While at the record store this week, you might also want to consider some of the live DVDs that are hitting shelves, including Tori Amos: Live at Montreaux 1991-1992, Jewel: The Essential Live Songbook and The Supremes: Hits in the Name of Love. Sometimes you just need a visual.
On to the audio, here’s what you can expect to see in new releases this week:
Ani DiFranco — Red Letter Year (Righteous Babe)
Today is most likely a huge day for you, if you’re a DiFrancophile. Ani’s album of all-new material comes out today. There aren’t too many surprises on the disc — more of the same acoustic folk that fans have come to know and love.
Melissa Etheridge — A New Thought for Christmas (Island Records)
It’s fall, which means Christmas music will be coming out through December. Melissa does her own renditions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Blue Christmas.” There are also several holiday originals to replace your Mariah Carey Christmas album — you know that CD is tired!
Jennifer Hudson &mdash Jennifer Hudson (Arista Records)
It’s time for the Dreamgirl to shine, which could be one reason her first single is called “Spotlight.” The singer-turned-actress has an Oscar under her belt, but her CD is sure to remind everyone that her strong soul vocals are what gave her notoriety in the first place.
Kellie Pickler — Kellie Pickler (19 Recordings)
Speaking of past American Idol contestants, country fans can check out Kellie Pickler’s new album, which features the single “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful.” It’s a little more sexy, a little more mature, but still playful and fun contemporary country-pop.
Lesley Roy — Unbeautiful (Jive Records)
If you’re seeking something new, I suggest trying on Lesley Roy for size. The Irish singer/songwriter is 21 years old but has a good idea of what she wants &mdash or at least it seems that way from the songs on her debut. Her raspy-edged voice calls to mind the best of rock frontwomen like Joan Jett and Janis Joplin.