Corinne Bailey Rae’s self-titled 2006 debut was one of the surprise successes of 2006. Her amalgam of soul and acoustic pop won her 2 million fans here in the states and won her a ton of Grammy nominations, and she did it without the benefit of a huge radio hit.

It’s pretty fair to say that a follow-up would have taken less than four years to complete, had Corinne’s husband not died from a drug overdose back in 2008. That event shook Corinne to her core, and she went through a period where she (justifiably) did not feel like writing songs and making music.

Finally, two years after her husband’s tragic death and nearly four years since her debut album’s release, Corinne is back with her sophomore work, “The Sea”. Advance reviews have largely been positive, and I’m looking forward to hearing the album. You can check out my pal Jeff Giles’ review of “The Sea” over at Eat Sleep Drink Music right here.

Also out this week:

*Lady Antebellum “Need You Now”: This co-ed trio is the hottest thing in country music right now not named Taylor Swift. The title track has already been a huge country hit and it’s made its’ way into the Top Ten on the pop charts as well. Expect “Need You Now” to open at the top of the Billboard charts next week with huge numbers.

*Michael Jackson “This is It” DVD: Those of you who didn’t get the chance to catch “This is It” in theaters really missed out. Despite the drug addict rumors, Michael was on top of his game as he was rehearsing for his run of shows in England. He also comes across as more human than anyone who’s followed him in the past two decades would think. Seriously-even if you’re not a super-fan, you’ll be impressed by the movie. There’s not a ton of bonus footage on the DVD, which kinda sucks.

*Barry Manilow “The Greatest Love Songs of All Time”: Is it me, or has Manilow done about 30,000 different versions of covers albums? Isn’t this guy a songwriter? Can’t he write his own material?

*David Sanborn “Only Everything”: One of the few horn players I can think of that I can immediately recognize when I can hear him-the others are Miles Davis and (sigh…) Kenny G, Sanborn is a legendary figure in jazz as well as pop, having played with everyone from David Bowie to Lenny Kravitz. I also have a soft spot for the guy because I was at one point co-workers (and friends) with his son Jonathan and he was surprisingly cool for a celebrity’s kid. His daddy raised him right. Anyway, the elder Sanborn’s new album features guest appearances from James Taylor and Joss Stone, among others.

Get the complete list of new releases from the fine folks at Pause and Play here!