Weekly US music releases: Ricky Martin, Boy George and Ladysmith Black Mambazo

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The Independent Culture

On February 1, Ricky Martin releases an album in Spanish, Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrates 45 years of performing, and Boy George comes back with his first album in a decade.

Ricky Martin, Musica + Alma + Sexo
First on Amazon's Latin pop chart, this collection from Sony is Grammy winner Ricky Martin's first studio album in six years. Recorded in Spanish, which he last did in 2003, he sings "Lo Mejor De Mi Vida Eres Tu" with Natalia Jimenez as well as an English version, "The Best Thing About Me Is You," with Joss Stone. This Puerto Rican pop star began at 12 in Menudo and has sold more than 15 million records worldwide. Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kzxoQ9rbDAA

Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Songs From a Zulu Farm
In 15th on Amazon's World Music chart, this new collection from Ladysmith Black Mambazo celebrates the vocal group's 45 years performing together. Part of a trilogy called Our South African Story, this first release on Razor & Tie Records features traditional songs from the musicians' youth in South Africa, such as "Yangiluma Inkukhu (The Biting Chicken)." Currently touring the US, they head to the UK in May and June.

Boy George, Ordinary Alien
His first album in more than ten years, this collaboration with pop/dance music producer and co-writer Kinky Roland (Bananarama, Marc Almond) includes material from over the last decade. The 12-track collection includes "Yes We Can," "Time Machine" and the two-part "Amazing Grace." A 1980s icon from the hit band Culture Club, Boy George recently announced the act will reunite in 2012 for a world tour to celebrate its 30th anniversary. The album is available on iTunes and on CD through Decode.
Music video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_W_saccWlBo