Brand new Kanye, Jay-Z, Britney... et al

The upcoming joint album, Watch the Throne.
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No, we're not talking pork thigh here. "H.A.M." stands for "Hard as a Motherfucka" and is the explosive first single of the project. They're making swift progress- we can probably expect the release by the end of the month (Kanye said it'd be out last Friday, which obviously didn't hold true).

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Alongside the first batch of mainstream material, you know the year's officially begun when there's talk of comeback albums.

Namely, Miss Britney's seventh, which will be released this March. Hitting radio stations by storm, the autotuned dance hit borrows some catchy techniques from dubstep. The chorus is sure to be stuck in your head and I adore the breakdown. Unfortunately, most rest of the song is melodically dull.

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I'm not sold on this effort. Ke$ha is able to pull off her talk-singing, Avril falls short. Avoiding, because the definitive "What The Hell"'s remind me of annoying children who think they're all that when they swear. I'm still optimistic towards the soon to follow Goodbye Lullaby.

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They weren't my immediate choice of music, but I gradually warmed to Cage The Elephant's distinct sound. With only good things to say, TYHB greatly overshadows the already perfect self-titled album. Make sure to check out "2024" and download "Aberdeen" for free (iTunes Canada only).

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"Sick of You" is predictable- I sang along upon my first listen- but ever so adorably intoxicating. It wasn't a song I wanted to like. The lyrics were unoriginal, the vocals were mediocre at best and the backing was loose. Yet here I am, thinking it's one of the best singles on modern rock radio currently.

The most intriguing thing leading up to this album was their new label, Upbeat Records. The studio was converted to 100% solar energy, earning Showroom Of Compassion a green sticker. In the past, they've been on both major and indie labels. To be honest, I know very little else about the group, but Chantelle at The Converse Rockstar wrote up a post here.

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Sharing this week's designation for favourite release is Brit-rockers Wire. Their latest album, Red Barked Tree is also their twelfth. (They've been around for a while.) It's artsy, mellow, and attention-seeking in a quiet sort of way. You really ought to hear it to understand.

Well, it's been a fair start to 2011, all this fantastic material has me excited for what's to come.