Rick Ross, ‘Sparkle’ Soundtrack + Blur Release Albums; Ne-Yo Performs On ‘Good Morning America’

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).

This week, Rick Ross reminds us why he’s the Bawse on his #soboss fifth studio album, and the late Whitney Houston‘s final recordings are released on Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack. Also, Blur celebrates the 21st anniversary of their debut album with a box set (incidentally, Blur penned two new songs for their headlining gig at the Olympics Closing Ceremony Concert in Hyde Park Aug. 12). Meanwhile, Benny Benassi curates a new EDM compilation for your dancing pleasure, and Joss Stone drops a sequel via her sixth effort. You might also recall us mentioning that 98 Degrees are reuniting? Well, start getting amped by watching Nick Lachey guest cohost on “Live With Kelly” Wednesday (with Joss Stone) through Friday, and catch Ne-Yo performing on “Good Morning America” on Friday, too.

 

NEW ALBUM RELEASES

+ Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t: GFID leaked a week early, but unlike the album title implies, he rolled with it, tweeting, “#GFID out there so vibe to it..enjoy it..buy it Tuesday!!!” We agree; he is the Bawse, after all. He expresses duality –  the need for forgiveness and being street — cinematically throughout GFID, and his collab list reads like a hip-hop encyclopedia. He taps rap legends on songs like “3 Kings” (Dr. Dre and Jay-Z), “Sixteen” (Andre 3000) and “Triple Beam Dreams” (Nas). There’s also smooth added to the rap (“Maybach Music IV” with Ne-Yo, ”Touch’n You” with Usher and ”Rich Forever” with John Legend). Of course, he also stands tall alone, such as on “Hold Me Back.”

+ Various Artists, Sparkle: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack: As Whitney Houston‘s final film and with the soundtrack housing her most recent recordings before her untimely death, the album has poignancy, despite the music being uplifting. Songs from her costars Jordin Sparks and Cee Lo Green are also featured. Check out Houston’s “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” solo track, her duet with Jordin Sparks on the R. Kelly-produced “Celebrate” (the video is dedicated to Whitney), and the funky, horn-infused and rollicking ”I’m a Man” by Cee Lo Green.

+ Blur, Blur 21: The Box: The box set comprises all of their seven studio albums, and marks the 21st anniversary of their underrated debut, Leisure. This limited edition set houses 18 CDs (Woo hoo!) with a whopping 65 previously unreleased songs, three DVDs and a 7-inch vinyl of a tune they recorded when they were called Seymour. It’s the definitive release for the seminal Brit-pop group. In conjunction with the set, they’re re-releasing the seven albums from their catalog individually, each with bonus material, for those who want to pick and choose.

Check out more new album releases and upcoming TV appearances and performances after the jump.

Benny Benassi, Benny Benassi Presents Cavo Paradiso 12: The Italian electro/house DJ and producer was inspired by the Cavo Paradiso club in Mykonos, Greece, for his latest collection. It includes some of the biggest names in EDM, including Steve Aoki (“Cudi The Kid, Third Party Remix” featuring Kid Cudi and Travis Barker), Kaskade (“Room For Happiness” Gregori Klosman remix featuring Skylar Grey), and Wolfgang Gartner (“Redline”) and his own creation, “Move Your Body (2012 Version)” Benny Benassi vs. Marshall Jefferson.

+ Joss StoneThe Soul Sessions, Vol. 2: The British singer-songwriter crafts a sequel to the similarly titled debut she released a decade ago. Between that time she’s taken home a GRAMMY and a couple Brit Awards, and became the first female solo British artist to debut at No. 2 on the U.S. charts. Not too shabby for a 25-year-old. Her new effort sees her covering a modern track, adding a soulful sway to Broken Bells‘ “The High Road.” She also takes on classics such as The Chi-Lites‘ “(For God’s Sake) Give More Power To The People” and The Dells‘ “The Love We Had (Stays On My Mind).”

TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES

Tuesday, July 31
“Conan” — The Fray

Wednesday, Aug. 1
“Conan” — Jason Mraz
“Live With Kelly” — Joss Stone, guest cohost Nick Lachey

Thursday, Aug. 2
“Conan” — Tenacious D
“Live With Kelly” — guest cohost Nick Lachey

Friday, Aug. 3
“The Talk” — guest cohost LeAnn Rimes
“Live With Kelly” — guest cohost Nick Lachey
“Good Morning America” — Ne-Yo

Photo credit: UMG