2001 album from the R&B/Pop singer/songwriter. Songs in a Minor sold more than 12 million albums worldwide and garnered Keys with her first five Grammy Awards including Best New Artist, Best Song of the Year for 'Fallin', and Best R&B Album. She may be beautiful, but Alicia Keys is a musician first and foremost. She plants herself firmly behind the piano keys on her debut, unlike many of the booty-waggin' junior divas who are crowding the R&B videoscape these days. Though many of the tracks on Songs in A Minor are embellished with adolescent angst, this 20-year-old's substantial, gorgeously soul-drenched alto putties the cracks between notes with astonishing ease. "Fallin'," the album's first single, showcases Keys at her best. She wails plaintively and passionately over rolling blues chords, in the tradition of the greats that this young talent clearly wants to align herself with--Stevie Wonder, Donny Hathaway, and Aretha Franklin. She swoops and soars over the spicy, flamenco-fueled melody that opens "Mr. Mann," one of the many winning tracks gathered here. And she digs deep into a remake of the beloved Prince B-side, "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore?" packing more heat into her melismatic wails than most singers twice her age. --Sylvia W. Chan
Rush release new album from U.S. Superstar Beyonce Knowles. This is a new 14 track CD featuring husband Jay-Z & daughter Blue Ivy. Comes with a 17 track DVD format of stunning provocative promo videos. Radio promo around two singles "Blow" & "Drunk In Love".
Manufacturer: Roc A Fella
Brand: Umgd/Def Jam
Late Registration is the follow up to Kanye's smash debut The College Dropout. The first single 'Diamonds From Sierra Leone' samples vocals of the legendary Shirley Bassey. Highlights include 'Gold Digger' featuring Jaime Foxx and 'Hear Em Say' featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5. John Mayer also makes a guest appearance on what is sure to the album of the year. Def Jam. 2005. For haters eager to see Kanye hit a sophomore slump--no such luck. Late Registration can't replicate the novelty of last year's College Dropout, but otherwise, this is an impressively more mature and labored-over album. Lyrically, Kanye's only improved a notch but musically, the album sounds incredible, especially with co-producer Jon Brion helping polish the songs to perfection. Tracks like "Heard 'Em Say" (featuring Maroon 5's Adam Levine) and "Hey Mama," are richly textured in their soulfulness while the flint-edge of "Crack Music" and "Gone" (feat. Cam'ron) will appeal to the street-oriented. There's a few duds on here--the sickly-sweet, syrupy "Bring Me Down" (feat. Brandy) being one of the worst offenders--but when the album's good, it's very, very good. In short, Kanye's detractors may not be swayed in their resistance to his charms but not only will his past supporters be rewarded but Late Registration has enough appeal to earn new crowds of fans. --Oliver Wang
Late Registration is the second studio album by American hip hop artist Kanye West, released on August 30, 2005, by Roc-A-Fella Records. Recording sessions for the album took place over the course of a year at Record Plant Studios, Chalice Recording Studios, and Grandmaster Recording Studios in Hollywood, and at Sony Music Studios in New York City. West collaborated with American record producer and composer Jon Brion to produce Late Registration, and the album features guest contributions from artists such as Jay-Z, Common, Lupe Fiasco, Jamie Foxx, Nas, Brandy, and Adam Levine, among others. Upon its release, Late Registration received rave reviews from music critics and earned West several accolades, including a Grammy Award for Best Rap Album at the 2006 Grammy Awards and an Album of the Year nomination. It appeared at the top of several publications year-end lists of top albums. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 2005, and included it at number 118 on its list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2012
Manufacturer: Sony Legacy
Much more than that, actually-all her #1 hits are here ( Greatest Love of All; I Will Always Love You; All the Man That I Need; Didn't We Almost Have It All , etc.), but so are her hottest remixes ( I Wanna Dance with Somebody; So Emotional; I'm Your Baby Tonight; I'm Every Woman , and more), previously unissued rarities, fan favorites and four brand-new tracks-37 of Whitney's best on 2 cassettes! For an artist who only released four proper albums in a 15-year career, it's astounding to recall how many hits Whitney Houston was able to achieve. The two CDs on The Greatest Hits track Houston's rise from mid-'80s TopÂ 40 balladeer to standard-setting diva. DiscÂ 1, Cool Down, runs chronologically through Houston's down-tempo love songs, from "The Greatest Love of All" and "I Will Always Love You" to the cleverly conceived new duet with Deborah Cox, "Same Script, Different Cast." She's also showcased as the remixee of choice for DJs on the second disc, Throw Down, which serves as the antidote to the lovesick first disc. Calling in marquee mixmasters, Houston's old-shoe tunes get a new millennium polish. "My Love Is Your Love," reinterpreted by Jonathan Peters, captures the versatility of Houston's songs by making the downbeats danceable without going totally Euro-cheese. In contrast, Junior Vasquez's remix of 1985's "How Will I Know" pokes fun at the song's '80s fluffiness by layering in bells, lasers effects, and echoes on top of Whitney's enthusiastic vocals. --Heidi Sherman
Manufacturer: Warner Bros.
Brand: Warner Bros
Anthony Kiedis of the Red Hot Chili Peppers calls the band's first new album in four years, Stadium Arcadium, the most-anticipated album of the spring, "the best thing that we've ever done....There's this weird kind of sublime, subliminal undercurrent that is suggestive, in a spirited way, of our earliest records." Exuding all the passion, energy, and funked-up rock that have made the Red Hot Chili Peppers one of the most popular bands in history, the 2-CD Stadium Arcadium, simply put, will knock your socks off. Four-year career hiatuses followed by sprawling double-albums could spell trouble for a band of the Chili Peppers' stature: consider they'd originally recorded enough for three discs. The restless, trouble-plagued outfit that helped break alternative rock into the mainstream with a potent fusion of punk 'n' funk in the '80s finds itself two decades on almost completely devoid of the former's energetic abandon, while the latter's effusive rhythms are considerably subdued over the course of this two-hour, 28-track collection. It's not so much that the Peppers have lost their muscular, often uber-macho edge as they have willfully tamed it in service of mature reinvention here. The mellower, often introspective, if no less potent pop ethos that characterized the crossover hit "Under the Bridge" blossoms fully here on tracks like disc one's "Snow," "Wet Sand," and the jazz-cool of "Hey." The title track, "Desecration Smile," and "She Looks To Me" finds them venturing further into laid back pop ballad territory, while the tricky rhythms of "Dani California," "Charlie," and "So Much I" eventually kick into familiar top gear on the pop-savvy "Tell Me Baby" and hip-hop seasoned "Storm in a Teacup." It's not that there's a paucity of musical adventure here ("If" and "Animal Bar" finds them wafting into Floydish neo-psychedelia while "Make You Feel Better" seems to channel no less than Joe Jackson) but that it's delivered with a subtlety--and dare we say it?--tasteful musical restraint that's a stark contrast to ...
Manufacturer: Mercury Nashville
2012 release, a Country album from the Soul/Pop veteran. Surpassing his creative and personal boundaries, Richie comes full circle with the innovative and personal Tuskegee, performing 13 of his most revered "anthems of our day" with some of the biggest names in Country music, including Sugarland's Jennifer Nettles, Tim McGraw, Blake Shelton, Darius Rucker, Rascal Flatts, Kenny Chesney, Billy Currington, Little Big Town and Jason Aldean. On this worldwide, multi-genre album, Richie is also joined by the likes of such superstars as Shania Twain, Kenny Rogers, Willie Nelson and Jimmy Buffett. While defying boundaries and breaking barriers throughout his storied career, Richie reveals once again that Tuskegee will join the ranks of his timeless body of work that touches people of all faiths, ages and demographics across the world.