Summer’s most highly anticipated record — at least for the Buzz’s money — arrives in stores this week, and if the first single is any indication, we’re about to drown in a cascade of fabulousness. Read on:


One of the finest female voices in the history of country music, the incredible and endlessly fascinating Tanya Tucker, makes a long-awaited comeback this week with My Turn, her first album in eight years. Turn finds Tucker — who has never sounded better, and that’s saying something! — turning the tables on the music men she has long admired by covering some of their best-known tunes. Among the highlights: a playful take on Charley Pride’s classic “Is Anybody Going to San Antone?” and a slightly mellow version of Merle Haggard’s “Ramblin’ Fever,” as well as what is quite possibly the best cover of Eddy Arnold’s “You Don’t Know Me” since Jann Arden’s devastating one twelve years ago.

After last year’s stunning thumpa-thumpa smash Last Night, his paean to New York City’s ’80s-era club scene, everyone’s favorite vegan Moby pulls it way back on his latest album, Wait for Me. Inspired by a speech from David Lynch at an awards ceremony last year, Moby takes a swing toward the personal on his ninth studio record, whose ambient strings and intimate vocals deftly recall the mood of his 1999 breakthrough landmark Play.

Recent radio smashes from Jamie Foxx (“Blame It,” which kinda grows on you if you hear it enough times), Pitbull (the intoxicating “I Know You Want Me (Calle Ocho)”), Lady GaGa (“Poker Face,” which wasn’t half as fun as “Just Dance” last fall), The Fray (“You Found Me,” still living in the penthouse suite of 2009’s singles), country upstarts Lady Antebellum (“I Run to You,” as hot as a Tennessee sunrise), and Miss Britney (the cheekily naughty “If You Seek Amy”) highlight Now That’s What I Call Music 31, the latest collection in the mega-selling pop hits series. Even more mind-blowing, though, is
Now That’s What I Call the ’80s, Vol. 2, a thoroughly worthy sequel to last year’s staggering original. I could sing this set’s virtues for the rest of this post, so I’ll let it suffice to say simply this: any album that begins with George Michael’s “Faith” and ends with The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me,” with requisite visits from Whitney Houston, Steve Perry, Bruce Hornsby, Cyndi Lauper, Sting, Robert Palmer, Duran Duran, Richard Marx, and the long-lost Martika (literally, I haven’t listened to “Toy Soldiers” in years!), is straight up my alley, honey. Take it from me: waste no time in tracking this one down.

Jeff Tweedy and company follow up their terrific 2007 effort Sky Blue Sky — their most straightforward and wholly enjoyable record since 1999’s Summerteeth — with their pretentiously-titled seventh album Wilco (The Album). If you liked them before, you likely still will, and if you’ve never understood the allure of their often esoteric output, there’s likely nothing here — not even a guest appearance from the lovely Feist — that will you sway you.

His instant classic 2005 solo debut …Something to Be played like an immense sigh of relief, coming as it did on the heels of a deeply dissatisfying Matchbox Twenty record that had us all worried that the brilliant Rob Thomas had lost his Midas touch. No such worries were necessary: three massive radio mainstays (the riveting “Lonely No More,” the propulsive “This is How a Heart Breaks,” and the devastating “Ever the Same”) sent Something into the stratosphere and reaffirmed Thomas’ near-unfailing penchant for creating mix-ready magic. After another Matchbox Twenty project a couple of years ago, Thomas is back with his sophomore effort, Cradlesong; its lead single, the 24-carat smash “Her Diamonds,” is already burning up the dial, and Rolling Stone has just chimed in with an atypically charitable four-star review. This looks to be a bona-fide monster megahit. (Also this week: don’t miss the DVD of Thomas’ Live at Red Rocks special that was recorded during the …Something to Be tour for play on PBS last year.)

Also noteworthy this week:


  • The most ass-chappingly irritating song currently infesting Top 40 radio? The groaningly awful “Birthday Sex,” which this week rapper Jeremih surrounds with a full album, his self-titled debut.

  • According to Sherry Ann, I’m not allowed to say anything bad about Brad Paisley, whose latest album, American Saturday Night, arrives this week. If I were allowed to speak my mind about that ridiculous doofus, I’d say something like he’s annoying and pompous and cloying. But I’m not, so I won’t.

  • Icelandic princess Bjork is up with a live effort, Voltaic.

  • And finally, a new wave of those brilliant Playlist compendiums arrives this week, with best-of discs — some of them admittedly ridiculous and unwarranted — landing in stores from Los Lonely Boys, TLC,
    Sir Mix-a-Lot, Babyface, and Survivor.


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