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New Releases, March 7: David Gilmour, Kris Kristofferson, Van Morrison

Plus: Matisyahu, Neko Case, more

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd's soaring guitarist and (current) leader, returns with his long-awaited third solo album. "On an Island" breaks a 22-year solo-recording hiatus, which began following the release of 1984's "About Face," and marks Gilmour's first new studio offering since he led the Roger Waters-less Floyd for 1994's "Division Bell."

Public reaction has been overwhelmingly favorable to the album's first single, the title-track "On an Island," which recently debuted at No. 1 on the US classic-rock airplay chart. Gilmour is supporting "On an Island" with a European and North American tour. The North American portion of the tour kicks off on April 4 with a two-night stand at Radio City Music Hall in New York and continues through April 20.

* * *

Kris Kristofferson
"This Old World"
(New West)

It's been seven years since Kris Kristofferson's last studio album, 1999's "The Austin Sessions." In the meantime, however, he's released a live CD (2003's "Broken Freedom Song: Live from San Francisco") and seen two older efforts (1986's "Repossessed" and 1990's "Third World Warrior") reissued as a two-disc set by the Oh Boy! label.

Kristofferson recruited Don Was for "This Old World," which is billed as a very intimate and reflective collection of songs. The 69-year-old native of Brownsville, TX, is accompanied on this disc in spots by Was (bass), Jim Keltner (drums) and Stephen Burton (guitar).

* * *

Van Morrison
"Pay the Devil"
(Lost Highway)

After dabbling in jazz with 2003's "What's Wrong With This Picture?"--which was released by legendary jazz label Blue Note--and chasing pop, rock, swing and R&B on 2005's "Magic Time," Van Morrison now turns his full attention to country & western for "Pay the Devil."

The 15-track disc features 12 country covers of classic tunes that were originally made famous by the likes of George Jones, Hank Williams and Connie Smith. Some of the more notable songs include Williams' "Your Cheatin' Heart" and the Louis Armstrong-hit "My Bucket's Got a Hole in It." It also includes three Morrison originals: "Playhouse," "This Has Got to Stop" and the title track.

* * *

Matisyahu
"Youth"
(Sony)

Much has changed since Matisyahu released his first disc, 2004's "Shake Off the Dust ... Arise." Thanks in large part to the successful 2005 concert album "Live at Stubb's," this vocalist--once seen by many as a pure novelty act--is now a legitimate star.

The saga of the artist (born Matthew Miller) is now well known--he's a Hasidic Jew who toasts about Judaism over semi-traditional reggae and dancehall grooves. But fans of all different faiths are flocking to his concerts and buying up his records at an increasing rate. Look for more listeners to catch on thanks to "Youth," Matisyahu's second studio album.

* * *

Neko Case
"Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
(Anti)

This critics' darling is back with her first studio CD since 2002's "Blacklisted." The vocalist, who draws equally on old-school country and power-pop, is joined on "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood" by a variety of like-minded artists, including The Band's Garth Hudson and Calexico.

* * *

The Little Willies
"The Little Willies"
(Milking Bull)

This could be a surprisingly strong seller once word gets out that one of the Little Willies is none other than multi-platinum vocalist Norah Jones. The other, lesser-known artists are Lee Alexander, Jim Campilongo, Richard Julian and Dan Rieser. The band's 13-track debut includes cover songs by the likes of Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Townes Van Zandt.

* * *

Other new releases:
Herb Alpert & Tijuana Brass, "Whipped Cream & Other Delights Rewhipped" (Shout)
Blondie, "Greatest Hits: Sound & Vision" (Capitol)
Billy Bragg, "Vol. 1" (Yep Roc)
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan, "Ballad of the Broken Seas" (V2)
Dave Davies, "Kinked" (Koch)
James Hunter, "People Gonna Talk" (Rounder)
Juvenile, "Reality Check"
Shawn McDonald, "Ripen" (Sparrow)
Mogwai, "Mr. Beast" (Matador)
Corinne Bailey Rae, "Corinne Bailey Rae" (EMI)
Revolting Cocks, "Cocked and Loaded" (Megaforce)
See What I Want to See, "See What I Want to See" (Ghostlight)
Stereolab, "Fab Four Suture" (Too Pure/Beggers)
Streetlight Manifesto, "Keasbey Nights, Vol. 2" (Victory)
Glenn Tipton, "Edge of the World" (Rhino)
Trent Tomlinson, "Country is My Rock" (Lyric Street)
Toto, "Falling in Between" (Frontiers)
Weepies, "Say I Am You" (Nettwerk)

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