Jay-Z fires back with his second album in a year, Chris Brown tries to defy the sophomore slump with "Exclusive," Little Big Town build on a breakthrough album and Wisin & Yandel fly the reggaeton

Ex-Blink 182 member Tom DeLonge's band Angels & Airwaves' sophomore set, "I-Empire" (Geffen)

Philadelphia rapper Cassidy's "B.A.R.S." (Full Service/J), featuring artists and producers like Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, will.i.am, Timbaland, Lil Wayne, Eve, John Legend and Angie Stone.

Ricky Martin's concert album "Live ... The Black and White Tour" (Sony Discos), also available on DVD

Sigur Ros' "Hvarf-Heim" (XL), a film and companion album, recorded in more than 15 different locations.

A two-CD reissue of David Byrne's "The Knee Plays" (Nonesuch).

"Gram Parsons Archives, Vol. 1: The Flying Burrito Brothers Live at the Avalon 1969," released in a double-disc collection on the newly formed Amoeba label.