Monday, August 01, 2011

New Albums, August 2011

After the maddenly dry month of July, August promises a few interesting releases.

Jay-Z and Kanye West - Watch the Throne (August 8). The month's hottest release is one that's been generating buzz since the beginning of the year. It first it looked like it would come out in the spring on the back of single "H.A.M.," but that song never became a major hit, so it got shelved for a while so its superstar duo could do some retooling. New single "Otis" is a tribute to the late soul singer but also features his vocals. Surely "Lift Off," which features a vocal from Jay-Z's wife, will be a future single. Can't wait to hear it.

Lil Wayne - Tha Carter IV (Aug. 26). It's been pushed back a bit, but it looks finally set to premiere later this month. This will be be Lil Wayne's ninth album and fourth in Tha Carter series, most notable for Tha Carter III (2008), which was nominated for the Album of the Year Grammy Award and spawned the #1 hit "Lollipop." This albums comes on the heels of the poorly received rock album, Rebirth, and the lukewarm reception for last year's I Am Not a Human Being. But I expect this album will be treated differently. It's already got a hit single: "How to Love," currently climbing the top 10.

Will Young - Echoes (Aug. 22). Each of Will Young's last few albums has generally sold less than the previous one. Yet I'm glad he's not thrown in the towel yet, for all of them have proven to be great pop listens. On this, his fifth release, he's teamed up with producer Richard X, for what will surely be a more dance pop-oriented sound. First single "Jealousy" is certainly in that vein and already climbing the UK airplay chart.

Red Hot Chili Peppers - I'm with You (Aug. 30). It's been 5 years since the last RHCP album. That was the double album Stadium Arcadium, the third major hit in a row for the group, which was also given a Grammy Album of the Year nod and included "Dani California," the group's second biggest hit after "Under the Bridge." I'm not sure whether we should expect anything really different from them musically, although they do have a new guitarist now, John Klinghoffer. "The Adventures of Rain Dance Maggie" is the first single and sounds like a pretty decent tune.

David Guetta - Nothing But the Beat (Aug. 26). Dance music DJs generally spend their time in dance club booths, but every once in awhile one of them breaks free and becomes a star dance music producer-celebrity. David Guetta is the reigning king of that phenomenon right now. In fact, I can't think of a dance producer who's ever been this big. This fifth album of his arrives on the back of several big hits, "Sweat" with Snoop Dogg, "Where Them Girls At" with Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj, and "Little Bad Girl" with Taio Cruz and Ludacris. Other guests this time include Usher, Will.I.Am., Lil Wayne, Jennifer Hudson, Akon and Jessie J.

Joe McElderry - Classic (Aug. 22). The former X Factor winner, dropped from Simon Cowell's Syco label earlier this year for underwhelming sales, reemerges with a new label and a new sound, singing classic pop tunes. When the album was announced last month, it hadn't been recorded yet, so if this release date really holds it seems like a major rush job. I feel a bit sorry for Joe. I thought Wide Awake fell short of the mark but delivered a few really fun tunes ("Ambitions," "Fahrenheit" and "Someone Wake Me Up").

Barbra Streisand - What Matters Most (Aug. 23). Babs releases her 33rd album.

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