New Tunage – Coming soon!!

This spring in music, it’s all about the faceoffs. There’s Avril vs. Duff, Trent Reznor vs. the world, and two superstar trios spoiling for a fight. We speak, of course, of Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard and Ray Price vs. Timbaland, Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado – and how much do we want to see that dance-off.
This all takes a back seat, meanwhile, to the ultimate battle of the booties: BeyoncÈ vs. Shakira, who duet for the first time on a new track, “Beautiful Liar.”
There’s a lot of great music on the way, which is the perfect time for us to take a look at it all!
Keep your eyes open for these albums, coming soon:
BeyoncÈ and Shakira “Beautiful Liar”
Bootiful BeyoncÈ and hip-notically slinky Shakira – two of the hottest women in music – get together for a major duet, the third single to peel off BeyoncÈ’s 2006 “B’Day” album. If you already bought that disc, get ready to buy it again.
This number, as well as five others, has been added to the “Deluxe Edition” that’ll be re-released next month. Describing the shimmy-shimmy shake song, Miss B said, “It’s about a guy who’s kind of playing both of us, and instead of us arguing, we say, ‘Forget him. Let’s stick together.'” And in the steamy “Liar” video they do that with sweaty enthusiasm. (Re-releases April 3)
Hilary Duff “Dignity”
Still in her teens, the 19-year-old Duffalator remains a master of film, perfume and music. On her new disc of original music (she co-wrote every track), Miss D sings about love and lust in ways Lizzie McGuire only dreamed about. This is a straight-up dance/pop record that’s just a little dated in its reverence to Madonna. (Out April 3)
Joss Stone “Introducing Joss Stone”
On her third studio album, Stone concocts a mix of vintage soul that’s part ’70s R&B and part Motown with enough hip-hop to anchor it to this generation. Stone has said, “This music is truly me.” Maybe that accounts for the title. Listen for Common on “Tell Me What We’re Gonna Do Now,” and the elusive Lauryn Hill takes a bow on the track titled “Music.” (Out March 20)
Hayley Westenra “Celtic Treasure”
On her just-in-time for Saint Patrick’s Day record, this pure-voiced New Zealand soprano delivers a breathtaking collection that wears enough green to be sufficiently traditional and dynamic to transcend the holiday. She sings a terrific “Danny Boy,” but she wins your heart with her cover of “Shenandoah,” one of this week’s featured MPFrees at (Out today)
The Pierces “Thirteen Tales of Love and Revenge”
Folk-rock sister act the Pierces are way too pretty to ever have had boys break up with them, yet they sing in harmony with authority about the edgier sides of love. Their original “Louisa” is the perfect love ’em and leave ’em track. These Alabama slammers are among this week’s MPFree offerings at (Out March 20)
Avril Lavigne “The Best Damn Thing”
On her third album, Avril Lavigne rediscovers anger as a musical instrument, yet she keeps the tunes aggressively upbeat. He-man Avril haters will finds this a bratty record, but her die-hard fans will easily hear how confident she’s become as a performer. Moms be warned: In the edgy rocker “Girlfriend,” little Miss Raccoon-eyes adds the oh-so-awful “F” expletive to the word “mother,” making us feel the adhesive of a “Parental Advisory” sticker.
(Out April 17)
Timbaland “Shock Value”
Timbaland says his new album, “Shock Value,” is sequenced like a movie – “a nonstop flow that tells a story.” What that story is remains under tight wraps, but with guests like Justin Timberlake and Nelly Furtado featured on the first single, “Give It to Me,” and reports that that everyone from Jay-Z to Elton John are doing guest solos, how off can this uber-producer/artist go? (Out March 27)
Jennifer Lopez “Como Ama Una Mujer”
The title of J.Lo’s first all-Spanish album means “How a Woman Loves.” While this effort could be seen as a wild departure from her pop-oriented music, instead think of it as a savvy move to extend her international standing. Here in America, bets are on that the singer is already prepared to head into the studio to do a “Christina Aguilera” and re-record the entire disc in English for us gringos. And no, “Taco Kisses” – of “South Park” fame – is not one of the tracks on this disc. (Out March 27)
Macy Gray “Big”
Macy Gray has one of those love-it-or-hate-it loopy voices. While she’s never equaled the success of her single “I Try,” her devoted following is very hot to hear her latest. To help her on this effort, Black Eyed Peas and Fergie guest, as do Justin Timberlake, Nas and Natalie Cole. A good crew on a big album. (Out March 27)
Patti Smith “Twelve”
Patti Smith, one of music’s most revered artists, shakes off her stodgy standing as a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and revitalizes her career by interpreting a dozen seminal songs from the big book of rock. The tracks include Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced?,” the Stones’ “Gimme Shelter,” Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” and Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” This is a record drenched in greatness from concept to execution. (Out March 24)
Eddie Money “Wanna Go Back”
In homage to his youth, one-time rock icon Eddie Money has a little fun with an album of ’60s cover songs. You can’t help but love his on-the-money cover of “Good Lovin'” while the cringe factor grips you during “Build Me Up, Buttercup.” Still this record is more fun than folly. (Out today)
Willie Nelson, Merle Haggard & Ray Price “Last of the Breed”
Nashville’s three dwarfs – Dopey, Grumpy and Sleepy – band together for an old-fashioned disc of s—kicking twangers. Over the course of two discs, they do their own music and cover the classics that made the Grand Ol’ Opry hoot. This is a disc steeped in tradition highlighted by music written by everyone from Gene Autry to Lefty Frizzell. (Out March 20)
John Lee Hooker “Best of Friends”
Duets the late John Lee Hooker recorded with rock and pop stars over the years have been dug up and compiled for this often extraordinary blues/rock record, which features blues revivalists including Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Carlos Santana, Robert Cray and Ry Cooder. The best of this fine disc is the pairing of long-gone John Lee with Jimmie Vaughan on Hooker’s “Boom, Boom.” (Out April 3)
Nekromantics “Life is a Grave & I Dig It”
If you liked 2004’s “Dead Girls Don’t Cry,” the new Nekromantics’ disc is even better (suposedly they actually rehearsed before going into the studio this time). The death-charged rockabilly by this Danish band is tops on “Horny in a Hearse” and “Panic at the Morgue.” (Out April 10)
Uncle Earl “Waterloo, Tennessee”
On their sophomore disc, this all-girl string band makes some of the most compelling bluegrass that’s ever left Tennessee. The fiddles, banjos and mandolin blend flawlessly, and the harmonies are superb. Helping out the girls on production this time is former Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. To hear Uncle Earl, download their song “D&P Blues” at’s MPFree. (Out today)
John Butler Trio “Grand National”
As a group, the John Butler Trio defies category. A quick spin of this album, and you’d call it American roots rock, but the lyrics have a global quality that’s spiritual and also intellectual. The song “Good Excuses,” for instance, is a call to return to a basic life away from consumerism, while “Fire in the Sky” is an old-fashioned peace song. Hippie ideals whose time has come again. (Out March 27)
Fountains of Wayne “Traffic and Weather”
Call the music of the Fountains of Wayne short stories set to perfect pop. While everything the band does until they’re rockers in rocking chairs will be compared to their old hit “Stacy’s Mom,” this album of catchy melodies and wisecracking lyrics stands up to repeated listens. It’s musically diverse, using the best of rock and pop styles and riffs as touchstones. (Out April 3)
Nine Inch Nails “Year Zero”
Industrial rockers Nine Inch Nails, aka Trent Reznor, takes on its first concept album. In his “Year Zero” opus, Reznor describes America in the year 2022 as an Orwellian world where total governmental control of the people is accepted policy. Strong concept, but does it rock? The first single, “Survivalism,” is classic NIN, as are leaked songs including “My Violent Heart” and “In This Twilight.” As for the rest, the lid is clamped shut until the April release.