It’s Beatlemania anew this week, as all fourteen of the band’s original albums have been digitally remastered and are being re-released — with great fanfare, of course — in gorgeously rendered deluxe editions. Naturally, most everyone else is steering clear of the expected sales stampede, but there are a few new releases of note to complement the Fab Four this week.
Take a look:


Hard to believe that six long years have passed that cute moppet Howie Day released his sophomore album Stop All the World Now, which produced the monster smash “Collide,” a staple that made an entire generation of heavy-breathing prom-goers swoon. After an eternity of radio silence, Day resurfaces this week with his third studio set, Sound the Alarm, a chunk of which was co-written and produced by Better Than Ezra’s brilliant frontman Kevin Griffin. Just like pretty much every other male singer-songwriter who hit it big in the wake of John Mayer’s textbook breakthrough, Day can be a tad too earnest for his own good at times, but there’s no denying the kid’s got some chops. Color me curious on this one.

I liked her quite a lot, don’t get me wrong, but when she broke through a couple of years ago with her, um, fine debut album, One Cell in the Sea, all those undeserved Tori Amos comparisons which loudly trumpeted her arrival on the scene truly chapped my ass. (As I said then, you gotta earn praise like that, honey!) Now comes her chance to do just that, as Alison Sudol — better known, cryptically, as A Fine Frenzy, returns to the spotlight with her sophomore outing, Bomb in a Birdcage. Preview tracks from Bomb have been burning up iTunes for weeks now in an attempt to build anticipation; let’s see how it shakes out now that the full album has arrived.

They are the most commercially successful duo in country music history, with domestic sales alone of their ten studio albums and two greatest hits collections hovering in the neighborhood of thirty million; and after twenty years or recording and touring together, Brooks & Dunn have decided to part ways, and they’re going out with a bang with this week’s release of #1s… and Then Some, a two-disc, thirty-track compendium of chart-topping highlights from their two-decade career. This is by no means a comprehensive, all-encompassing chronicle of their best, most brilliant work, but you’ll find plenty here — from their crucial early hits “Lost and Found” and “Neon Moon” to their iconic signatures “Boot Scootin’ Boogie” and “Brand New Man” to later smashes like “My Maria” and “How Long Gone” (the latter, without question, my favorite B&D track) — to keep you entertained.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • Jay-Z completes his decade-spanning trilogy this week with the release of The Blueprint 3, which features cameos from Rihanna, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Pharrell, and others.

  • One of the most consistent, most beloved mainstays of American folk gets a well-earned career compendium with the release of
    The Essential Janis Ian, whose tracklist spans from her all-time classic smash “At Seventeen” up through her sterling work from this decade, including her riveting, brilliant 2000 comeback “God and the FBI.”

  • Indie hero Sondre Lerche is up with his latest, Heartbeat Radio.

  • And finally, a new album from the greatest band you’ve (probably) never heard of: they are Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers, they are spectacular, and their fifth record is entitled The Bear.


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