Welcome to the second half of 2010! July is generally a slow month for album releases, but this year may be the exception, with some notable releases on the way.
Kylie Minogue - Aphrodite (July 5/6) ( Kylie's last album X was, if not a slam dunk, a pretty successful dance pop album. Three years later, Aphrodite promises to be just as good if not better. With Stuart Price on board as executive producer, I'm hopeful the album will have a more unified sound than X, which suffered an identity crisis from its producer-potluck approach. Other collaborators this time include Kish Mauve (X's "2 Hearts"), Keane's Tim Rice-Oxley, who co-writes one song, Calvin Harris, Jake Shears and Nerina Pallot. First single "All the Lovers" is already a hit.
M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\ (July 13). Confused? Those symbols are meant to be read "Maya," as in the nickname for British recording artist Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, better known as M.I.A. M.I.A. had a major hit with her last album, Kala, most notably its single "Paper Planes," a top 10 hit in the U.S., which was nominated for the Record of the Year Grammy and featured in the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millioniare. The album's first single, "XXXO," is already out. She's going really conceptual on this album, whose theme M.I.A. has described as "information politics."
Sheryl Crow - 100 Miles from Memphis (July 19/20). Sheryl Crow returns with her 7th studio album, the follow-up to the rather enjoyable Detours from 2008. This time she adds a bit of country flavor to her pop/rock singer-songwriter sound, as well as a well-known musical guest, Justin Timberlake.
Enrique Iglesias - Euphoria (July 5/6). With "I Like It" (feat. Pitbull) having become Iglesias's biggest US hit in years, he's in good position for the release of Euphoria, his ninth album and first to contain a pretty even mix of songs in Spanish and English.
Mystery Jets - Serotonin(July 5). The British Indie band releases its third album. I haven't listened to them much, but I liked their 2008 single "Two Doors Down."
Feeder - Renegades (July 5). British rock band releases its 7th album, the first of two planned for this year.
The Coral - Butterfly House (July 12). Fifth album from them.
Looking ahead to August: New albums from Katy Perry, Arcade Fire, and the Saturdays.