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New Releases, Feb. 17: Morrissey, Annie Lennox, 'Dark Was the Night'

Plus: M. Ward, Robyn Hitchcock, more

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Morrissey "Years of Refusal" (Lost Highway)

The emo icon returns with a follow-up to 2006's "Ringleader of the Tormentors." "Years of Refusal" is the former Smiths frontman's ninth solo album.

The 12-track set was produced by the late Jerry Finn (AFI, Bad Religion), who suffered a cerebral hemorrhage not long after the record's completion. Finn died at the age of 39 in August soon after being taken off life support.

Morrissey will support "Years of Refusal" with a North American tour that kicks off Feb. 28 in Boca Raton, FL. The trek includes an April 17 stop at Southern California's mammoth Coachella festival.

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Annie Lennox
"The Annie Lennox Collection"
(Sony)

The Scottish vocalist, who came to fame as one half of the '80s synth-pop duo The Eurythmics, delivers a greatest-hits package. The set includes 10 fan favorites from such acclaimed Lennox albums as "Diva," "Medusa" and "Bare," as well as two newly penned cuts.

"The Annie Lennox Collection" is available both on regular CD and as a limited-edition CD/DVD combo. The latter features videos for "Little Bird," "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and other memorable songs.

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Various Artists
"Dark Was the Night"
(4AD)

This two-disc set, featuring some of the top talents in the indie-pop/rock genre, benefits the Red Hot Organization, a charity focused on raising awareness and funds for the battle against HIV.

Contributors include Feist, The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Arcade Fire, Spoon and Yo La Tengo. "Dark Was the Night" also features several interesting collaborations, such as Conor Oberst and Gillian Welch on the track "Lua," and David Byrne and the Dirty Projectors on "Knotty Pine."

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M. Ward
"Hold Time"
(Merge)

The increasingly popular singer/songwriter is set to drop his sixth studio set. "Hold Time" features guest appearances from Lucinda Williams, Grandaddy's Jason Lytle, Tom Hagerman of DeVotchka, and Zooey Deschanel, Ward's collaborator in the duo She & Him.

The Portland native will back "Hold Time" on the road. Beginning with a Feb. 18 date in Somerville, MA, he'll spend time on the East Coast. Then, in early March, Ward will cross the country for shows along the West Coast.

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Robyn Hitchcock and the Venus 3
"Goodnight Oslo"
(Yep Roc)

The British singer/songwriter/guitarist once again collaborates with Venus 3 (featuring R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, Scott McCaughey and Bill Rieflin). That same ensemble produced 2006's "Ole Tarantula." "Goodnight Oslo" also includes a guest appearance by The Decemberists' Colin Meloy.

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More new releases:
Above & Beyond, "Anjunadeep, Vol. 1" (Ultra)
And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, "The Century of Self" (Justice)
Sutton Foster, "Wish" (Ghostlight)
Joe Jackson, "Live at the BBC" (Universal)
Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit, "Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit" (Thirty Tiger)
Mishka, "Above the Bones" (J.K. Livin)
N.A.S.A., "Spirit of Apollo" (Anti)
Asobi Seksu, "Hush" (Polyvinyl)
Thursday, "Common Existence" (Epitaph)
Various artists, "High School Musical 3: Senior Year (Karaoke)"
William Elliott Whitmore, "Animals in the Dark" (Anti)
Charlie Wilson, "Uncle Charlie" (Jive)

Soundtracks and scores:
"Halo Wars" (Sumthing Else)
"Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (Remastered)" (Concord)
"New in Town" (Verve)

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