Your SoulBounce Guide to New & Upcoming Releases!

Let's assume that just about everyone pictured in the above graphic will sell pretty well. It is, after all, the 4th quarter, and people just purchase music all fast and loose for the holiday season. It's a fact! Most of these high-profile artists have released some iffy tracks so far, but have dedicated fans on their side as well as legions of Aunt Paulas that will blindly buy their nieces and nephews a good "record" for GP. Let us know what you plan to purchase in the comments, either for yourself or a loved one. I get that we're in a recession, but music, traditionally, is the cheapest and most useful gift to give.

Although I'm not overly impressed with most of the tracks promised for Brandy's Human, I am a dedicated fan and don't anticipate any severe disappointment. In spite of all the drama she's suffered in recent years, Brandy strikes me as a survivor and never comes across as an airhead or a diva. Sure she's made mistakes, but she's Human. The new album is mostly produced by Darkchild. Here's hoping their chemistry from earlier collaborations are still as fresh as ever. [Amazon 12/9]

Musiq was on our hitlist for a moment when "Radio" initially leaked, and even more once it was rumored that OnMyRadio would include appearances by Shawty Lo and Lloyd Banks. Turns out, we were hoodwinked (although "Radio" rears its ugly head at the album's close); there are no rap cameos unless you're pressed enough to classify Damian Marley as a rapper. It's so good I may just review it. [Amazon 12/9]

Avant has been out for eight years and I still know nothing about him. It seems he's always teetered on the edge of complete obscurity but manages to drop one or two solid enough tracks that occupy us for at least a little while. Perhaps that will change on his self-titled release. One thing we can surmise so far is that he's quite swole in the clip for "Break Ya Back," and he's probably itching to absorb all those R. Kelly comparisons by featuring the Platinum Pied Pisser on "Y.O.U." The album includes production by Collipark (can't get more grown or sexy than the man that orchestrated "Wait 'til you see my d***"), Bryan Cox and some new-fangled incarnation of The Trackmasters. [Amazon 12/9]

Common's Universal Mind Control is already getting hellacious feedback, some even saying it pales in comparison to 808s & Heartbreak. We're not sure exactly what that means, but it's frightening nonetheless! Common at his worst is still pretty good, like cold pizza, so we're hoping this contractually-obligated collection of Seeing Sounds rejects will hold us over until his inevitable return to form. [Amazon 12/9]

Alice Russell is one of those artists that is in "The Safe Zone" around these parts, eliciting some warranted reverence and adoration on SoulBounce. Butta hipped us to Pot Of Gold back in October, but there was no official U.S. release date at the time. Luckily it drops this week, amid a sea of higher-profile commercial releases that look very hit-or-miss. Hopefully we have enough folks visiting this site that will give her as much attention as her mainstream American counterparts. [Amazon 12/9]

Although generally considered a Pop/Rock outfit, Maroon 5 has always found a place among Hip Hop and Soul lovers. Their remix album Call And Response, capitalizes on this with remixes from Swizz Beatz, ?uestlove, DJ Premier and more. The set also features appearances by Mary J. Blige, The Cool Kids and David Banner. [Amazon 12/9]

The down home, gritty Soul of Anthony Hamilton is always a welcome respite from the glossy, paint-by-the-numbers "R&B" that seems to dominate. Some were on the fence about his first single "Cool" featuring David Banner, but it's probably one of the most organic collaborations we've heard all year. The Point Of It All, predictably, is getting great reviews. Anthony always comes fresh, but feels as familiar as Mom's cooking. [Amazon 12/16]

If you're a Ghostface fan, then it goes without question that you'll be scooping Ghostdeini the Great. There are only a couple of instances of fresh material since this is mostly a hits and remixes compilation. Along with classics like "Apollo Kids" and "All I Got Is You", the album features remixes of "Run" with Jadakiss, Lil Wayne, Raekwon, and Freeway, as well as "Back Like That" with Ne-Yo and Kanye West. This compilation probably counts as the least expensive thing he's released in ages. [Amazon 12/16]

Keyshia Cole is back this year with some new wigs and a lighter, more optimistic sound on A Different Me. This is supposedly her Breakthrough, free of the pain and suffering that characterized her earlier releases. All of this pretense is unnecessary and unhealthy in that it encourages potentially unfair expectations for the album, especially since all of her songs haven't been that mired in heartbreak.The true test will be if her public persona lives up to this PR-generated mythologizing. [Amazon 12/16]

Take the multiple-choice poll. What are you buying this holiday season?

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  • miss concrete jungle

    Anthony Hamilton and Musiq definitely get my vote, I trust they won't disappoint!

  • Brandy - Well I used to be a fan. And that is all I will say on that topic.
    Musiq's "Radio" nearly made me throw a tantrum and bring out my asthma pump. However, I will check it out.
    Love Maroon 5, so I will check that out.
    Keyshia, Anthony and Common are a given.
    Been killing Alice Russell for awhile...that shit is nuts. PUT IT ON YOUR LIST Y'ALL.
    That's. All.

  • Natalie

    I couldn't answer the poll. I'm not buying anything. I may download but there are very few artists I support financially and they are not on your list. Although I'm not a fan of Musiq, his album sounds pretty good. Like all of his others, there are three songs that I like and will only listen to.

  • I was one of the first to write Musiq off after I heard that single, "Radio", but he has some pretty decent tracks on the album. Especially the cut, "Until." That's a straight banger!

  • miss concrete jungle

    BTW, I'm glad Radio is at the END of Musiq's album, which will make it much easier to forget that ever came out..I may save after Christmas for some of the others, but $$ is tight, folks gotta come correct to get my funds! lol

  • Nate

    I just listened to the Brandy joint. While there's nothing bad on the album, there's also nothing that could even compare to the brilliance of Afrodisiac, or any of her albums, come to think of it. It's very pop and her voice lacks most of the grit and soul from Afrodisiac. I'll give it ***1/2.
    While I was scared by "Radio," the rest of Musiq's album is very enjoyable. ****
    Heard 30 second clips from Keyshia... not really anything special, even though I love her. I'll always support Anthony.
    It seems like all my favorite artists are releasing albums lately, but almost all of them disappoint. Sigh.

  • Nate

    Oh... and the Common joint is TERRIBLE.

  • Alice Russel & Anthony Hamilton & Keyshia Cole cuz she's from the Bay, but those are the only artists I can see myself actually FULLY supporting. I will probably buy a single or two from Brandy's & Musiq's. Avant who?! lol Maroon 5 is coo, but i'll borrow someone elses copy. And Common....well I previed it on myspace and uhhhh if it wasnt for MR. DJ saving UMC i'd probably give it a -3.5 but instead i'll give it a 2.1 for effort!!! Go back to the roots Com' get hiphop is your life..note to Musiq and Common...Radio play is need to sell out to sell.....

  • stoneyisland

    Anthony and Ghost for sho', I will download Musiq.. from what I have heard it's his worse album by far, 3 cuts on a album aint cutting it no more as far as I am concerned.

  • oldskoolsista

    I may be the only one that likes Brandy's album. :). Sure, it's a grower, and not like Afro, Full Moon, or Never Say Never, but I appreciate her for trying to be different and not follow the usual trend.
    Haven't listen to Musiq's new one, though I will check it out. And will cop Anthony Hamilton. The jury is out on Keyshia's new one. Based on the clips, I only like five songs. The whole thing seems rushed but we shall see.

  • Don't sleep on that Maroon 5 joint. Most of the remixes are great, and if you're already a fan of the band like me, you'll appreciate the songwriting even more than you already do. ?uestlove's remix of "Sunday Morning" is fantastic.

  • stoneyisland

    I'm not spending a nickel on Keyshia, my hard earned cash aint gonna support her crazy acting mama and kin folk..........

  • Planning on spending cash for Anthony's LP cause I like his sound and I gotta support the Hometown. Alice will probably get cash too as will Ghost. Musiq's LP is quite good, "Radio" aside. The jury is still out on Common for me. Having trouble getting into it. Maybe I'm still reeling from the shock of 808's & Heartbreaks. I had Brandy and Avant's LP's. With emphasis on the had.To quote John Witherspoon in Boondocks Bootleg's newest YouTube vid: "DELETE!!" Listened to Maroon 5 over the weekend. Props! There is no way I am even considering Keyshia Cole...nuff said!

  • Soul UK

    AH gets my vote!
    Brandy - not feeling the album. It aint bad ... but then it aint good.
    Musiq - have but not listened to yet. Heard VERY mixed reviews.
    Alice Russell - keep meaning to check her out - this may be the album!
    Maroon 5 - sounds like its maybe worth a listen.
    All the rest probably won't get a look in this side of xmas.

  • kiki

    Common's new cd UMC is $3.99 at under the mp3 songs section. Tuesday 9 Dec 08 only!!!! I wasn't going to buy it but this is too good to pass up!!!

  • Ok um here we go:
    I like Human a lot do it's def. cool wit me
    I think "Radio" will let me down just as much as the last Musiq album,don't mix bullshit with real musiq,i need balance,he lacks it
    I just want the singles off the Avant cd,the rest sucks,it's true,wheres my R.Kelly album,lol,u fuckin clone,sorry but dat is how it is
    The Maroon 5 Remix album only has 5 good songs and i'm a big fan of them,so that should tell you something,but peep Under Ur Skin,the best David Banner beat ever and the premeir joint
    Sorry but i never heard of Alice,maybe i will if she sells
    Anthony has never dissapointed me,but i don't see myself buying his album
    No Ghostface Compilations,i have it all on bootleg as a collective anywayz,wtf!
    U.M.C. leaked song by song,and all the songs leaked where the 4 or 5 i liked wich is half of the album,the rest sucked,sorry,no support dis year Com but i did buy Finding Forever,bring Invincible Summer On!!!!!
    The new Keyshia album seems classic,she's the most polished and sophisticated RNB chick out right now since Mary and MAry's getting old,thats all i'm saying,i'm buying it,plus the show remind the fuck out of me to.
    Thats it, 4th Quarter

  • Brandy , not really it 's not a good verdict . Side question ,Why didnt she develop yet ? she's still looking like she's 14! (her and Monica ?) Musiq yes- i will check it out his album,.


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