The release schedule has slowed to a trickle, so…I don’t have a lot to write about this week. That might make some of you happy. Anyway, here’s what’s coming out today.
Alicia Keys “The Element of Freedom”- Even when Alicia Keys does wrong, she does no wrong. Neither of the two singles released so far-“Doesn’t Mean Anything” and “Try Sleeping with a Broken Heart”-have exactly set the world on fire, but she still finds herself at the top of both the Pop & R&B charts with “Empire State of Mind”. A Jigga-less version of “Empire” appears on this album, in addition to a duet with Beyonce, meaning that Alicia has now joined the list of artists who have joined forces with both members of the Carter household.
Alicia’s a weird one for me. I like her, but she’s yet to make a studio album that I enjoy all the way through. She’s still prone to clumsy lyricism, for one. With that said, though, her good qualities outweigh the bad ones and I have no qualms adding this to my collection.
Robin Thicke “Sex Therapy”: This appears to be the John Legend “Evolver”-type album for Mr. Thicke, AKA the “Robin Thicke Sells Out” record. “Sex Therapy” includes guest appearances from the likes of Jay-Z (yet again), The Game, Snoop Dogg and annoying new female rapper Nicki Minaj. Now as someone who generally likes his R&B to be guest rapper-free, this concerns me. But the first single and title track is the “Let’s Get it On” of 2009, and I might be able to forgive having to sit through another record with the D-O-Double G if Robin gives us a couple more baby-makin’ anthems.
The only other release of note is “Lucy”, an EP by Julian Lennon and James Scott Cook. This is a charity record, benefiting several Lupus research foundations. The titular “Lucy” was a schoolmate of Julian’s. A drawing he made of her famously piqued Julian’s dad’s interest and resulted in the Beatles classic “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”. Lucy passed away from lupus-related complications last year, so the song “Lucy” is, in part, a tribute to her. The album artwork also includes a reproduction of that original drawing-which I’m sure will be of special interest to Beatles fans. It’s Julian’s first music in something like a decade, it’s cheap, and it’s for a good cause. Pick it up, why don’t you?
For a full list of this week’s releases, be sure to check out Pause and Play .