Weekly US music releases: Mayer to McCartney

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The Independent Culture

Major releases come out this week and next in the US with a couple dozen heavy hitters lining up for the holiday season crush. Tuesday, November 17's offerings include a range of genres and artists from 50 Cent to John Mayer, Katy Perry to Leona Lewis.

John Mayer, Battle Studies
Grammy-winning guitarist, John Mayer, releases his latest studio album, probably bound for multi-platinum again, whether his romance continues with Jennifer Aniston or not. His music bends genres from U2-style rock anthems to melodic Beatles-esque songs. "Half of My Heart" features country music darling Taylor Swift and his version of "Crossroads" shows his signature bluesy style.
Genre: rock
Label: Columbia
Website: www.johnmayer.com/

50 Cent, Before I Self-Destruct
Produced by Dr. Dre and Eminem, 50 Cent's latest CD features the single "Baby By Me" with Ne-Yo. The deluxe CD/DVD package includes a film, written, directed and starring Curtis Jackson (a/k/a 50 Cent) about an inner city youth's dream of playing basketball thwarted by tragedy. Also includes the documentary, Two Turntables and A Microphone: The Life and Death of Jam Master Jay, about the multi-platinum rapper's mentor from Run-DMC.
Genre: hip-hop
Label: Aftermath/Interscope
Website: www.50cent.com

Katy Perry, Katy Perry: MTV Unplugged
The host of MTV's Europe Music Awards, Katy Perry, who won Best New Act, releases a deluxe CD/DVD of her performance on MTV Unplugged. It features the hits "I Kissed a Girl" and "Waking Up in Vegas," and more, plus two new songs, "Brick by Brick," and "Hackensack" by the Fountains of Wayne. The footage includes interviews and is available on demand at MTV.com following the premiere.
Genre: pop
Label: Capitol
Website: www.katyperry.com/

Norah Jones, The Fall
For her fourth studio album, sultry-voiced Norah Jones departs from jazzy cabaret to a pop/rock sound, playing guitar more than piano. Produced by Jacquire King (Kings of Leon, Modest Mouse), the CD includes a song by Ryan Adams and her collaborator Jesse Harris. The band has also changes to include players from acts like Beck, R.E.M., and Elvis Costello.
Genre: singer/songwriter
Label: Blue Note
Website: www.norahjones.com

Leona Lewis, Echo
British vocalist Leona Lewis follows up her multi-platinum debut CD which garnered three Grammy nods with a lineup of songs co-produced by Clive Davis and Simon "American Idol" Cowell. Now working with artists like Ne-Yo and Xenomania in this pop and R&B, the first single is "Happy." She's also singing the signature song for the upcoming film Avatar.
Genre: pop/soul
Label: J/Syco Music
Website: www.leonalewismusic.co.uk/us/

Paul McCartney, Good Evening New York City
A live recording capturing Paul McCartney's triumphant three-night performance at New York's Citi Field for 120,000 fans during his summer tour in July 2009. The two-CD release features 33 songs spanning his career from The Beatles tunes, peppered with a couple Wings and solo hits like "Jet" and "Band on the Run." The deluxe version includes two DVDs.
Genre: pop rock
Label: Hear Music/Concord
Website: www.paulmccartney.com/

Robbie Williams, Reality Killed the Video Star
This collection is the first studio recording by Robbie Williams since 2005. Produced by the legendary Trevor Horn (Tom Jones, Pet Shop Boys, Rod Stewart, Tina Turner), who had a hit with The Buggles' "Video Killed the Radio Star," Williams' memorable videos include the latest, dressed as a rabbit, for the current single, ‘You Know Me."
Genre: pop
Label: Astralwerks
Website: www.robbiewilliams.com

Them Crooked Vultures, Them Crooked Vultures
Foo Fighter Dave Grohl has exchanged his guitar for the drums, harkening back to Nirvana days, and put together a supergroup featuring guitarist/singer Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and former Led Zepplin bassist John Paul Jones. After playing the festival circuit together this summer, they're releasing this CD.
Genre: hard rock
Label: Interscope
Website: www.themcrookedvultures.com/

Atlantic Records: The Time Capsule
Celebrating 62 years of renowned recording artists, from Aretha and Ray Charles to Bette Midler and Led Zepplin, Bee Gees, Genesis, and more. The limited edition box set includes nine CDs with a 140-page hardcover book. The 165-track anthology offers a retrospective spanning genres that tells a story from the company's archives, suitable for collectors and fans.
Genre: varied
Label Atlantic
Website: www.atlanticrecords.com/