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, Wale releases his third album, The Gifted. Catch the rapper on Wednesday’s “Late Show With David Letterman.” Also, Forever The Sickest Kids embrace change with their new effort, J.A.C.K. Meanwhile, India.Arie returns after a four-year hiatus with Songversation (she’s on Friday’s “Tonight Show With Jay Leno”), Tiësto releases his third installment of Club Life, Smith Westerns drop their third effort, Soft Will, and Middle Class Rut are back with more of the heavy on their sophomore album, Pick Up Your Head. The week caps off on Sunday with the “2013 BET Awards,” which features performances by Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, and more.
NEW ALBUM RELEASES
+ Wale, The Gifted: The Maybach Music Group rapper wants his third album to speak for itself. “Let’s let the music talk because I ain’t about to come here and tell y’all exactly how I feel no more. I’ma let it all sing in the music,” he told “RapFix Live.” And songs such as “Clappers” with Nicki Minaj and Juicy J do speak for themselves, in this case it’s all about loving big bouncing butts (“oh yeahhhh!” to quote the song). Meanwhile, it’s weed he’s worshiping on the minimalistic “Rotation,” which features Wiz Khalifa and 2 Chainz. Also check out the video for the R&B/rap blended “Love Hate Thing” featuring crooner Sam Dew.
+ Forever The Sickest Kids, J.A.C.K.: The Dallas-based pop-punk band are now paired down to a quartet after the departure of keyboardist Kent Garrison and lead guitarist Marc Stewart. They streamlined their songwriting and record-making approach for their third album, too, writing the majority of the tunes themselves and using only one producer, Mike Green. Watch their animation-styled “Chin Up Kid” lyric video, an uplifting song about post-breakup survival. Also check out “Keep Calm And Don’t Let Me Go,” with its catchy “whoa-oh-oh” choruses, and speedy metallic riffs melding into vocoder effects mid-song. Stream J.A.C.K. in its entirety via Forever The Sickest Kids’ Facebook page.
+ India.Arie, Songversation: Despite her Grammy collection and platinum-selling albums, we haven’t heard much from soul singer India.Arie since she went on hiatus in 2009. In fact, she even told Oprah during “Super Soul Sunday” that she was considering leaving the music world altogether. “I did, in my heart I left. And there were several months I was retired… I just decided I wasn’t gonna do the music industry… but I understand now it’s the vehicle for my message.” Fortunately, she says the time she took rejuvenated her and now the soulful R&B singer is back with her fifth album. Check out her “Cocoa Butter” video, which is as silky-smooth as the name implies.
Check out more new album releases, upcoming TV appearances, and performances after the jump.
+ Tiësto, Vol 3-Club Life: Stockholm: After suffering from a back injury that took the Dutch EDM artist off the road, Tiësto told MTV News he had time to hit the studio. “I actually had time to sit down with some great songwriters. We were just jamming in the studio, and there was no time pressure,” he said. On his third Club Life installment, he includes new collabs as well as remixes of Icona Pop‘s “I Love It,” Calvin Harris with Florence Welch‘s “Sweet Nothing” and Passion Pit‘s “Carried Away.”
+ Smith Westerns, Soft Will: For their third effort, Chicago indie rockers Smith Westerns maintain the DIY fuzz of their previous records but aim for grander sounds as well. The somber yet sweet “3 A.M. Spiritual” reflects on a more youthful time gone by, and the spacey, dizzy “Idol” is a perfect song for summer. Also, check out the group’s trippy, PDA-filled ”Varsity” clip.
+ Middle Class Rut, Pick Up Your Head: The Sacramento alt-rockers are back with their second LP, a blistering new effort since their 2010 debut, No Name No Color. We premiered their track “No More” last month, and the rest of the album offers similarly tight hard rock with a wide range of influences from punk, metal, and indie. Watch their lo-fi ”Aunt Betty” clip.
TV APPEARANCES AND PERFORMANCES
Monday, June 24
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Dale Watson
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Barenaked Ladies
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Iron & Wine
“The Wendy Williams Show” — Kelly Rowland
Tuesday, June 25
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Fitz And The Tantrums
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Il Volo
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Miley Cyrus
“Conan” — Mavis Staples
“The Daily Show With Jon Stewart” — Questlove
Wednesday, June 26
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Wale
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — John Fogerty
“Jimmy Kimmel Live” — Pharrell Williams
“Chelsea Lately” — Eve
“Conan” — Ryan Bingham
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — Miley Cyrus, Backstreet Boys
Thursday, June 27
“Late Show With David Letterman” — Dawes
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — Grace Potter
“Live With Kelly And Michael” — Ginny Blackmore
“Conan” — Eve
“The Wendy Williams Show” — Natalie Cole
Friday, June 28
“Tonight Show With Jay Leno” — India.Arie
“Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson” — Tenacious D
“The View” — Mariah Carey
“Good Morning America” — John Legend
“Today” — Hunter Hayes
Sunday, June 30
“2013 BET Awards” — Featuring performances by Justin Timberlake, Nicki Minaj, Mariah Carey, Kendrick Lamar, Miguel, and more.
Photo credit: Maybach Music Group