9098 – New Tunage – Some of the Christina Aguilera is superb, some of it isn’t. Meanwhile, all of the “Snakes On A Plane” soundtrack is fun!!

New Releases, Aug. 15: Christina Aguilera, Obie Trice, Trace Adkins And the Snakes On A Plane soundtrack
Christina Aguilera “Back to Basics”
Getting “Back to Basics” for Christina Aguilera apparently means turning back the clock and embracing vintage jazz, soul and blues styles from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s.
“This is a concept album that follows a bold, set vision,” Aguilera said in a statement. “The touchstones are Billie Holiday, Otis Redding, Etta James and Ella Fitzgerald. … what I used to call my ‘fun music’ when I was a little girl.”
Yet, it’s highly unlikely that this CD will get lost among a stack of Billie Holiday and Nina Simone discs. This album will still deliver its share of dance-pop offerings–including the club track “Still Dirrty.”
The set–which features an orchestra, choir, string quartet and jazz horns–was produced by Linda Perry, who was behind the boards for Aguilera’s 2002 CD, “Stripped.” The first single is “Ain’t No Other Man,” which made its debut back in June at the MTV Movie Awards. “Ain’t No Other Man” is nominated for Video of the Year at MTV’s Video Music Awards, which take place Aug. 31 at New York’s Radio City Music Hall.
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Obie Trice “Second Round’s on Me”
Obie Trice, the Detroit rapper who is best known for his work with mega-star Eminem, returns with a follow-up to his gold-certified 2003 debut, “Cheers.”
The record was originally set to drop in May. Given what’s happened to the rapper over the last year, however, it’s a bit of a miracle that the album is coming out at all. Last New Year’s Eve, Trice was driving his Range Rover on the Lodge Expressway in his hometown when he was shot in the head by an unknown gunman. Out of fear of causing further injury, doctors left the bullet lodged in Trice’s skull. A few months later, in April, Trice’s close friend and Shady Records’ labelmate Proof was shot and killed in an after-hours bar.
The first single from the album is “Cry Now,” which is an ode to Eminem’s rumored retirement. The set also includes the tracks “Snitch” and “Wanna Know,” which have been heard, respectively, on the television shows “CSI” and “Entourage.”
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Trace Adkins “Dangerous Man”
The deep-voiced country crooner tries to capitalize on the success of last year’s “Songs About Me,” with featured the new-country anthem “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk,” by quickly releasing another batch of new songs. This marks the first time that Adkins has released albums in back-to-back years since 1996’s “Dreamin’ Out Loud” and 1997’s “Big Time.”
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Yanni “Yanni Live ñ The Concert Event”
The New Age superstar releases his first concert disc since 1997’s “Tribute,” a blockbuster set that is currently approaching double-platinum status. The CD includes such Yanni favorites as “Keys to Imagination,” “Enchantment” and “Standing in Motion.” The accompanying DVD will be released in September.
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Maria Muldaur “Heart of Mine: Love Songs of Bob Dylan”
Having honored the great Peggy Lee on 2003’s “A Woman Alone with the Blues,” Maria Muldaur now directs her attention to the equally fab Bob Dylan. The vocalist covers a variety of Dylan tracks on this set, including such relatively obscure numbers as “Golden Loom” and longtime fan favorites like “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.”
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Original Soundtrack “Cheetah Girls 2”
The Cheetah Girls–a group that can be thought of as Disney Channel’s version of The Spice Girls–return with another set that will surely appeal to the “High School Musical” generation. The group is led by multimedia darling Raven-Symone, who has three solo tracks on the record. The soundtrack also features Mexican vocalist Belinda Peregrin.
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More new releases:
Agalloch, “Ashes Against the Grain” (The End)
Brownsville Station, “Air Special” (Wounded Bird)
George Chisholm’s All Stars, “Along the Chisholm Trail” (Progressive)
The Damnwells, “Air Stereo” (Zoe)
Jonas Hellborg, “Abstract Logic” (Bardo)
Lyfe Jennings, “The Phoenix” (Sony)
Lecrae, “After the Music Stops” (Cross Movement)
Hank Mobley, “Another Workout” (Blue Note)
The Panic Channel, “(One)” (Capitol)
Roger Powell, “Air Pocket” (Wounded Bird)
Reel Big Fish, “Our Live Album is Better Than Your Live Album” (CD Baby)
Carrie Rodriguez, “Seven Angels on a Bicycle” (Back Porch)
Bruce Saunders, “8×5” (Mel Bay)
Mike Stern, “Who Let the Cats Out” (Heads Up)
Diego Torres, “Andando” (Sony)
Various Artists, “50 Sublimes Chanteuses de Jazz, Vol. 2” (Body and Soul)
Soundtracks and scores:
“Snakes on a Plane: The Album” (New Line)