New Tunage – The Alicia Keys is okay, Celine’s new disc is not awful, but not far from that, and the Duran Duran is surprisingly okay. The best release thsi week is the Trisha Yearwood disc!

New Releases, Nov. 13: Alicia Keys, Celine Dion, Duran Duran
Alicia Keys “As I Am”
The R&B star finally returns with a proper studio follow-up to 2003’s “The Diary of Alicia Keys.” Keys’ last album was 2005’s “Unplugged,” which was recorded as part of MTV’s popular acoustic-oriented series.
Given Keys’ tremendous track record–“The Diary of Alicia Keys” won four Grammy Awards at the 2004 ceremony, including for Best R&B Album–expectations are understandably quite high for “As I Am.” The work should get a boost from the presence of young pop idol John Mayer, who added some vocals on “As I Am.”
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Celine Dion “Taking Chances”
The pop music star has sold some 200 million records worldwide, which, by some reports, makes her the biggest-selling female artist of all time. She hopes to further distance herself from the pack (Barbra Streisand, Madonna, Diana Ross, etc.) with “Taking Chances,” her first new studio offering since 2003’s “One Heart.”
The new disc finds the vocalist, indeed, taking some chances in terms of collaborators. The 14-track CD includes work by such unusual suspects as Ben Moody (formerly of Evanescence), Linda Perry and hip-hop star Ne-Yo.
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Duran Duran “Red Carpet Massacre”
The modern rock legends are back in action–minus Andy Taylor–and are ready to give fans “Red Carpet Massacre.” The first single from the record is “Falling Down,” which was produced and co-written with Justin Timberlake.
“Red Carpet Massacre,” the British pop group’s 13th studio album, features production work by hit-maker Timbaland. The album reportedly was completed in late 2006, following the departure of Taylor, who left the band due to the old irreconcilable differences reasoning. Taylor has been replaced by guitarist Dominic Brown, who took part in the recording process.
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Led Zeppelin “Mothership”
Fans of these Rock and Roll Hall of Famers will be thrilled to hear that the “Mothership” is landing. This comprehensive set, which includes two CDs and a DVD, features 24 songs recorded during the band’s legendary concerts. All eight of the band’s studio efforts are represented here, in songs such as “Whole Lotta Love” and “Ramble On.” The tracks reportedly were selected, sequenced and remastered by the band’s surviving members themselves.
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James Taylor “One Man Band”
This CD/DVD combo was recorded during a pair of July performances at the Colonial Theatre in Pittsfield, MA. “One Man Band” features versions of some of Taylor’s biggest hits, including “Carolina On My Mind” and “Fire and Rain,” interspersed with his anecdotes on the inspiration for the tunes. The DVD portion also includes exclusive interviews, home movies and personal photographs.
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The Killers “Sawdust”
The Las Vegas alt-rock champions return with this collection of B-sides, soundtrack work, cover songs and other fan-friendly tracks. Included in the mix is a cover of the Mel Tellis-penned Kenny Rogers hit “Ruby, Don’t Take Your Love to Town” as well as the B-side “All the Pretty Faces.”
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More new releases:
Boyz II Men, “Motown: A Journey Through Hitsville USA” (Decca)
Dane Cook, “Rough Around the Edges: Live from Madison Square Garden” (Comedy Central)
Aretha Franklin, “Jewels in the Crown: Duets With the Queen of Soul” (Arista)
The Goo Goo Dolls, “Greatest Hits Vol. 1: The Singles” (Warner Bros)
David Gray, “Greatest Hits” (ATO)
The Hives, “Black and White Album” (Interscope)
Queensrˇche, “Take Cover” (Rhino)
Eros Ramazzotti, “E2” (Sony)
Seal, “System” (Warner Bros)
George Strait, “22 More Hits” (MCA Nashville)
Streetlight Manifesto, “Somewhere in the Between” (Victory)
Various artists, “Now That’s What I Call Music! 26” (Capitol)
Trisha Yearwood, “Heaven, Heartache, and the Power of Love” (Big Machine)
Soundtracks and scores:
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (The Complete Recordings)” (Reprise)