Theresa Andersson, Hummingbird, Go! (Basin Street) Could this be the latest hair — or rather, heir — to Dusty Springfield’s not-so-dusty blue-eyed soul diva throne, aided by Allen Toussaint, Ane Brun, and Sweden’s Tobias Froberg?
Apollo Sunshine, Shall Noise Upon (World’s Fair) Bad album titles happen to even imaginative psych-poppers.
Lila Downs, Shake Away (EMI/Manhattan) New York-Oaxaca singer-songwriter doffs the Frida drag and bares some Shakira-style midriff along with a lively pop sound.
Donnie Klang, Just a Rolling Stone (Bad Boy) Making the Band 4′s broom-topped answer to Jon B and Justin T paraphrases Bobby D for the TRL set.
New Kids on the Block, The Block (Interscope) Old manager Lou Pearlman is going to prison, Donnie is headed for divorce court, and there are even rumors that one member is — gasp — nonheterosexual.
Underoath, Lost in the Sound of Separation (Tooth & Nail/Solid State) Rock me, sexy screamo Jesus-freaks.
UNKLE, End Titles … Stories for Film (Surrender All) Say “UNKLE” like Black Mountain and Josh Homme want you to.
Brian Wilson, That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol) He reunites with Van Dyke Parks and takes a trip down memory’s drag strip, covering Louis Armstrong and paying homage to SoCal.
Young Jeezy, The Recession (Def Jam) True dat. Producers like Eminem and Jazze Pha and contributors such as Kanye West and T-Pain feel Jeezy’s, erm, pain.
Calexico, Carried to Dust (Touch and Go) Dusted but darn pretty. Whispery. Poppy.
Cornelius, Sensurround (Everloving) Keigo Oyamada, 3-D sound specialist, returns with a video-and-remix DVD/CD, aptly titled after a quake-imitating movie gimmick.
Kimya Dawson, Alphabutt (K) Everyone poops.
Michael Franti and Spearhead, All Rebel Rockers (Anti-/Epitaph) The SF activist stalwart spit-shines a spunky-fresh blend of dub and funk.
Fujiya and Miyagi, Lightbulbs (Deaf, Dumb & Blind) Fresh from car and Miller Lite commercials, the English kraut-rockers with the Japanese name(s).
Gym Class Heroes, The Quilt (Decaydance/Fueled by Ramen/Atlantic) I hate gym.
Hatchback, Colours of the Sun (Lo) Dfa- and Prins Thomas–approved Sorcerer-buddy Sam Grawe sets the controls beyond cosmic into hypnotic with epic instrumental jams such as “White Diamond” and “Horizon.”
Okkervil River, The Stand Ins (Jagjaguwar) The sweet sequel to last year’s novelistic The Stage Names.
Kardinal Offishall, Not 4 Sale (Geffen) The Clipse dispenses financial advice on “Set It Off.”
Jessica Simpson, Do You Know? (Columbia Nashville) Huh?
The Sound of Animals Fighting, The Ocean and the Sun (Epitaph) A dreamy Animal Collective meets a mathier-than-thou Dillinger Escape Plan?
Emiliana Torrini, Me and Armini (Rough Trade) In The Two Towers (2002), the Icelandic songbird serenaded the gruesome-cute ring-a-ding-dinger with “Gollum’s Song.”
Tricky, Knowle West Boy (Domino) The 40-year-old boy sings the body eclectic.
Metallica, Death Magnetic (Warner Bros.) When they weren’t pissing off neighbors, the music biz titans and longtime friends of Bugs Bunny were recording — with Rick Rubin — outside of SF for the first time in a dozen years.
George Clinton, George Clinton and Some Gangsters of Love (Shanachie) The gang — Carlos Santana, Sly Stone, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and RZA — is all here, maggot brains.
Faith Hill, Joy to the World (Warner Bros.) The initial single off the C&W-pop vocalist’s first Xmas album: “A Baby Changes Everything.”
Ill Bill, The Hour of Reprisal (Uncle Howie/Fat Beats) Bad Brains and Raekwon the Chef cook up mischief with “La Coka Nostra.”
Musiq Soulchild, On My Radio (Atlantic) The spirit of Philadelphia, from behind soulful shades.
Nelly, Brass Knuckles (Derrty/Universal) Fergie, Ciara, and Lil Wayne get derrty right herre.
Ne-Yo, Year of the Gentleman (Def Jam) We’re waiting for “Year of the Ice Road Trucker.”
Raphael Saadiq, The Way I See It (Columbia) Oakland will come out for its boy.
Alexander Tucker, Portal (ATP Recordings) Acclaimed UK fingerpicking maestro of murk-folk returns with a dissonant, symphonic mix of vibes, cello, and electric mandolin on his third album.
The Veronicas, Hook Me Up (Sire) The Aussie twins hope to hook up the Jonas Brothers’ tweeny audience with their sassy pop.
Blitzen Trapper, Furr (Sub Pop) The wild-eyed Northwesterners focus on a janky old piano found outside their studio.
Cold War Kids, Loyalty to Loyalty (Downtown/Atlantic) Chilly times call for tunes with titles like “Golden Gate Jumpers.”
Common, Invincible Summer (Geffen) Last sighted orbiting will.i.am’s Obama ad and now rotating with the Neptunes.
Charlie Haden Family and Friends, Rambling Boy (Decca) The jazz genius gets back to his Iowa-bound country-music roots with help from offspring Petra and Josh, Elvis Costello, Rosanne Cash, and Pat Metheny.
Kings of Leon, Only By the Night (RCA) Brothers by day.
Jenny Lewis, Acid Tongue (Warner Bros.) Elvis Costello really does get around, guesting here alongside She and Him and Lewis manfriend Johnathan Rice.
Mogwai, The Hawk Is Howling (PIAS/Wall of Sound) The Scottish instrumentalists move on from making music for Zinedine Zidane. Song titles include “I’m Jim Morrison, I’m Dead,” and “I Love You, I’m Going to Blow Up Your School.”
Peter Bjorn and John, Seaside Rock (Almost Gold/Star Time International) The trio from Sweden veer away from lyrical pop to lyric-free — and whistle-free, one hopes — compositions inspired by childhood.
TV on the Radio, Dear Science (Interscope) Shining with radioactive adorableness.
Marianne Faithfull, Easy Come, Easy Go (Naive, UK) The queen of the nicotine rasp reunites with Hal Wilner to cover Dolly Parton, Neko Case, Judee Sill, Randy Newman, and Morrissey.
Miles Davis, Kind of Blue: 50th Anniv. (Columbia/Legacy) In marriage, the 50th anniversary is golden. In the music industry, the 50th anniversary is a two-CD plus DVD plus LP plus book plus poster.
Dungen, 4 (Sublimininal Sounds) The fourth studio album by Swedish foursome is divided into two sounds: raw guitar rock and jazz-inflected cinematic orchestration\
El Guincho, Alegranza! (Young Turks/XL) Born with the zestful zing! of an Esquivel sample, Pablo Diaz-Reixa’s irresistible 10-track burst of Barcelona beach boy 21st-century Tropicalia finally gets a US release — and, one hopes, a tour to go with it.
Jennifer Hudson, Jennifer Hudson (Arista) After an Oscar, various red carpet misfires, and the Sex and the City movie, her debut arrives, taking the s, the o, the l, and the o out of “solo“ via guest appearances or production by Diane Warren, Timbaland, Ne-Yo, T-Pain, Cee-lo, Pharrell, Ludacris, Akon, John Legend, and duet partner R. Kelly.
Mercury Rev, Snowflake Midnight (Yep Roc) Melting the heels of the band’s seventh studio album is Strange Attractor, a companion collection of 11 free downloadable tracks.
Barbara Morgenstern, BM (Monika Enterprise) The operator behind effervescent bursts of multilayered electronic pop presents her fifth album and — attention SF club promoters! — hopes to the tour the states.
Nina Simone, To Be Free (Sony Legacy) A three-CD, one-DVD retrospective that spans more than four decades, from Dr. Simone’s earliest recordings with Bethlehem to her final recordings for Elektra.
Taj Mahal, Maestro (Heads Up) Forty years after his recording debut and five years after his last US release, he covers Otis Redding and works with Ziggy Marley.
T.I., Paper Trail (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) His house arrest album, narrowed down from 50 songs, includes production by all the usual big names, and cameos by Rihanna, Justin Timberlake, John Legend, Usher, and the dreaded Fall Out Boy.
XX Teens, Welcome to Goon Island (Mute) I see Paris, I see Toulouse, I see someone’s green and blue boobs.
Black Sabbath, Paranoid (Deluxe) (Universal) The band’s biggest-selling album gets a quadraphonic update, along with instrumental versions of six songs.
Deerhoof, Offend Maggie (Kill Rock Stars) A pencil drawing by Tomoo Gokita of a half-naked mystery man graces the cover, and the first single has been released in the form of sheet music.
Jolie Holland, The Living and the Dead (Anti-/Epitaph) Norman Mailer wouldn’t be able to attract guests like M. Ward and Marc Ribot.
Morgan Geist, Double Night Time (Environ) In the wake of contributing cellist Kelley Polar’s second album, one member of Metro Area presents his own new romantic bouquet of Detroit techno-tinged disco pop, with guest crooning by Jeremy Greenspan of Junior Boys.
Gregory and the Hawk, Moenie and Kitchi (FatCat) Sweetly twee indie-folk prepares its latest world-domination campaign.
Lambchop, OH (ohio) (Merge) Chop, chop — Nashville rocks.
MSTRKRFT, title to be announced (Dim Mak) Isis brings the “Bounce.”
Of Montreal, Skeletal Lamping (Polyvinyl) Do be a drag — with plenty of confetti.
Rise Against, Appeal to Reason (Geffen) Tried to reason with them about playing up the pirate metal.
Senses Fail, Life Is Not a Waiting Room (Vagrant) So why are we waiting for our hearing to fail?
Michele Williams, Unexpected (Columbia) The Destiny’s Child vocalist, not the actress, stops going gospel in favor of pop.
Women, Women (Jagjaguwar) Hope they get to hang out with Lesbians.
The Alps, III (Type) Local music heads Scott Hewicker, Jefre-Cantu Ledesma, and Alexis Georgopoulos makes the leap from CD-R to “proper” album release, paying homage to the hallucinatory sides of Serge Gainsbourg, Ennio Morricone, and Terry Riley along the way.
I’m From Barcelona, Who Killed Harry Houdini (Mute) The Swedish — not Spanish — mega-band returns with 10 new songs, including at least one by the ill-fated famous illusionist.
Ray LaMontagne, Gossip in the Grain (RCA) And buzz in the barn.
Queen and Paul Rodgers, The Cosmos Rocks (Hollywood) We know guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May finally completed his doctorate, but that title will have Freddy Mercury’s ghost hitching it to the next galaxy.
T. Pain, Thr33 Ringz (Jive) After producing most of Ciara’s upcoming full-length, Faheem Najm recruits Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, and Kanye West for his own — if it doesn’t go putf8um, I’m gonna buy you a drank and fall in love with a stripper.
Hank III, Damn Right, Rebel Proud (Curb/Bruc) The disc has been described as a “Jekyll and Hyde mix of disturbingly dark stuff and good ol’ country.”
Labelle, Back to Now (Verve) Their first full-length in 33 years brings Gamble and Huff, Lenny Kravitz, and Wyclef Jean out of the woodwork.
Lee Ann Womack, Call Me Crazy (MCA Nashville) She sang at the 2004 Republican National Convention, but redeemed herself as much as possible a year later with the “20 Years and Two Husbands Ago.” Now, unfortunately, she’s borrowing titles from Anne Heche.
Cradle of Filth, Godspeed on the Devil’s Thunder (Roadrunner) The grimy tots say they were inspired by Joan of Arc’s aristocratic compatriot.
Cynic, Traced in Air (Season of Mist) The proggish metal outfit issues its first studio album since 1993.
Warren G, The G Files (Hawino) Quick, regulate before G notices.
It’s a Musical, The Music Makes Me Sick (Morr) Guitar-free Berlin duo craft harmonic pop in the key of Bacharach, with trumpets, vibraphones, and canonical choirs.
Grace Jones, Hurricane (Wall of Sound, UK) The most anticipated comeback of the season, since Glass Candy, the Chromatics and every other nu-disco act offering pale versions of her fabulous robot chick chic — includes contributions by Brian Eno and Sly and Robbie and a song called “Corporate Cannibal.”
John Legend, Evolver (G.O.O.D Music/Columbia) Kanye West, Andre 3000, and Estelle join the high-minded proceedings.
Pink, title TBA (LaFace/Zomba) She attempts to get the party started — yet again.
Big Boi, Sir Luscious Leftfoot … Son of Chico Dusty (LaFace) Ouch, don’t hurt yourself on that title. The OutKast insider finds support in Andre 3000, Mary J. Blige, and Too $hort.
Dido, title TBA (Arista). “Thank You,” multi-instrumental wiz and producer Jon Brion for overseeing this long-time-coming album.
Missy Elliott, Block Party (Atlantic) Was it really over a decade ago that the late Babygirl gave her a boost to fame? Keyshia Cole is a likely guest, and Timbaland is just one of many co-producers.
Kelly Clarkson, title TBA (RCA) Everybody loves the Rachael Ray of American Idol pop! Don’t they?
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