The second quarter has arrived! There are some major releases ahead. This month's biggest will be the latest albums from Madonna and Mariah Carey, already breaking records with their albums' first singles. Here's a rundown of key new albums:
- R.E.M. - Accelerate. The band's 14th album. See review below.
- Kylie Minogue - X (U.S. version). Kylie's tenth album gets its U.S. release, which includes two additional tracks, "Magnetic Electric," and a new version of "All I See" featuring rapper Mims, which has been serviced to radio as the album's first single.
- George Michael - TwentyFive (U.S. version). Also getting a stateside release is George Michael's 2006 greatest hits compilation, with just a few substitutions.
- Courteeners - St. Jude. New group's first album, featuring single "Not Nineteen Forever."
- Leona Lewis - Spirit (U.S. Version). Leona Lewis's debut album gets its U.S. release. A few tracks a missing, including her #1 debut, "A Moment Like This," but includes two new tracks, which are generally more upbeat than her others.
- The Breeders - Mountain Battles. The band's fourth album.
- Mariah Carey - E=MC². She's #1 in the Billboard Hot 100 this week--her record-breaking 18th #1--with this album's first single "Touch My Body." Reportedly very much in the vein of her career-reviving last album, The Emancipation of Mimi.
- The Kooks - Konk. The British band returns with their second album, featuring first single "Always Where I Need to Be."
- Air - Moon Safari (10th Anniversary Edition). Features second disc of live, rare, and remixed tracks.
- Ashlee Simpson - Bittersweet World. Her third album. Snooze...
- Madonna - Hard Candy. Madonna's 12th album has already delivered a top 10 hit--the energetic Justin Timberlake collaboration "4 Minutes." Hard Candy promises a new direction for Madonna, with production duties led by Pharrell Williams and Timbaland.
- Sam Sparro - Sam Sparro. He's already scored a top 10 hit with the awesome "Black and Gold." I'm hopeful this might be a really great debut album.
- Portishead - Third. It's been 11 years since their last album. If first single "Machine Gun" is any evidence, they've taken a new, very strange direction.