This summer sees the release of a wide variety of albums, ranging from highly-anticipated projects to long-in-the-works albums from artists who’ve been around for years. Given the sheer number of albums coming out this year, it’s impossible to tackle them all, but here are some of the pop albums (with some other genres thrown in for good measure) you should know about this summer.
Alanis Morissette leaves the major labels and strikes out on her own with her upcoming album, Havoc and Bright Lights (out August 28). It’s her first album since 2008’s vastly underrated Flavors of Entanglement. Fans who want a taste of the new album can download lead single “Guardian” now.
Up-and-coming rapper (and member of the bisexual community) Azealia Banks drops her debut EP, 1991, digitally on May 29 and in stores on June 12. Her lyrics are…dirty, but extremely catchy.
Fiona Apple is known for a few things when it comes to her albums: they take quite a while to come out, and ridiculously long titles are never out of the question. Both of these things are certainly true when it comes Apple’s fourth album, her first since 2005. The album (deep breath…), The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cords Will Serve You More Than Ropes Will Ever Do, comes out June 19.
This one’s more for warning than anything else: Justin Bieber’s dropping his highly anticipated Believe album on June 19. If lead single “Boyfriend” is any indication, look for Bieber to try and claim the pop space left vacant by the other Justin.
It seems crazy to hear, but even in the iTunes generation, labels are still releasing greatest hits albums. Fans of Australia’s gift to dance pop music, though, probably won’t mind when The Best of Kylie Minogue comes out June 19. The project spans Kylie’s 25-year career, from “The Loco-Motion” to “Get Outta My Way.”
Fans of self-described “gangsta Nancy Sinatra” Lana Del Rey will get a second dose of music from the artist – kinda – when she re-releases her pre-fame debut, Lana Del Ray A.K.A. Lizzy Grant. The album dates back to before Del Rey had decided on the current spelling of her name, and features production from David Kahne (Kelly Clarkson’s My December).
For her second album, Electra Heart (out July 17), Marina and The Diamonds (yes, she’s a solo artist with a band’s name) shifts away from the indie pop of her debut and teams up with some of the biggest pop producers on the market. With song titles like “Bubblegum Bitch,” though, it’s clear Marina’s not selling out so much as slightly skewering the genre.
Sometimes an album title says it all. Case in point: Maroon 5’s upcoming album, Overexposed (out June 26), which describes the band’s state these days thanks to lead singer Adam Levine’s other job on The Voice (as well as Adam’s frequent state of attire, thankfully). The album is their most pop-friendly to date – think less “Misery” and more “Moves Like Jagger.”
It’s been six years since Nelly Furtado released her highly catchy Loose. She’s finally releasing the English-language follow-up this summer with The Spirit Indestructible. If lead single “Big Hoops (Bigger the Better)” is any indication, her music’s just as catchy as ever.
You’ve probably heard of Neon Hitch, even if you don’t realize it. After providing guest vocals on Gym Class Heroes’ “Ass Back Home,” she’s planning on releasing her debut album later this summer. The album, Beg, Borrow, and Steal, features the single “Fuck U Betta,” which may just be the ultimate kiss-off song this summer.
Sam Sparro finally drops his sophomore album, Return to Paradise, this summer. The album promises to deliver more of Sparro’s sexy voice and dance music.
Scissor Sisters are shaking things up with their upcoming album, Magic Hour, coming out May 29. Collaborators on the album include Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, Diplo and Azealia Banks.
Atlanta native Usher releases his latest album, Looking 4 Myself, on June 12. After the success of more dance-oriented singles in recent years, this album appears to be heading in that musical direction. Worth downloading: the lead single, “Climax,” which just screams “sex.”
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