A lot of buzz has been building for the March 29 release of Britney Spears‘ Femme Fatale. Perhaps it’s because people want to see whether Spears can make Femme Fatale a success and complete the transition from tabloid trainwreck to pop star. Or perhaps the public just wants more unoriginal, overproduced pop music. Either way, Femme Fatale (pre-order right here) will likely sell a lot of copies on March 29. Sadly, there are several better albums that will sell fewer copies but should command more attention. Here’s a look.
Radiohead – The King of Limbs: With the skill and creativity that the members of Radiohead possess, the band could have easily produced a long list of “Creep”-esque hits and turned into the biggest pop rock band since Bon Jovi. Thankfully, that very same skill and creativity made Radiohead far too ambitious to do so, and the band has been consistently pushing the envelope musically, challenging not only the members’ skill sets but fans’ perceptions of music. The King of Limbs is abstract but enjoyable, brooding but never overly mopey, and another solid release from Radiohead. You can listen to and download The King of Limbs right here.
Pearl Jam – VS. and Vitalogy 3-CD Deluxe Edition: Both VS. and Vitalogy are among the best of Pearl Jam’s long list of releases, and this deluxe edition features not only remastered versions of all of the original tracks, but demos and previously unreleased material. In addition, the VS. and Vitalogy 3-CD Deluxe Edition offers a disc of 16 live tracks from Boston’s Orpheum Theater. You can preview and pick up Pearl Jam’s VS. and Vitalogy 3-CD Deluxe Edition right here.
Wiz Khalifa – Rolling Papers: Whether or not you’re as much of a fan green as Khalifa is, you shouldn’t find it too difficult to enjoy Rolling Papers. While Khalifa obviously has stoner appeal, his slick rhymes are incredibly hook-laden and have a lot of pop appeal, as well. Although Khalifa isn’t as inspirational as other rappers in terms of lyrics, he also isn’t trying to teach you how to Dougie, so it’s not all bad. Preview Wiz Khalifa’s Rolling Papers right here.
Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones – Here We Go Again: It’s rare to find so much talent on one disc, so you’d better snap up Here We Go Again. This album captures the brilliant Jazz at Lincoln Center performance that found the trio giving a rousing tribute to Ray Charles by breathing new life into his already memorable music. Three legends toasting a legend? Does it get any more legendary than that? Listen to clips from Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis, Norah Jones – Here We Go Again right here.
Emery – We Do What We Want: Looking for the cure for the common pop album? Check out Emery’s latest, and arguably greatest, release. We Do What We Want finds Emery coming into its own, with a well-written, incredibly energetic release that offers catchy, rocking tunes that will make you wonder why you listened to mainstream radio and top 40 rubbish for so long. Check out Emery’s We Do What We Want right here.