There’s no season more intriguing than fall. The way brittle leaves dance on the pavement, varying colors paint the sky, and brisk, cool air cuts sharp — it’s all so cozy and sensory-driven. Outside of the season’s enticing facets — not to mention, its series of holidays — we’re also ecstatic about the year’s upcoming fourth quarter releases. Familiar faces, new talent, and long-awaited returns stockpile the next few months, which makes for exciting earbuds.
Now, because there’s so much on the way, we decided to handpick 25 of the more crucial releases hitting stores in the coming months and dissect each one. Love ’em or hate ’em, you’ll be hard-pressed to go the whole season without at least hearing about the majority of these names. So, might as well stay on top, right?
G.O.O.D. Music – Cruel Summer
Release Date: September 18th via G.O.O.D. Music/Def Jam
What we know: Kanye West celebrates his G.O.O.D. Music label with a star-studded compilation featuring Jay-Z, R. Kelly, The-Dream, Pusha T, Mos Def, Big Sean, and more. Pray to god for no more delays, and it will arrive on September 18th.
Why we’re excited: The last 16 bars in “New God Flow”
Why we’re concerned: Big Sean
Best anagram from album title: Ulcer Summer
Track title that best describes the project altogether: “Clique”
Number of Tracks Featuring Pusha T: 5
Odds that fortysomethings will pick this up, thinking it’s an Ace of Base compilation: 4:1
Is that the score to Scarface in “Mercy”?: Yep, Giorgio Moroder’s “Tony’s Theme” made the cut.
Grizzly Bear – Shields
Release Date: September 18th via Warp
What we know: Whose sound once echoed inside of a bedroom is now tall waves crashing against the cliffs. Shields has been streaming for a couple days now, and Grizzly Bear’s stream of heady musical impulses and arrangements continue, as do their momentum and steady pace out of the bedroom and into the arena, all without mugging in the spotlight.
Why we’re excited: All of the auxiliary percussion behind the build on “Sleeping Ute” that goes into Daniel Rossen at his most muscular singing, “But I can’t help myself.”
Why we’re concerned: Could it get any better than Veckatimest?
Best anagram from album Title: His Sled
Track titles most likely to be used as a very clever pun in reviews of the album: “Yet Again” and “What’s Wrong”
Band that can’t possibly continue aping Grizzly Bear after this album: Young the Giant
-Jeremy D. Larson
The Killers – Battle Born
Release Date: September 18th via Island
What we know: The Killers’ fourth album is their first following a brief hiatus from January 2010 to May 2011. Throughout the album’s recording, which took place in their own Battle Born studios in Las Vegas, the band has worked alongside producers Steve Lillywhite, Damian Taylor, Brendan O’Brien, Stuart Price, and Daniel Lanois. Alan Moulder, who worked on their first two albums, also returned to the fold. Flowers stated, “I think we want to get back to the music that is really us.”
Why we’re excited: “Runaways” is pretty damn catchy, c’mon.
Why we’re concerned: That Dodge-sponsored album cover.
Best anagram from album title: Bran Bottle
The presidential candidate who will definitely buy this album: Mitt Romney
Brandon Flowers’ next rock icon to mirror: Himself
Yuppy Track Alert!: “Deadlines and Commitments”
Pink – The Truth About Love
Release Date: September 18th via RCA
What we know: Album number six from the pink-haired-one comes with guest spots from Lily Allen, fun.’s Nate Ruess, and a returned favor from Eminem. Jeff Bhasker (Kanye West, Alicia Keys) co-wrote and produced the Ruess-featuring track, so that will probably be one of the biggest songs of all time ever. EVER.
Why we’re excited: We already know the truth about cats and dogs, so we’re super pumped to finally get let in on the biggest secret of all: love.
Best anagram from album title: Bathe Vulture Tooth
Track title that best describes why teenage and pre-teen sexuality is wildly out of hand: “Slut Like You”
Number of men she dates in the video for lead single “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)”, equaling the number of times she says, “had a shit day” in the chorus: Three
Track clearly riffing off the success of Rebecca Black’s “Friday”: “Here Comes the Weekend” (feat. Eminem)
deadmau5 – >album title goes here<
Release Date: September 25th via Ultra
What we know: Despite being “basically pretty miserable right now”, the mau5y one had enough drive to can his sixth full-length. Guest spots include Gerard Way, Imogen Heap, and Cypress Hill.
Why we’re excited: The man behind the helmet has done wonders for EDM in the last few years. Anything the dude releases is worth paying attention to.
Why we’re concerned: This is the worst album title of all time.
Best anagram from album title: Ugliest Rehab Toilet
Track title that best describes an AA meeting: “There Might Be Coffee”
How this album will sound live: Like someone pushing buttons
Deadmau5 album title that’s even lazier/sillier than this one: “Random Album Title” (2008)
Proof that social media is changing the world and sometimes for the better: Chris James, vocalist/lyricist for “The Veldt”, was discovered via Twitter.
Green Day – ¡Uno!
Release Date: September 25th via Reprise
What we know: It’s the first in a trilogy of albums. It’s not an opera. It’s not Cigarettes and Valentines, either.
Why we’re concerned: “Oh Love” is like that bad piece of chicken you spit out fast. Then worry about for an hour or two later.
Best anagram from album title: ¡Nuo!
So, this really isn’t a rock opera?: One would hope not.
Number of listeners who actually bought Dookie in 1994 and played the Green Day edition of Angry Birds just to hear “Troublemaker”: Zero
Track title that just may be the name of the grossest porn star ever: ”Rusty James”
Fashionably speaking, guys: No fan will ever pull off the color coordination of black with neon pink and green so, like, don’t even try it, dude.
Mumford and Sons – Babel
Release Date: September 25th via Glassnote
What we know: Britain’s boys aren’t straying far from what made “Sigh No More” such a breakout success. They’ve reunited with producer Markus Dravs, kept the propelling acoustics, and dabbled in “heavier emotions.” If it ain’t broke…
Why we’re excited: They’ve been playing this stuff live for months, and lead single “I Will Wait” is classic Mumford.
Why we’re concerned: “I Will Wait” is classic Mumford. They’ve said they aren’t pushing their boundaries much, and critics have often called the band uninspired. Retreading worn territory can only take you so far.
Best anagram from album title: Al: Ebb.
Track title that Best Describes How the Queen Felt About Those Pics of Prince Harry: “Broken Crown”
Track titles that have contradictory plays on luminescence: “Whispers in the Dark” and “Lover of the Light”
Number of vests Marcus Mumford probably owns: His whole closet
No Doubt – Push and Shove
Release Date: September 25th via Interscope
What we know: The band’s first studio album in 11 years finds them trying to update their ska/new wave sound with dancehall and reggae elements, at times approaching dubstep. Features production efforts by both Diplo and Spike Stent.
Why we’re excited: For those of you who like your No Doubt sounding like No Doubt, then this is for you. For the rest of us, it may just have to be Gwen Stefani’s abs.
Why we’re concerned: No Doubt’s bassist, Tony Kanal, likened “Push and Shove” to Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”. If Mercury’s ghost reappears, it may give new meaning to the lyrics, “Mama, just killed a man.”
Best anagram from album title: Shaved Oh Puns
Track title that best describes why we worry when bands return after so long: “Dreaming the Same Dream”
Fun fact: With all four members sporting blonde, this tour will surely spark an increase in hair dye sales.
Will the video for “Settle Down” revive CB radio and paper maps?: No.
Flying Lotus – Until the Quiet Comes
Release Date: October 2nd via Warp
What we know: The maximalist Los Angeles-based electronic/hip-hop/jazz/pretty much everything else producer’s fourth album will feature 18 tracks, making room along the way for guest appearances from the likes of Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, and Erykah Badu.
Why we’re excited: FlyLo’s last LP, 2009’s Cosmogramma, is easily one of the greatest and most influential electronic albums of the past few years, if not ever. Seriously, this guy knows what he’s doing.
Why we’re concerned: Eighteen tracks is almost always at least a couple too many. A smidge of filler seems likely here.
Best anagram from album title: Lettuce Question Him
Track title that best describes how on-another-planet this thing could be: “DMT Song”, are you kidding?
Instances where it sounds like every sound ever is being thrown into a pot and being stirred up with FruityLoops: 12
Miguel – Kaleidoscope Dream
Release Date: October 2nd via ByStorm/RCA
What we know: Miguel took a more hands-on approach to the writing and production of his sophomore release, which he says “is more of a feeling album” than his critically-claimed 2010 debut. Production assistance from Salaam Remi (Amy Winehouse, Nas, Adele), Pop & Oak (Kanye West, Big Sean), and Jerry Wonda (the Fugees, Wyclef Jean) keeps the rising neo-soul talent in pretty heady company.
Why we’re excited: The interpretive cover of the Zombie’s “Time of the Season” that hits at the end of the LP’s “Don’t Look Back”.
Why we’re concerned: He has had to grow up quickly since the release of his debut. Has he really developed his own sound, or is he just helping RCA keep a strong grasp on the R&B market until the next Usher release?
Best anagram from album title: Repacked Ideas Loom
Track title that best describes Miguel’s life following the release: “Pussy Is Mine”
Three great ways to begin a breakup text: “Do You…”, “Don’t Look Back”, “Where’s The Fun in Forever?”
Best line to help get you laid, or possibly slapped: “I’m gonna do you like drugs”
The Mountain Goats – Transcendental Youth
Release Date: October 2nd via Merge
What we know: John Darnielle yelps through another collection of manic narratives about–you guessed it–drifters, criminals, and outcasts. This time with horns! Mariachi brass backs first single “Cry For Judas”, adding further pep to Darnielle’s distinctly sparse strumming and Peter Hughes’ playful bass.
Why we’re excited: Even since first releasing his lo-fi home recordings, Darnielle has stood out as one of the best lyricists of modern times. And while he’s restlessly chronicled the fringes of society on several albums before (the meth addict opus We Shall All Be Healed being the peak), he always does so with a sense of compassion, authenticity, and most importantly, humor.
Why we’re concerned: The horn arrangement on “Cry for Judas” is fun, but it sounds just like what it is: The Mountain Goats with horns. Hopefully the additional instrumentation will enhance the songs and not just distract the listener from the detailed storytelling.
Best anagram from album title: Constantly Unearthed
Track title that best describes the lives Of Nitro, Pyro, and Gemini: “Spent Gladiator II”
Number of tracks that could potentially confirm John Darnielle as a Satanist: Two (“Cry for Judas” and “In Memory of Satan”)
Number of demon heads on the album cover that could potentially confirm John Darnielle as a Satanist: Ten
Muse – The 2nd Law
Release Date: October 2nd via Helium 3.
What we know: A good amount, and it’s not very pretty. Drummer Dom Howard shook fans with news about it being Skrillex-inspired, and singer Matt Bellamy reaffirmed that news, stating, “We created something that was dubsteppy but we wanted to see if we could do it with real instruments.” There’s a lot of personal depth to it (one song’s about Bellamy’s newborn son; another revolves around bassist Chris Wolstenholme’s alcoholism), and there’s a range of genres being considered — from funk to symphonic rock to synthpop. Basically, we know too much.
Why we’re excited: The album artwork, man.
Why we’re concerned: Having to hear “Survival” over and over again during the Olympics didn’t help.
Best anagram from album title: Hand Welt 2
Track title that best describes the concepts behind this album: “Madness”
Track title that best describes one’s thoughts listening to “Survival”: “Save Me”
Fun fact: They made a trailer to hype this one.
Longest track: “Explorers” at 5:48. Thank god.
Wait, isn’t that a movie starring River Phoenix and Ethan Hawke?: You’ve seen it, too?
I have. The ending sort of goes to hell, though.: Amen, brother.
Coheed and Cambria – The Afermath: Ascension
Release Date: October 9th via Fontana/Ingrooves
What we know: It’s the first half of a double album epic (Descension drops in 2013) focusing on the titular character Sirius Amory’s explorations of the Keywork within the Amory Wars. And with perhaps the band’s biggest project to date comes some hefty lineup changes; bassist Zach Cooper permanently replaces Michael Todd, while drummer Josh Eppard returns to the fold for the first time since 2005’s Good Apollo, I’m Burning Star IV, Volume One: From Fear Through the Eyes of Madness.
Why we’re excited: Not only are the music and the visuals up to their usual standards (as with the video for Domino the Destitute), but frontman Claudio Sanchez has said this is his most honest LP to date. With all the references to the Keywork and the Heaven’s Face, it’s nice to have more human emotion infused into this sci-fi epic.
Why we’re concerned: Ascension marks the group’s first LP without Todd, who was arrested last July for bank robbery (and eventually sentenced to a year of home confinement and three years of probation). How will Todd’s absence and Eppard’s return impact the band’s sound/dynamic? And will the album’s release and reception be marred by the fallout of bad publicity?
Best anagram from album title: An Iron Machete Sans Heft
Track title that best describes the band’s apparent love of puns: “Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked”
Where this LP will land on the Prog-ometer: 14 (Awfully Styx-y)
Amount we’d pay to have the Amory Wars take place in the same universe as Dr. Who: $10k and our first-born child.
Odds that the “Keywork” will be an allegory for Christianity: 600 to 1
Ellie Goulding – Halcyon
Release Date: October 9th via Cherrytree/Interscope
What we know: It was was written and co-produced by Goulding herself, and a majority of the tracks were laid down in a converted barn in Goulding’s hometown of Hay Valley, West England. Producer Jim Elliot (Kylie Minogue, Ladyhawke) was around, too.
Why we’re excited: “Anything Could Happen” isn’t as memorable as her chart-topping single, “Lights”, but it has enough of a punch to go toe to toe with any recent Florence and the Machine track. That’s a promising prospect for the young starlet. Also, no one’s forgetting her covers of The Weeknd or Active Child, either.
Why we’re concerned: Her boo.
Best anagram from album title: Placenta Hound Hyping
Track title that’s probably not an ode to Elliott Smith, but whoa, wouldn’t that be something: “Figure 8”
Likelihood that she’s secretly hiding dragons a la Daenerys Targaryen: Very high.
Isn’t it slightly redundant the iTunes Deluxe Edition of this album includes “Lights”?: Seriously.
Closest track to memorialize both Brittany Murphy and, admittedly, a rough patch in Michael Douglas’s career: “Don’t Say a Word”
Benjamin Gibbard – Former Lives
Release Date: October 16th via Barsuk
What we know: After years of plugging away with Postal Service and Death Cab for Cutie, Mr. Benjamin Gibbard is finally releasing his debut solo LP. Even still, he’s joined by a who’s who of indie rock A-listers, including Jon Wurster, Mark Spencer, Earlimart’s Aaron Espinoza, and Aimee Mann.
Why we’re excited: Lead single “Teardrop Windows” sounds like a more rollicking, country-leaning blend of DCFC and Gibbard’s other pseudo-solo offerings. It’s enough change to keep listeners excited without leaving behind the solid legacy of the band.
Why we’re concerned: Gibbard and ex-wife Zooey Deschanel divorced rather abruptly back in December 2011. Having already made a career on overly showy and profound emotional displays, will an unfiltered Gibbard overcome the heartache, or is this record doomed to be a blubbering mess?
Best anagram from album title: Reform Evils
Track title that best describes Gibbard’s ex-wife, Zooey Deschanel: “A Hard One to Know”
Likelihood there’s a reference to Zooey Deschanel using either bangs or polka-dot dresses: 3 to 1
Two metaphors Gibbard cut from the LP: 1) Likening his broken heart to a shattered bathroom mirror in a seedy New York motel and 2) How love is like a winter coat, and now it’s too hot to wear cause it’s summer.
Possible names for Gibbard’s backing/live band if he tours: The Gibtones, The Gibbons, and The Rocks of Gibb-altar
KISS – Monster
Release Date: October 16th via Universal
What we know: Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons desperately want to recreate Destroyer, referencing the classic 1976 LP in multiple interviews leading up to Monster. The band’s even gone back to using old-school analog equipment rather than digital gear.
Why we’re excited: It’s KISS.
Why we’re concerned: It’s KISS.
Best anagram from album title: Mens Rot
Track title that best describes Gene Simmons’ sexual appetite: “Eat Your Heart Out” (Simmons wrote this song in the ’70s and resurrected it for Monster)
Various hyperboles used by the band to describe Monster: “…the culmination of everything this band has been in the past and where we’re going.”; “…sensory overload…”; “Meat and potatoes.”
And what of the lead single, “Hell or Hallelujah”?: This Stanley-penned track opens with a searing riff and lyrics about being oneself (“no lies, no faking”) despite the consequences. It’s not on the level of anything off Destroyer, but it’s fun, upbeat, and positive. You can’t expect much more out of a KISS song in 2012.
Kendrick Lamar – good kid, m.A.A.d. city
Release Date: October 22nd via Interscope/Aftermath
What we know: No official tracklist has been made available yet, but previously released standouts like “The Recipe” and “Swimming Pools (Drank)” — as well as a Lady Gaga-aided track called “Party Nauseous” — are sure to make the cut.
Why we’re excited: Last year’s Section.80 was excellent, but the Compton-bred Lamar didn’t even consider it a real album. This one, he says, is. Don’t be surprised if this is one of the best West Coast rap releases in a long time.
Why we’re concerned: good kid has been a long time in the making, which unfortunately means the final product could sound too tedious and overly produced.
Best anagram from album Title: Magic Today, Kiddo.
Track title that best describes how formulaic the inevitable pop-rap songs could sound: “The Recipe”
Number of Dr. Dre’s guest verses that were ghostwritten: However many Dr. Dre guest verses there are.
Bat For Lashes – The Haunted Man
Release Date: October 23rd via EMI
What we know: Compared to Fur and Gold and Two Suns, it’s more raw,direct and intimate.
Why we’re excited: Natasha Khan’s vocal performance in “Laura” is a stunner, and the other new songs to have been played on the 2012 European festival tour have reminded us exactly why we were so enamored with Bat For Lashes in the first place.
Why we’re concerned: It’s been quite a while.
Best anagram from album title: Haunted Anthem
Track title that best describes an ideal setting for listening to the album: “Winter Fields”
Fun fact: One song in particular tested especially well among men of the Duff and Kool-Aid varieties.
Number of views a video of fans awkwardly dancing to “All Your Gold” while tripping on mushrooms at Coachella next year will generate within its first week: 1,872 (not applicable if she doesn’t play)
Gary Clark Jr. – Blak and Blu
Release Date: October 23rd via Warner Bros.
What we know: An inspired blend of blues roots with modern soul, a dash of hip hop, and of course, rock and roll, Gary Clark Jr has already been called a “savior of the blues.” With five independently released titles, Clark is preparing to release his first full-on major label debut and in doing so is readying to take the next big step towards guitar icon.
Why we’re excited: “If You Love Me Like You Say” is already a perfect example of how the blues is still relevant today, but when Clark mixes in his take of Hendrix’s “Third Stone from the Sun” with his song, it is beyond amazing.
Why we’re concerned: The biggest worry is the same for many artists that excel in the live arena: Can that magic be captured and put on “tape,” “wax,” or what have you?
Track that best describes the relationship between the blues and Clark, Jr.: ”You Saved Me”
Fun fact: Knit hat sponsorship may alleviate tour costs.
Okay, I’m just gonna say it: Clark is a musician that gets people to dig styles and genres that they’d claim to hate based on what they thought they knew.
Taylor Swift – Red
Release Date: October 23rd via Big Machine
What we know: Typically cryptic about her songwriting, Taylor Swift revealed her diary to Swedish producers Max Martin and Shellback for her fourth album, and the results are already blowing up the charts (the first single, released in August, became the fastest-selling digital single in history).
Why we’re excited: Swift took her feistiest non-single “Better Than Revenge” (the one with the Moz-erific line: “No amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity”) and turned it into a whole album rife with hooks, hormones, and hell to be paid.
Why we’re concerned: Judge not lest ye be judged, Conor Kennedy.
Best anagram from album title: DER!
Sign of a-pop-calypse?: The joyous “Weeee-HEEE!” (from Red‘s killer single “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together) is the most virile sound on the radio since “Call Me Maybe”‘s string section.
The Second Coming?: “State of Grace” is a powerhouse that ups Swift’s ratio of teardrop to guitar from 1:1 to 1:10.
Who’s laughing?: Not John Mayer.
Titus Andronicus – Local Business
Release Date: October 23rd via XL
What we know: The New Jersey five-piece’s follow-up to their Top Star-earning modern classic The Monitor will feature 10 tracks of characteristically existential titles such as “Titus Andronicus VS. the Absurd Universe (3rd Round KO)” with contributions from a few notables such as Owen Pallett. Also, a song called “(I Am The) Electric Man” that frontman Patrick Stickles wrote in a hospital after being electrocuted by a microphone in November.
Why we’re excited: The band is two for two when it comes to stellar punk rock LPs, and lead single “Upon Viewing Oregon’s Landscape with the Flood of Detrius” is just as good as advertised, if stylistically closer to their debut, The Airing of Grievances, than The Monitor.
Why we’re concerned: They spun an insanely risky concept into gold on The Monitor, but that still means they’re capable of an insanely risky idea, which is the opposite of a guarantee.
Best anagram from album title: Slab Seclusion
Track title that best describes how little looking cool matters to Stickles: “My Eating Disorder”
Percentage of the Internet that recently learned from Wikipedia the meaning of the opening track’s title, “Ecce Homo”, after seeing this: 90.
Amount of “ringers,” “gimmicks,” or “nonsense” that will be found on Local Business, in contrast to the two other Titus albums, according to Stickles: Zero.
Number of Titus Andronicus members who departed the band between The Monitor and Local Business: Two (bassist Ian Graetzer and guitarist Amy Klein).
Neil Young & Crazy Horse – Psychedelic Pill
Release Date: October 30th via Reprise
What we know: Neil Young’s second Crazy Horse album of 2012 skips the covers and bites straight into original work. Produced by Young with John Hanlon and Mark Humphreys, the album spans eight tracks, and three of those clock in at over 16 minutes in length. It marks Crazy Horse’s first original material since 2003’s Greendale.
Why we’re excited: Young’s last solo album, Le Noise, scorched ears with its isolated, neurotic distortion. It proved his edge only got sharper. We’re hoping Billy Talbot, Ralph Molina, and Frank “Poncho” Sampedro only add depth to his blade.
Why we’re concerned: We’re not.
Best anagram from album title: Cycled Pipe Hills
Track title that likely describes Young’s lodging preference: “Ramada Inn”
Hey, did you know that Neil Young was: “Born in Ontario”?
Likelihood that Jonathan Demme will direct one of the track’s accompanying music videos: It’s a sure bet.
How do you top The Four Seasons’ “Walk Like a Man”?: You write a song called “Walk Like a Giant” and stretch it out to 16 minutes and 27 seconds.
Holy mackerole! Is that the album’s longest track?: Nope. “Driftin’ Back” opens the album with what will likely be nearly 28 minutes of Youngisms and jamming. Le noiiiice.
Aerosmith – Music From Another Dimension!
Release Date: November 6th via Columbia
What we know: Too much and too little. Produced by Jack Douglas, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, and Marti Frederiksen, Aerosmith’s 15th album almost feels like Chinese Democracy, Jr. at this point. Work for the LP traces all the way back to 2006, when Tyler recovered from throat cancer, but was plagued for years with false starts, bizarre injuries, impromptu tours, trips to rehab, American Idol, and threats of dissolution. Regardless of the hysteria, the album’s principal songwriters are Tyler and Perry, though familiar outside collaborators include Diane Warren (“We All Fall Down”), Desmond Child (“Another Last Goodbye”), and Jim Vallance (“Legendary Child”).
Why we’re excited: It’s been 11 years since an original Aerosmith album hit our speakers.
Why we’re concerned: It’s been almost 20 years since a good Aerosmith album hit our speakers.
Best anagram from album title: Infanticide Sermon Mushroom!
Track title that best describes how the Catholic Church can bring back its edge: “Street Jesus”
Number of tracks likely to be sung at a Home Depot by Tyler in the near future: At least three.
Name of the future porn shoppe that Tyler will open in the near future: ”LUV XXX”
“What is this American Idol runner-up going home with, Ryan?”: “Steven, Lauren Alaina will provide backing vocals to ‘Oh Yeah’.”
Rhythm guitarist Brad Whitford, actor Bradley Whitford, where am I going with this?: No clue.
Big Boi – Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors
Photo by Debi Del Grande
Release Date: November 13th via Def Jam
What we know: The follow-up to Sir Lucious Left Foot was reportedly inspired by, uh, Andre, whose reaction to the initial tracks was, “You’re doing more funk?” So Dre introduced his high school classmate to Little Dragon, whose singer Yukimi Nagano appears on “Momma Told Me”, and Big Boi started from scratch, co-producing most of the album with Chris Carmouche and letting Organized Noise take a backseat. The rapper also came across indie duo Phantogram in a pop-up ad (thanks, Shazam!) and got in touch over Twitter. Singer Sarah Barthel ended up contributing three hooks on the album, and guitarist Josh Carter produced one, titled “Objectum Sexuality”. New generation rappers A$AP Rocky, Kid Cudi, and Big K.R.I.T. are also featured — on “Lines”, “She Hate Me”, and “Gossip”, respectively.
Why we’re excited: Sir Lucious Left Foot was a titillating assortment of space-funk hooks and raucous weed anthems. Its follow-up promises to be a darker affair, with an eclectic roster of indie guests — like The Roots’ How I Got Over in 2010. Then again, the leaked track “Gossip” isn’t exactly Antwan’s most subdued moment.
Why we’re concerned: Sir Lucious Left Foot was the perfect summer album. This one’s dropping in… November??
Best anagram from album title: Alvin’s screams raising
Track title that best describes Big Boi’s relationship with some chick named Caroline: “She Hates Me”
Fantasy collab track: Big Boi and Kate Bush. “Just Got off the Phone with Kate Bush !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” Big Boi tweeted in August. “Stay Tuned….. ooooowwww !” Just call it “Hounds of Stanklove”.
Person responsible for introducing Big Boi to A$AP: His son, Bamboo.
Most romantic lyrical passage: “Let me see your titties… now let me see your pussy/She said OK” (from “She Said OK”)
Soundgarden – King Animal
Photo by Karina Halle
Release Date: November 13th via A&M
What we know: Very little. Guitarist Kim Thayil told Rolling Stone the album “re-establishes that we still rock, we’re still heavy, and we’re still a little weird.” He also dropped two song titles – ”Blood on the Valley Floor” and ”A Thousand Days Before” — and describes the latter song as “a little Indian thing and some chicken-pickin’. We call it ‘country and eastern.’” What does that mean? No idea. It’s not like that snippet of “Worse Dreams” helps at all, either.
Why we’re excited: Their live shows have been beyond impressive: Chris Cornell hasn’t sounded this raw in years, Thayil still melts, and drummer Matt Cameron and bassist Ben Shepherd remain one of rock’s tightest rhythm sections. The energy has to translate to record, right?
Why we’re concerned: “Live To Rise” didn’t do much for The Avengers.
Best anagram from album title: Anal Miking
Track title that best describes the fan’s waiting time prior to release: “A Thousand Days Before”
Chances Cornell will toss on another Michael Jackson cover: Don’t give him any ideas.
Fantasy guest spot: Eddie Vedder would be a nice touch.
The only roadblock to this album’s success: A few, but Cornell’s hair is top priority. It has to stay long; it has to remain lush. Think: Samson & Delilah.