This week is full of strong women, and I know none of us will object. If the past few weeks of new releases are any indication, we might have some more top albums on our hands. Right now, Taylor Swift and Susan Tedeschi are topping the charts (Swift for Hot Country Songs and Tedeschi for Top Blues Album). Ne-Yo might be the top R&B crooner for now, but it’s possible
Beyoncé — I Am … Sasha Fierce (Music World/Columbia Records)
On the singer’s third solo CD, she’s going for a concept album. Her alter ego seems to be very similar to the Beyoncé we know and love, with hot singles like “Single Ladies” and “If I Were a Boy” already getting fans excited.
Dido — Safe Trip Home (Arista Records)
Anyone who purchased Dido’s previous albums knows she’s much more than the girl who lent her song “Thank You” to an Eminem track in 2000. And while her voice is capable of standing alone, collaborations with Mick Fleetwood, Questlove and Brian Eno make her new album even more interesting.
Shontelle — Shontelligence (Universal/Motown Records)
Hailing from Barbados, Shontelle has a style similar to Rihanna. Her single “T-Shirt” has all the makings of a pop gem: pop cultural references, longing for an ex, and clever rhymes paired with catchy chord progressions. If the rest of her CD follows suit, she could become another young performer to watch.
Belle & Sebastian — The BBC Sessions (Matador)
The Scottish indie pop band have enjoyed a large following since the 1990s, and on this new two-disc live album, they perform songs from 1996-2001, which includes Isobel Campbell on vocals. She has since left the band, so this is probably the last you’ll hear from her in conjunction with B&S, at least for now.