Clark Collis rounds up 15 albums hitting stores this week and next

By Clark Collis
Updated April 25, 2006 at 04:00 AM EDT
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APRIL 25 RELEASES

Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Sessions (Sony)
The Boss takes on a batch of songs previously sung by folk legend Pete Seeger, with a fresh, freewheeling approach.

Secret Machines, Ten Silver Drops (Reprise)
The Pink Floyd-inspired rockers ground their spacey sounds with heavy, heartbreaking lyrics on their sophomore LP.

The Streets, The Hardest Way to Make An Easy Living (Vice)
The British rapper spikes his drug- and fame-addled confessions with gonzo observations.

Taking Back Sunday, Louder Now (Warner Bros.)
Emo faves continue to bring the suburban angst (and well-honed pop hooks) on their major-label debut.

Avant, Director (Magic Johnson/Geffen)
Lil Wayne and Jermaine Dupri help the velvet-voiced crooner in his self-proclaimed quest to bring ”chivalry” back to R&B. Wait, is he saying R Kelly isn’t chivalrous?

The Goo Goo Dolls, Let Love In (Warner)
Recorded in their native Buffalo, this eighth album from Johnny Rzeznik and crew was produced by legendary knob-twiddler Glenn Ballard and includes last year’s hit single ”Better Days.”

Mark Knopfler & Emmylou Harris, All the Roadrunning (Warner Bros.)
The Dire Straits singer-guitarist’s moodiness is buoyed by Harris’ hopeful croon throughout this duets disc.

Irma Thomas, After the Rain (Rounder)
The New Orleans soul legend celebrates her 65th birthday — and the fact that rumors of her demise in Hurricane Katrina proved premature — with a set of spare but beautiful tunes. Slide-guitar wizard Sonny Landreth guests on four tracks.

Survivor, Reach (Frontiers)
The pop-metallers take a break from waiting for Sly Stallone to call them about doing the Rocky VI theme song to release their first studio album in 18 years.

Various artists, Unexpected Dreams: Songs From the Stars (Rhino)
Charity-benefiting collection of songs performed by an eclectic range of thespians, including Scarlett Johansson, Teri Hatcher, and Jeremy Irons. The latter, alas, fails to channel his Teutonic villain from Die Hard III for a retooling of Bob Dylan’s ”To Make You Feel My Love.”

MAY 2 RELEASES

Pearl Jam, Pearl Jam (J)
Recent single ”World Wide Suicide” and the punky ”Comatose” are just two of the tracks from the grunge-rockers’ eighth album that are destined to remain entirely absent from George Bush’s iPod.

Wolfmother, Wolfmother (Modular/Interscope)
Black Sabbath meet prog-rock in this debut from the much acclaimed (and generously Afro’ed) Australian trio.

Mobb Deep, Blood Money (G-Unit/Interscope)
The Queens, New York, hardcore rap duo of Prodigy and Havoc make their return with a CD that shows being dropped by Jive Records has done little to improve their mood. Also features G-Unit members 50 Cent, Tony Yayo, and Lloyd Banks.

Jewel, Goodbye Alice in Wonderland (Atlantic)
The Alaskan poet-songstress tones down the poppier vibe of 2003’s 0304 in favor of a more country-ish set, which she claims to be her most autobiographical to date.

Carnie Wilson, A Mother’s Gift: Lullabies From the Heart (Big3)
New parent Carnie covers ”Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” ”Twinkle Twinkle Little Star,” and ”What a Wonderful World” in baby-pleasing fashion. Warning: The pink-hued cover art of mother and child may induce diabetes if stared at for too long.

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