How do you know that the summer is over? Albums start coming out at breakneck speed. While I understand the concept of more music coming out closer to the holidays (when people are actually gonna, y’know, spend money?), I wish they would even out the release schedule a little more instead of putting a hurtin’ on the wallet all fall and winter, kna’mean?

Anyway, I couldn’t decide on just one release to spotlight this week, so here’s four for you, representing several different subgenres of popular music. No matter your taste, you will find something to your liking amongst these selections:

Muse “The Resistance”-

Although the song they performed on the VMAs last Sunday didn’t exactly turn my crank (can someone agree with me that it sounds just like Britney’s “Womanizer”?), this British band turned me into¬†a fan with their last album “Black Holes & Revelations”. With a sound that encompasses elements of classic, modern, and prog rock, Muse is one of the best new rock bands working today. Their previous two albums have sold quite well in an under-the-radar fashion. This new one should be their breakthrough.

Kid Cudi “Man on the Moon: The End of the Day”:

The latest Kanye protege to hit the streets is Kid Cudi, who scored a Top 5 hit earlier this summer with “Day & Nite”. Part of the “alternative hip-hop” renaissance that’s taken hold as a backlash against gangsta rap, Cudi (who is from Cleveland, of all places) is one of the gere’s most promising newcomers. Along with Mr. West, there are guest appearances on this album from Common and Snoop Dogg. I’m beginning to think that all you need to get Snoop on your album is some weed, he makes so many damn guest appearances.

Living Colour “The Chair in the Doorway”:

The pioneering funk/metal outfit returns after a five year siesta with a new album. As eclectic as ever, “Chair” jumps from straight-ahead rock to electronic-spiced tunes to ballads with ease. I was fortunate enough to see them in concert just a few days ago (more on that in another article) during which they performed this new album in its’ entirety. Believe me when I say that they’ve still got it.

Q-Tip “Kamaal the Abstract”:

Originally scheduled for a 2002 release, “Kamaal” was shelved by Jive, Tip’s label at the time, for being too uncommercial. Well, after seven years, it’s still not commercial, but it’s finally going to see the light of day (although I’m sure many of you Tribe/Tip fans, like me, got your grubby little hands on this album by, uh…less than savory means). Anyway, “Kamaal”, while rooted in hip-hop, is just as much of a jazz/funk album as it is a rap record. If you’re a typical boom-bap hip-hop fan, this album might give you pause. Then again, if you’re a typical boom-bap hip-hop fan, you probably gave up on Q-Tip after A Tribe Called Quest broke up. This artistic triumph was well worth the wait.

There’s plenty more coming out, and you can find the entire list of this week’s releases here!