New Tunage – No matter who you see on this week’s list, it is not the late 90s! It is 2007!!

New CD Releases, October 30: Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Levon Helm
Britney Spears “Blackout”
It’s been four years since the pop diva released her last new studio album, 2003’s “In the Zone,” which produced the mega-hit “Toxic.” Yet, the public can be excused for thinking that the hiatus has actually been much longer. That’s because it seems like ages since the star was in the news for something music related.
But–oh, boy!–has Britney been in the news a lot over the last four years. There have been countless tabloid stories about her marriage woes, child-custody problems and party-animal escapades (with and without panties).
Finally, the star returns with her fifth studio effort, “Blackout.” The album was officially leaked on the Internet recently, allowing folks to hear all 12 of the tracks, and some of the early reviews have been surprisingly positive. Spears has received more good news with the album’s first single, “Gimme More,” which has proven to be a hit both on radio and on the charts.
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Backstreet Boys “Unbreakable”
The Jive label should utterly dominate record sales this week. Not only does Britney have a new album coming out, but the Backstreet Boys are back as well.
That’s right–Howie, Nick, AJ and Brian are back and ready to try and re-capture the title of top boy band. With ‘NSync on the shelf, that shouldn’t be too hard.
The only member that isn’t in the fold for “Unbreakable” is Kevin Richardson. The singer has left the band, reportedly to focus on starting a family, though it is speculated that he will rejoin the group for its next album.
The first single from the set is the piano-ballad “Inconsolable.”
The Backstreet Boys hope that “Unbreakable” will further add to what is already a very impressive career in terms of album sales. The group has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making it one of the best-selling pop bands of all time.
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Levon Helm “Dirt Farmer”
The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who came to fame as the drummer in The Band, apparently likes to take his time. Case in point: “Dirt Farmer” is Helm’s first new solo studio album in 25 years.
The 67-year-old Arkansas native handles several different instruments (including drums and mandolin) as well as all the lead vocals on this album. He receives some assistance on “Dirt Farmer” from such guests as multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell (a longtime member of Bob Dylan’s band) and his daughter Amy (a member of Ollabelle).
The album comes after some trying times in Helm’s life. Notably, he underwent treatments for throat cancer, and a fire consumed some 80 percent of his recording studio.
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Andrea Bocelli “The Best of Andrea Bocelli: Vivere”
The platinum-plus-selling tenor vocalist is set to deliver his first-ever greatest- hits package. The collection includes such fan favorites as “Romanza,” “La Voce del Silenzio” and “Time to Say Goodbye,” Bocelli’s smash duet with Sarah Brightman.
Bocelli will support this set with a tour that kicks off Dec. 1 in Las Vegas. He’s currently scheduled to remain on the road through a Dec. 15 date in Anaheim, CA.
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Original Soundtrack “I’m Not There”
This 2-disc soundtrack to the forthcoming film about Bob Dylan features several different talents covering the great songwriter’s works. Included in the mix are Eddie Vedder, Cat Power, John Doe, Sufjan Stevens and Calexico, among many others.
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More new releases:
Avenged Sevenfold, “Avenged Sevenfold” (Warner Bros)
David Bowie, “David Bowie Box” (Sony)
Will Downing, “After Tonight” (Peak)
Flyleaf, “Flyleaf” (Interscope)
Robert Fripp and Brian Eno, “Unreleased Works of Sterling Genius” (DMG)
Joy Division, “Closer” (Rhino)
Joy Division, “Unknown Pleasures” (Rhino)
Layo and Bushwacka, “Global Underground: Rio de Janeiro” (GU)
Otep, “The Ascension” (Koch)
Puscifer, “V Is for Vagina” (Puscifer Ent)
Queen, “Queen Rock Montreal” (Hollywood)
Taking Back Sunday, “Notes from the Past” (Victory)
Josh Turner, “Everything Is Fine” (MCA)
Soundtracks and scores:
“Twin Peaks: All New Season Two Music” (Absurda)