Previewing new albums from Eminem, the "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" soundtrack, and more.
If pervasive pre-release piracy is any indication, Eminem's new Aftermath/Interscope album "The Eminem Show" is destined to be one of the biggest selling albums of the year. The set, originally scheduled for a June 4 release, was moved forward to Tuesday (May 28) and then again to Sunday (May 26) in the hopes of thwarting the spread of illicit online trading and bootleg sales. "Interscope went to superhuman length to keep this release secure," says Jim Urie, president of Universal Music & Video, Intescope's distributor and sister company. "They did things far beyond what any label has done and it is a shame that it was circumvented."
Controversy seems to follow Eminem wherever he goes. In the two years since his sophomore album "The Marshall Mathers LP," he has been saddled with lawsuits from his mother for libel and a French composer claiming copyright infringement, not to mention avoiding jail time for assaulting a man he caught kissing his estranged wife. But the fact remains that "The Marshall Mathers LP" sold 1.7 million copies in the U.S. in its debut week, and 8.7 million overall, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"The Eminem Show" once again finds the rapper collaborating with executive producer Dr. Dre, who also appears on the Jermaine Dupri-baiting "What You Say." Eminem's daughter Hailie sings on "My Dad's Gone Crazy," while Nate Dogg lends a hand on "Till I Collapse." First single "Without Me" has rocketed to No. 6 on The Billboard Hot 100 in just four weeks.
Eminem will put a public face on the new material when he hits the road as part of the Anger Management tour this summer. The trek, which also features Papa Roach, Xzibit, Ludacris, and Eminem's rap proteges D12, kicks off July 18 in Buffalo, N.Y.
Brothers And 'Sisters'
New songs by Bob Dylan and Lauryn Hill highlight the T Bone Burnett-produced soundtrack to "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood." Due this week from DMZ/Columbia/Sony Music Soundtrax, the 19-track set also features new interpretations of traditional and classic songs performed by Alison Krauss, Macy Gray, Taj Mahal, Ann Savoy, and Tony Bennett.
The collection goes heavy on traditional Louisiana/Cajun music and urban American blues delivered through classic songs and original music written specifically for the film. Musician/author/Cajun folklorist Ann Savoy collaborated with Burnett on some the soundtrack's authentic Cajun pieces, "C'est Si Triste" and "Lulu Revenue Dans La Village."
New songs on the soundtrack include Hill's "Selah" and Dylan's "Waitin' for You," while reinterpretations include Krauss' take on the traditional "Sitting in the Window of My Room" and Bennett's rendition of Nat King Cole's "If Yesterday Could Only Be Tomorrow." In addition, Taj Mahal joins in with a rollicking take on Fats Waller's "Keeping Out of Mischief Now," while Macy Gray takes on Billie Holiday's "I Want To Be Your Mother's Son-In-Law."
Set in the depths of Louisiana, Warner Bros./Gaylord Films "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" is based on Rebecca Wells' 1996 novel of the same name. Opening June 7 in North American theaters, the film stars Sandra Bullock, Ellen Burstyn, Ashley Judd, James Garner, and Maggie Smith.
Additional titles hitting stores this week include:
-- German hard rock veterans the Scorpions' "Bad for Good: The Very Best of Scorpions," featuring two new songs.
-- An album from Henry Rollins' backing band under the name Mother Superior, "Sin" (MuscleTone).
-- Georgia instrumental rock outfit Japancakes' "Belmondo," the 19th edition in the Darla label's "Bliss Out" series.
-- The Dizzy Gillespie Alumni All-Star Band's "Things to Come" (MCG Jazz).
-- Dischord reissues of seminal Washington, D.C.-based underground rock outfits Dag Nasty ("Can I Say") and Embrace ("Embrace").