Common Universal Mind Control
The rapper formerly known as Common Sense is used to being one of the most critically acclaimed emcees by the music press. That apparently has stopped with Universal Mind Control. The Chicago wordsmith’s eighth album has been panned by just about every publication I’ve laid my eyes on. Common has forgone his usual soulful, thoughtful raps for a more danceable, electronic style-apparently inspired by an experience at a club in Europe where he apparently got upset because none of his songs were being played. Hey, man…not all good music is danceable. The jury’s out on this, but I’m prepared to be disappointed.

Maroon 5 Call & Response: The Remix Album
The remix album is a phenomenon that’s kinda fallen by the wayside in recent years, and probably with good reason-anyone remember Limp Bizkit’s attempt at one? At any rate, Maroon 5’s album contains reworkings by the likes of DJ Premier, Jazzy Jeff and ?uestlove of The Roots, as well as some more club-conscious remixes by some of today’s hottest electronic producers. I’d trust Adam Levine and the boys to make my body rock a little more than Common does. Just sayin’.

Brandy Human
It’s Moesha, y’all!! The former teen idol is now pushing 30, and has a great deal of life experience behind her. She suffered the indignity of a lie she told the public about getting married blowing up in her face, and she was involved in a car accident a couple years back that killed a woman. So, we’re looking at a new, thoughtful Brandy. So if you’re one of those folks who was bopping to The Boy is Mine back in the day, you can welcome your girl home.

Musiq Soulchild OnMyRadio
I like Musiq Soulchild, despite the fact that he’s essentially made the exact same album four times in a row. I’m not expecting #5 to be any different, so I’m on the fence about getting this. The current single, “Ifyouleave” (cut it out already with the stupid song titles), features Mary J. Blige and is a pleasant enough song. Just not sure if it’s good enough to make me part with my eleven dollars.

The only thing notable about Avant is that he sounds like R. Kelly. Well, there’s also the fact that people seem to buy his records for some odd reason. This is, if I’m not mistaken, his fifth album. And apparently, there’s a duet with R. Kelly on it! Ha! I get it!

As you can tell, this Tuesday is a heavily R&B and hip hop-centric release date, so it’s up to Thrice to represent for all the rock folks out there. Live at the House of Blues is a 3-CD set which should appeal to diehard fans of the band (whoever they are). In the “Where Are They Now?” department, the first solo effort from Ken Block, the lead singer of rootsy-rock band Sister Hazel, is hitting stores today as well.In the re-issue department, a couple of classic albums have been expanded and re-released: Jimi Hendrix‘s Electric Ladyland and Pavement‘s alt-rock classic Brighten the Corners. Finally, Motown #1s is a multi-CD box set that collects every single #1 record in the U.S. or the U.K. from the legendary label. So you not only get the best of The Supremes, Tempts and Tops, but you get Seventies Classics from Stevie and Marvin, some 80s flavor from DeBarge and Lionel Richie, and a little bit of Nineties courtesy of Boyz II Men. If you’ve got the scratch and a jones to hear these classic tunes (or know someone who does), this would make a very nice stocking stuffer!

A full list of this week’s releases can be found here.