I've already gone over today's DVD releases; now here are a few music picks to help breathe life into your iPod. (If you want to weigh in on a new album, head over to the Music Review Group and write your two cents. I may even feature your thoughts on the site!)
A head-scratcher: Timbaland's collaborations seem even more forced in this follow-up to Shock Value, featuring pairings with Chad Kroeger, The Fray, even Miley Cyrus. Why does it feel like he's trying so hard? I was happy to see him return to old partner Justin Timberlake for "Carry Out," but the song is a ridiculous (albeit silly-fun) take on sex and fast food that makes me think of Timberlake's "I'm Lovin' It" McDonald's campaign. I prefer "Say Something" with Drake and "Ease Off the Liquor" — the only track where Tim is all by himself.
Never really takes off: I already shared my excitement about 30 Seconds to Mars's This Is War after previewing "Hurricane" with Kanye West, so imagine my disappointment when I heard the album in its entirety and the rapper's voice is missing (reportedly due to legal issues). Without West, War loses some of its oomph and many of the songs feel repetitive. Jared Leto's voice sounds great, but unfortunately, the music and lyrics don't pack the punch necessary for an album with This Is War as its title. Not that the boys don't have tracks worth checking out; "Alibi" showcases Leto's pipes, wailing with emo-ness.
See one more release when you
A sugary second helping: You know I'm a fan of the first Glee soundtrack, so I was very excited for Volume 2. A few of the lesser-used players shine this time, including Tina on "True Colors" and Mercedes on "Proud Mary" and "And I'm Telling You I'm Not Going." It also gives us an early listen of "My Life Would Suck Without You," which the gleeks take on in this week's episode. But the big reason I can get behind this edition? Unlike Volume 1, which was overplayed before it even came out (hello, "Don't Stop Believin'"), we haven't heard these songs 100 times already.