New Releases, Dec. 21: Jamie Foxx, Keri Hilson, Keyshia Cole
The middle of December schedule is led by an unlikely combination of R&B stars and soundtrack scores. Jaimie Foxx's third album, Keri Hilson's sophomore effort and Keyshia Cole's fourth studio album are angling for some holiday love as the gift-buying season heads into its final furlong.
Like many a contemporary R&B album, the name on the front is half the appeal. The guest artists and producers are apparently equally important selling points. Foxx has eight guests and six producers; Hilson hooks up with 13 guests and uses only two producers; Cole keeps the guest to a mere five while employing more than 14 producers.
Foxx's "Best Night of My Life" features guest appearances from Drake, Rick Ross, Justin Timberlake, T.I., Ludacris, Soulja Boy, Wiz Khalifa and Rico Love. Eric Hudson, Bink!, Danja, Rico Love, Noah "40" Shebib and Malay & KP produced the tracks.
Hilson's "No Boys Allowed," executive produced by Timbaland and Polow Da Don, features appearances from Kanye West, Chris Brown, Rick Ross and J-Cole, as well as additional musical contributions by Timbaland, Polow Da Don, Danja, Ne-Yo, John Legend, Boi-1da, Stargate, Jerry Wonder and Chuck Harmony.
Cole's "Calling All Hearts" features guest performances by Nicki Minaj, Tank, Faith Evans, Timbaland and Dr. Yvonne Cole. The list of producers is The ARE, Big Wy, Ron Fair, Irv Gotti, Justa Beats, KC Hustle, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, JUSTICE League, Kam Sangha, Chink Santana, Song Dynasty, Toxic and Tweek Beats -- and that is not including the "vocal producer" credits.
None of the albums has had much success with the singles that dropped prior to the albums. Hilson's "Pretty Girl Rock" has done the best, reaching No. 45 on Billboard's top 100 that covers all genres. Foxx's lead single, "Fall For Your Type" featuring Drake, came and went in one week at No. 95. Cole's "I Ain't Thru" has not crossed over, hitting No. 58 on Billboard's R&B/Hip-hop Songs chart.
Commercial success is rarely a concern in the world of film soundtracks. Among this week's releases:
"Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows" deluxe edition
Features two 35MM film cells cut from the movie reel, a 7-inch vinyl picture disc, a DVD with 5.1 audio mix of Alexandre Desplat s score, video of the scoring session along with interviews, a movie poster, orchestral sheet music and two CDs of the score.
"Twentieth Century Fox 75th Anniversary Gift Set"
A three-CD set saluting 75 years of film from the studio featuring works of several great composers, among them Alfred Newman, Bernard Herrmann, Alex North, Jerry Goldsmith, John Williams and Alan Silvestri.
Carter Burwell's score for the film the Coen brothers' Western starring Jeff Bridges, Josh Brolin and Matt Damon.
Henry Jackman's score for the Jack Black film.
James Newton Howard's score for the critically maligned film starring Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie.
Ennio Morricone, "The Bossa Nova and Samba Soundtracks"
Twenty tracks of bossa nova music used in films such as "Il Gatto," "L'Alibi," "La Donna Invisibile" and "Scusi Facciamo l'Amore?" The recordings were made this year using Morricone's own musicians and singers and are entirely faithful to the original score.