Welcome to Buzzworthy’s “The Week In Pop,” where we round up new album releases, talk show musical guests and TV performances by your favorite pop stars and more (so you don’t have to.)
Let’s talk being real, bravery and beauty this week. Boys Like Girls mine rock and dance influences, being real for old fans while expanding their sound. Frank Ocean fearlessly and bravely opened up about his sexuality and many have embraced his openness; Channel Orange was digitally released early and physical copies drop Tuesday. Nas gets real about his personal life, too, on Life Is Good. Also, the February MTV UK’s PUSH Artist of the Month Michael Kiwanuka and Milo Greene drop debut albums, while JEFF The Brotherhood hit with their first major label effort. The week ends with “Teen Choice Awards,” hosted by Demi Lovato and “Glee”‘s Kevin McHale. Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida, No Doubt and DJ Pauly D perform.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Boys Like Girls, Crazy World EP: In early 2011, the quartet was frustrated and took a break that lasted almost a year. “I think we took a break because the music industry had sort of moved on to dance, and it was scary for a rock band,” frontman Martin Johnson told MTV News. The break seemed to rejuvenate them, and when they met to record, they mined both rock and dance. The teaser EP includes “Be Your Everything,” “Life Of The Party” and “The First Time.” The full album hits in the fall.
+ Nas, Life Is Good: On his 10th record, Nas traces relationships, from the tumultuous one with ex-wife Kelis on “Bye Baby” (the album cover features his ex’s green wedding dress. Yet, Kelis took it in stride, giving props to his artistry despite their marriage’s demise. “Daughters” is a father’s ode to his teenage daughter Destiny and his shortcomings as a dad, and “Cherry Wine” features the late Amy Winehouse, the two imagining the ideal soul mate. It seems life is good with honest perspective.
+ Michael Kiwanuka, Home Again: The British soul singer’s debut gets a Stateside physical release. He’s already made waves overseas, having won the BBC Sound of 2012 prize. His warm tone and acoustic-to-lush renderings conjure legendary singers and songwriters (Otis Redding, Randy Newman, Bill Withers) on the vintage stylings of “Home Again” and “Rest,” delivering a refinement that’s impressive for a newcomer. The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach produced the bonus U.S. track “Lasan.”
Check out more new album releases and upcoming TV appearances and performances after the jump.
+ Frank Ocean, Channel Orange: As part of the Odd Future collective, he’s arguably their most compelling member: from his recent, laudable coming out about his first love with a man (Beyoncé even wrote him a poem), to his R&B major label debut, which favors heartbreak and romanticism versus the controversy that can surround his group. “Thinkin Bout You” with its aching falsetto, the devastating and epic “Pyramids,” the confessional “Bad Religion,” and “Pink Matter” are a few of many highlights on this impressive debut.
+ JEFF The Brotherhood, Hypnotic Nights: Produced by The Black Keys‘ Dan Auerbach, the prolific duo release their major label debut. “Sixpack,” as one can surmise, is about partying, and much of their anthemic rock is just as celebratory. “Country Life” guns for the good life: embracing youth, records and beer. There’s also a loop-laden Black Sabbath “Changes” cover.
+ Milo Greene, Milo Greene: The up-and-coming Los Angeles quintet sweetly blends male-female vocal harmonies over this 13-song debut album. Their folk-pop “Don’t You Give Up On Me” was featured on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and the catchy “1957” was in “Suburgatory.” Also check out “Perfectly Aligned,” which features Marlana Sheetz’s wispy lead vocals, buoyed by the guys’ “oh whoa-oh ohh” harmonies.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, July 16
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Nas
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Zac Brown Band
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Curren$y
Tuesday, July 17
“Late Show With David Letterman” — JEFF The Brotherhood
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Matisyahu
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Best Coast
“The Colbert Report” — Nas
“Live With Kelly” — guest cohost Josh Groban
Wednesday, July 18
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — MGK
“Conan” — Walk The Moon
“Live With Kelly” — guest cohost Josh Groban
“Shut Up And Play The Hits” — LCD Soundsystem’s documentary hits theaters.
Thursday, July 19
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — Hot Chip
“Duets” — Season Finale, a winner is declared. Featuring Kelly Clarkson, John Legend, Robin Thicke and Jennifer Nettles
Friday, July 20
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Missy Higgins
“Late Night With Jimmy Fallon” — A$AP Rocky
“Live With Kelly” — guest cohost Rob Thomas
“Today” — Hot Chelle Rae
Sunday, July 22
“Teen Choice Awards” — Hosted by Demi Lovato and “Glee”‘s Kevin McHale, performers include Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Flo Rida, No Doubt and DJ Pauly D.
Photo credit: Boys Like Girls’ Facebook page