New album releases are a mixed bag

What do the Red Hot Chili Peppers, David Guetta, and Lil Wayne all have in common? They all dropped brand new albums this week. On sale now are I’m With You by the Chili Peppers, Nothing But the Beat by Guetta, and Tha Carter IV from Lil Wayne.

The Chili Peppers are back with their first album in five years. I’m With You is led by the single “The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie.” Already gaining massive airplay on alternative rock radio, “Maggie” rocks a heavy cowbell and classic Anthony Kiedis vocals over ’80s-inspired guitar riffs and steady kick-drums. Other standout album cuts include the static opener “Monarchy of Roses” and “Brendan’s Death Song,” which features highlights the Chili Pepper’s emotional side with a slower beat and earnest lyricism.

David Guetta has been getting flak from fans of his pre-One Love work. And this album will keep him in the doghouse. If anyone thought One Love was a sellout to mainstream pop listeners, wait till they hear this album. Featuring big name acts like Timbaland, Jennifer Hudson and Nicki Minaj, its hard to argue that this record is not trying to cater to Top 40 radio.

There is hope though. The beats on Nothing But the Beat are catchy and slick. Songs like “Titanium” featuring Australian pop artist Sia and “Lunar” with Afrojack are quality tunes that take Guetta’s mainstream dance sound to a respectable artistic level. The Jennifer Hudson track is a definite standout, if for no other reason than her flawless vocals and Guetta’s hypnotic production.

Lil Wayne has finally released Tha Carter IV after months of anticipation and setbacks. After a solid VMA performance to promote his new album, iTunes immediately released the album for digital resale. Standout tracks include “How to Love,” “6 Foot 7 Foot” featuring Cory Gunz, and “Its Good” featuring Drake and Judakiss.

The Bruno Mars collaboration is sure to take over pop radio and help propel the album to extraordinary first week sales. IV is already slated to gross more than $700,000 by week’s end. This Lil Wayne album lives up to the hype and expectations set after Tha Carter III. Though stand-alone singles like “Lollipop,” “Got Money” and “A Milli” are not present on this disc, the work as a whole is cohesive and sometimes thought provoking.

These three major releases should definitely be given a chance. I’m With You rehabilitates the Chili Peppers who have been absent of the late. Nothing But the Beat might not have the insightful lyricism of Weezy or the classic instrumental stylings of the Peppers, but it has some high profile names and catchy tunes. Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter IV is a tight listen, but begs the question of why Wayne thought he needed Bruno Mars to get on the radio.