta Love,” Sunshine of Your Love” and “Photograph.”
Serj Tankian, “Imperfect Harmonies” (Reprise): System of a Down”s Tankian”s second solo album is a rock set with elements of electronic and orchestral music. As usual, he doesn”t shy away from politics: “Yes, It”s Genocide” addresses last century”s Armenian genocide by the Turkish.