Sorry, folks. Last week’s set of releases was so crappy that I just couldn’t bring myself to post. Consider yourselves lucky. You avoided a hearty round of Clay Aiken and Chris Sligh jokes (yep, both former “American Idol” contestants released albums last week).

Thankfully, this week’s set of releases is much better. Here’s what’s on tap:

Death Cab for Cutie: Narrow Stairs : It’s kind of hard for me to explain what Death Cab sounds like. Think really strong indie pop with great songwriting. Ben Gibbard is an expressive vocalist, even though he won’t make anyone’s great singers list. Long story short, these guys deserve the hype. I found them with their last album, “Plans”, and if you’re not familiar with these folks, you should start now.

(yes, the video is 8 minutes long. You’ll get over it.)

Duffy “Rockferry”: It’s not difficult to explain what Duffy sounds like. Think Amy Winehouse. That is all. Amidst the wave of British female singers that have crashed our shores in Amy’s wake, Duffy is the one who has been compared to Wino the most-minus the whole drug addiction thing. Kinda sounds to me like a whitewashed copy, but I’ll be checking the album out anyway.

Jason Mraz “We Sing, We Dance, We Steal Things”: Remember Jason Mraz? In the wake of John Mayer, Mraz was the smart-alecky, Boradway kid version of Mr. “Your Body is a Wonderland”. His second album, “Mr. A-Z” overdid it on the pretentiousness, which had already reached fever pitch by that time (remember when he popped up at the Gramy nomination ceremony only to receive ZERO nominations? There were a lot of happy people there). Anyway, everyone deserves a second chance, and this release (which has been preceded by a couple of EPs) might find Mraz dialing down the obnoxiousness a little bit. OK, I just took a look at the website. So, maybe not.

Keith Sweat “Just Me”: It’s been twenty years and Keith Sweat still ain’t too proud to beg. The master of R&B begging is back after a six-year absence, and he’s changed absolutely nothing. Sweat may be approaching 50, but the grooves are still smoove, and Mr. Sweat is still whining and begging for you to love him down, baby!! Keyshia Cole guests.

Foxy Brown “Brooklyn’s Don Diva”: I say Li’l Kim, Remy Ma and Foxy should have linked up behind bars and put together a group or something. At any rate, with two of the three out of the clink, that won’t happen, so Foxy’s long-delayed fourth album finally arrives (this album has been pushed back so many times that she’s served her entire term since it’s initial release date). If you don’t buy this album, she might throw a BlackBerry or some hair glue at you. Watch out.

(apparently, Foxy doesn’t have a website)

Most of this week’s releases similarly come from the “Where The Hell Have YOU Been?” category. Remember Filter? They’re back with an album. How about Ashlee Simpson’s former boyfriend Ryan Cabrera? He’s back with a skeevy new look (and now is dating one of Lisa Marie Presley’s kids) and an independently-released album. And if you’re hankering for some of that mid-Eighties pop/rock flavor, you might want to check out Bryan Adams’ new album, cleverly titled “11”. Hint, it’s his 11th album.

OH!! Speaking of long vacations, the New Kids on the Block return with their first group release in fourteen years. “Summertime” is available for purchase at iTunes and all the other major subscription/pay-download services. Hangin’ tough!!

Happy shopping, folks.

And here’s the full list…