The next few months are packed with new releases for just about everyone's taste, except for Jazz! No, no, just kidding folks. I'm sure Jazz fans will be made whole as well. But I only have 25 slots here and I've got to tell you about people who might sell a lot of records -- or whatever it is that people do these days.
Let's get to it! (All release dates subject to change. This is the music business, folks.)
25) Animal Collective -- Centipede Hz (September 4): The press has picked up on the fugly album cover that if advance press is correct will be one of the ugliest album covers of all-time, with its decomposed Rolling Stones lips securing the band inside. Said to be a 'return to their roots' move! They have roots?
24) Matchbox Twenty -- North (September 4): Rob Thomas remembers he has a day job and returns with his band after nearly a decade. First single "She's So Mean" is likely a good idea of what to expect. Unless there's a theremin solo on there I don't know about.
23) T.I. -- Trouble Man (September 4): Word has it that September 4 is too optimistic and that T.I. is too busy choosing between 80+ tunes. Early reports have collaborations with R. Kelly, Andre 3000 and Pharrell being strong candidates. Even a song called "Guns and Roses" is possible! Somebody call Big Daddy Axl Rose and wake him up out of the jacuzzi and let's make this happen, for reals!
22) Willow Smith -- Knees and Elbows (September 4): Already campaigning as just "Willow," this Will Smith offspring has had her debut album pushed to September and maybe beyond, considering initial reports had it dropping on April 3. While "Whip My Hair" was a huge hit, the follow-up singles, "21st Century Girl" and "Fireball (featuring Nicki Minaj)" have been less successful. Has she peaked?
21) Akon -- Stadium (September 11): Will this album finally see the light of day? Originally planned for release in 2010, Stadium should be promoted as a life-changing event! It's said to feature Rick Ross, Chris Brown, Lil' Wayne, T-Pain, Sean Kingston, among the many. Maybe your invite got lost in the mail!
20) Bob Dylan -- Tempest (September 11): Rumors and conjecture say this will be Mr. Dylan's final album, since Shakespeare's last play was called The Tempest. Bob's having none of it, but the album is said to be "dark" and to be his "best thing in a decade," which means previewers are comparing it to that other album released on that other September 11! Love and Theft! But, seriously, what hype company would release something and say, "It's the worst Dylan album since Down In the Groove!"
19) Raveonettes -- Observator (September 11): This shoegaze, retro-dream-pop duo went back into the studio with producer Richard Gottehrer for their sixth album and if the first track leaked, "Observations," is any indication, we're all going to be better human beings come September 11.
18) Dave Matthews Band -- Away From The World -- (September 11): DMB are back with producer Steve Lillywhite, who produced their first three studio albums. Several tracks were previewed live and the "Super-Deluxe" edition of the album adds bonus tracks, a DVD, a tour photo book and Dave's home phone number!
17) will.i.am -- #willpower (September 14): Initial reports had this album coming out in 2011, then Valentine's Day 2012, but those dates turned out to be premature. So, those who pre-ordered the album have likely forgotten they did so. Once it's officially out, I'm sure we'll all know about it. I wouldn't be surprised to find it on my phone!
16) Grizzly Bear -- Shields (September 18): Arguably the biggest band in Brooklyn -- and that's a lot of competition -- Grizzly Bear are said to be offering up a rawer version of themselves with more words than ever!
15) Carly Rae Jespen -- Kiss (September 18): The most popular pop star of the moment will release her second album, Kiss, this early fall. No, it's not a tribute to either The Gene Simmons Quartet or to Prince, but a pop record inspired, according to Jespen, by Robyn, the Cars, Madonna and James Taylor! Let's hope her live show is more exciting than the Cars!
14) Pink -- The Truth About Love (September 18): Album #6 will feature tunes such as "The Truth About Love," "True Love," "Slut Like You" and "Walk of Shame." It sure looks like this is going to be one of those albums you read a lot about! Personally interested in hearing "Here Comes The Weekend," featuring Eminem, which would have only been better if they'd covered Loverboy's "Everybody's Working For The Weekend" instead.
13) Deadmau5 -- >Album Title Goes Here< (September 25): The album title makes me wonder if he'll be headlining the "Closed For Repairs" tour. But Joel Zimmerman should get plenty of fans excited with guests Imogen Heap, Cypress Hill, My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way and Chris James slated to appear on his new release. As one of the world's highest paid DJs, Deadmau5 can do anything he damn well pleases! He's so money!
12) Green Day -- !Uno! -- (September 25) and !Dos! (November 13): Because they've done just about everything else they ever wanted to do -- American Idiot: The Musical!!! -- Green Day are now releasing a "trilogy," that's three albums each released roughly two months apart. Tennis star-biking champion Billie Joe Armstrong describes the band's new sound as more power pop. What we know for sure is that's it's definitely more!
11) The Killers -- Battle Born (September 25): Las Vegas rock 'n' rollers The Killers have been previewing material from their new album during their summer tour. Highlights mentioned include "Runaways," "Miss Atomic Bomb," "Rising Tide" and "Flesh and Bones," supposedly not a tribute to the legendary fanzine!
10) Mumford & Sons -- Babel (September 25): For those of you who yearn for the days before electricity, Mumford and Sons bring you Babel, apparently named after a book of Patti Smith poetry. No? Tunes so far heard on the internets: "I Will Wait," "Whispers In the Dark," "Lover of the Light," "Hopeless Wanderer," "Below My Feet" and "Broken Crown." That still leaves six more! You wouldn't think these guys knew how to use the internet! Get behind that buggy!
9) No Doubt -- Push and Shove (September 25): Once upon a time Gwen Stefani played in a band and that band was No Doubt. The band were very popular and were loved by people who preferred bands over lead singers. Sessions for this album were begun in 2008, but were slow to develop, which Stefani said was due to her second pregnancy. Four years later, the album is ready, with many of the songs having been previewed. Gosh, I hate stupid, stupid kids! We could've had this album four years ago!
8) Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy) -- Dept. of Disappearance (October 2): Grandaddy played reunion shows, but their frontman, Jason Lytle, has a solo album ready for release that's sure to excite people who listen to music carefully placed outside the mainstream. Who doesn't want to hear songs with titles such as "Somewhere There's A Someone" and "Chopin Drives Truck To The Dump"? Chopin had a truck?
7) Beth Orton -- Sugaring Season (October 2): Whoa! It's been six years since Ms. Orton's last album! But the once cutting-edge folk-tronic singer can now comfortably claim veteran status simply by waiting out the competition. Marc Ribot, Sam Amidon and Ted Barnes guest, while Tucker Martine, a producer who knows what he's doing, recorded the album in Portland, Oregon, where the "Right To Die" law ensures us that the state is only filled with people who really want to live!
6) Muse -- The 2nd Law (October 2): Weird, but a lot of musicians are releasing their sixth album this year and throw Muse on that pile! The English rockers have conceded that they're throwing some electronic music into the mix. The NME claims the album features elements of dubstep, synth-pop, funk rock and symphonic rock. Sounds like nearly an hour's worth of pleasure! For people who like that sort of thing!
5) Wanda Jackson -- Unfinished Business (October 9): "The Queen of Rockabilly," who turns 75 this October, had Justin Townes Earle produce her new album. This, after Jack White produced her 2011 offering The Party Ain't Over. Said to be her 31st studio album, Unfinished Business is sure to be a highlight of Jackson's "middle period."
4) Kiss -- Monster (October 16): The Kiss corporation would like you to know that their latest offering, Monster, their 20th studio album, will be released this October. Produced by Greg Collins and the band's own Paul Stanley, Monster is slated to include thirteen songs for your listening pleasure. Song titles such as "Hell or Hallelujah" (the first single, already available), "All For the Love of Rock & Roll" and "Back To The Stone Age" suggest the band will continue to use their patented fire-breathing formula to excite the masses. Gene's show has been cancelled, so maybe now he'll pay more attention to his combo!
3) Rod Stewart -- Merry Christmas, Baby (October 30): I know, I know, it's hard to believe Rod Stewart hasn't already released a holiday album, but the press release for this album of seasonal cheer maintains this is his first. And who are we to bother checking? We sincerely hope his upcoming memoir is more exciting than his career at this point. Believe it or not, there was a time when Rod Stewart was relevant and honest-to-the-heavens rocked! This was before he started touring the senior circuit!
2) Aerosmith -- Music From Another Dimension (November 6): The good news here is that producer Jack Douglas, who produced several of the band's classic 1970s albums, is given top billing and most of the tunes are written by the actual band members. The bad news is that four songs are not produced by Douglas and they're the ones that have the other producer writing with them. Figure, most the album is aimed at Aerosmith fans and the singles will be aimed at everyone else.
1) 50 Cent -- Street King Immortal (November 13): The 50 Cent empire keeps growing. 50 is now a licensed boxing promoter and his fifth album, Street King Immortal, features Dr. Dre and Alicia Keys on the first single, "New Day." With an album title like this, can a video game be far behind?