HiFi Preview: Fall 2011
Big album releases are expected to make a landing this fall. We’ve covered most of the bases in our annual fall report
With the sunshine of the summer now folding into the collapse of its sunset, the slate of upcoming releases from Coldplay, SuperHeavy, Mary J. Blige, Lady Antebellum, Drake and a host of others are expected to bring extra gratification to the soul. Of course much of the noise surrounds Coldplay’s highly-anticipated Mylo Xyloto, but there’s a few more goodies you may also want to jot down.
Black and White America
Release Date: August 22
Lenny Kravitz is a musician that isn’t afraid to tackle it all. He’s done rock, R&B, pop and even found a way to do it all at the same time in the same song. His latest musical entry finds him jumping deeper into the land of funk. He’s also beefing up his Sly Stone-Prince protests attacking Obama haterade (“Black And White America”), some religion (“Liquid Jesus”) and a shitload of racism. Jay-Z and Drake also make appearances on the album. We’re aware that George Clinton & Parliament snuck in a few social protests in their aquaboogie, but an entire funky album using the brawn of Marvin Gaye’s What’s Going On might be a bit unrealistic. Let’s hope for the reverse.
Lenny Kravitz – Come On Get It
Release Date: October 24
At this year’s Lollapalooza, festival headliner Coldplay debut new material from their forthcoming fifth album on an audience of 15,000. Songs like “Lost,” “Us Against The World,” “Charlie Brown,” “Paradise” and the summer smash “Every Tear Is A Waterfall” are just a few pieces of the puzzle that make up the album’s rollercoaster ride of a transcendent love experience. The album is staged to be a concept album and hopes to expand the musical prowess of the group with leaping ambitions into experiments, more dance-pop and breathtaking melodrama. The group is still riding high on the successes of previous albums. They are hoping to prove that they have the stamina to strut their longevity with the brassiness of mega bands like U2 and Bon Jovi. “I think we have a lot to prove to ourselves,” Chris Martin tells Billboard magazine. “There’s no point in not going for it.”
Coldplay – Every Tear Is A Waterfall
Release Date: October 24, 2011
Clarkson’s fifth album will probably show that she’s got a few more years on her commercial peak than observers initially planned. She’s collaborating with Greg Kurstin (The Bird and the Bee) and Toby Gad (Fergie, Beyonce) and there have been a few tracks leaked to the public. Setting up the album’s success was a duet with country star Jason Aldean called “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” The single shot up the charts, proving that the American Idol alum is definitely living up to the title of her recent single.
Kelly Clarkson – Mr. Know It All
All Of Me
Release Date: October/November
The Brit R&B singer is hoping to keep her good fortunes alive on her third album (second for Atlantic) All Of Me. It’s got a few surprise guests including Janelle Monae and Common. Rick Ross lands a slot on the album’s first single, “Break My Heart.” Another single “Fall In Love” was released, but it looks like “Break My Heart” is making all the right noise, peaking at number 33 R&B.
Estelle – “Break My Heart”
(One Little Indian/Nonesuch/Warner Universal)
Release Date: October 10
Bjork used the iPad to record much of her seventh album Biophilia. For its album release, the eclectic Icelandic singer will be releasing the album in a series of apps, which will allow fans to interact with one another and to experiment with the songs like a musical video game. It’s the synth wizard’s way of making big leaps into unknown portals in the digital universes.
21st Century Love
Release Date: November 9
With Sade and Maxwell working their soul potions on the multitudes that petitioned for their comebacks, soul legend Anita Baker seems to be next in line. Her 2004 Blue Note debut shot to No. 4 on the pop charts and No. 1 on the R&B charts, after taking a much needed break from music for ten years. Baker is working with some of her younger contemporaries, even collaborating with Snoop Dogg, Tyrese and music producer Harvey Mason, Jr. On YouTube, the songstress posted a video of studio time with Snoop Dogg while working on a remake of Curtis Mayfield’s “Give Me Your Love.” Baker hopes to merge her jazzed-up adult contemporary sound with the coolness of the younger R&B.
Own the Night
Release Date: September 13
Country trio Lady Antebellum proves to have the Midas touch. Their golden formula was stamped on one of 2010’s best-selling records (Need You Now) and they seem to be heading in the same direction with their third studio disc Own The Night. Strangely, the album cover of Own The Night has a striking resemblance to Fleetwood Mac’s magnum opus Rumours. The group released their album’s first single, “Just A Kiss,” and marvelously found the single debuting at No. 7 on the pop charts. The demand for more Lady Ant is still young and fertile.
Lady Antebellum – “Just A Kiss”
Release Date: September 20
Mick Jagger, Dave Stewart, Joss Stone, Damien Marley and A.R Rahman are teaming up to make a super band, hoping to make a super album. SuperHeavy is the name and the objective of the groups is to do the unthinkable and the unimaginable by merging the worlds of rock, reggae, blues and Indian. It’s a serious ambition and one that could fall flat on listener’s ears. The album’s single, “Miracle Worker,” sounds like a savior of a hit. The fusing of the sunny reggae beats with Stone’s beautiful hook singing and Jagger’s gritty vocals prove to be an exceptional mix.
SuperHeavy – “Miracle Worker”
Mary J. Blige
My Life II…The Journey Continues (Act 1)
Release Date: November 2011
R&B diva Mary J. Blige is hoping to create a sequel to her career-defining My Life LP. It’s been over 17 years since the album dropped, releasing a gamut of hits like the Rick James tribute “Mary Jane (All Night Long”), the Barry White-sampled “You Bring Me Joy” and the sweet cover of Rose Royce’s 1978 ballad “I’m Goin’ Down.” Blige promises the album will be a bit more upbeat and lively, while also focusing at life’s challenges. “This one, we want to live, and we understand with living, life still comes with challenges and triumphs and good times and bad times,” Blige tells MTV News.
(Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Republic)
Release Date: October 24
The young Cash Money protégé is having the time of his life. After breaking out with his So Far Gone EP and delivering his best-selling full-length debut Thank Me Later, Drake’s only competition for a moment seemed to be his own superstar labelmate. The follow-up, Take Care, could produce the same levels of success. A digital mixtape with “Trust Issues” and “Marvins Room” surfaced, building up his momentum. And the album’s first single, “Headlines,” made an impressive debut on the pop charts (#13). Big names like Stevie Wonder, Florence + the Machine, Lil Wayne are expected to drop in, while production will be picked up by Noah “40” Shebib, 9th Wonder, Kanye West and Jamie Smith.
Drake – “Headlines”
Releaste Date: Fall 2011
Believe it or not, It’s been ten years since No Doubt cut their last record. By this time, No Doubt were the avant-garde band of successfully cross-pollinating the sub-genres while bending reggae, rocksteady, dance-rock and Nu Wave. The band is hoping to use the same ingredients from previous releases to bake their latest album. So far, no word no singles or an album title, but drummer Adrian Young is quite anxious to perform the new material live: “I might lose control and shit all over myself.” The still-untitled LP will feature exciting tracks like the reggae-buzzed “Settle Down” and “One More Summer,” which once again pushes ska into the realm of pop. Gwen Stefani is quite optimistic about the album’s potential. “It’s so exciting to have a record coming out,” Stefani says to Rolling Stone. “And we all want the same thing: for it to be modern and catchy and addictive. Once you make music that connects with people, it’s like you taste blood — you can’t go back.”
Panic of Girls
Release Date: September 13
The ‘80’s Nu Wave geniuses known as Blondie are miraculously walking into a comeback. It’s been eight solid years since the group has recorded something new (The Curse of Blondie). But Debbie Harry and the boys all contribute to their latest collection of songs, Panic of Girls. After very poor sales and very little exposure on their last album, the band is releasing the new album independently (with distribution handled by EMI). The Nu Wave party pop of “Mother” and the fuzzy synth drama of “What I Heard” are enough pieces of evidence that the group that who popped out hits like “Call Me” and “Heart of Glass” are still revving up their creative engines.
Blondie – “Mother”
Release Date: October 11
On his first venture away from the Jonas Bros. machine, Joe Jonas is looking to take Justin Timberlake’s place in the world of pop music, while the aforementioned seeks for contracts in Hollywood. So far, the first single “See No More” has proven that he can make some kind of impression with the ladies as he shifts into grown-up dance-pop. “It’s about a break-up and going through situations where everything reminds you of the person,” he tells Ryan Seacrest on his syndicated KIIS FM radio show. His next single, “Love Slayer,” is grooming him for his stint as an opening act for Britney Spears’ Femme Fatale tour in Europe.
Joe Jonas – “See No More”
Release Date: October 11
On their third disc, Evanescence will be releasing their first self-titled event. The Nick Raskulinecz-produced (Foo Fighters, Rush) set will also be the band’s first release in nearly five years. They hope to reinvent their sound and experiment with newer techniques and textures. In June, frontwoman Amy Lee told MTV News that the group had recorded sixteen tracks but not all of them would be featured on the record. The first single, “What You Want,” has the band singing about freedom while “The Other Side” goes for darker drama.
Evanescence “What You Want”
The Whole Love
Release Date: September 27
It might be called a comeback once the dust settles. After revealing their career’s best with 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the Chicago alt-rock band Wilco experienced something of a meltdown. Singer/guitarist Jeff Tweedy decided to work on independent projects, even forming his own indie label. With a new distribution deal on the successful indie label Anti-, the group is back and hopes to pick up where they left off. The first single, “I Might,” sounds like a delicious slab of ‘60’s retro soul rock. Tweedy even hinted at SPIN that the album – still in its finishing stages – could turn into a double disc event.
Wilco – “I Might”