A Date With Diva

With everyone on a budget, Advocate.com weeds through the onslaught of fall releases from divas including Whitney, Mariah, Shakira, and Christina to determine which ones are worth getting excited about.




This will be Madonna's final release for Warner Bros. Records, and a pretty easy way to close out her record deal. Looks like someone just wants out. Thus far the harbingers include the leaked demo "Revolver" (also known as "Die Happy"), featuring Lil' Wayne, and the official release of the first single "Celebration," a Paul Oakenfold-produced pop dance track that achieves total hookiness without any substance whatsoever. It's like "Holiday" without the timelessness or innocence. The song should do well in clubs, but to a public that finally seems to be paying attention to the content of music, this track will likely be met with some hostility.

A second Oakenfold-produced track, "Broken (I'm Sorry)," was also completed but is currently rumored to not be included on the album. The remaining content is, of course, what we've already heard a billion times, but remastered, so we've got an excuse to buy it all again. The album will be released in single- and double-disc editions, plus an accompanying DVD with several videos that have never before been made available on the format.

Christina Aguilera has announced a fall release for her new album Light & Darkness , described by producer DJ Premier as "an all pop album, but she wants me to keep the tone like what we did before [the Back to Basics album]." Despite what sounds like a desire to return to something tried and true, we can look forward to a very different Christina than we've heard before.

Confirmed collaborators on this album include indie Australian songbird Sia, the electronic pop bands Goldfrapp and Ladytron, and the ever-dependable Neptunes, along with Dr. Dre protege Focus. Perez Hilton tweeted that Christina was working with the American punk-dance band Le Tigre, known for their lyrical content focused on feminism and LGBT issues, so with any luck, we'll have a whole new gay pride power ballad to honor with a GLAAD award.

Additional mentionables are: Mary J. Blige's Stronger album, due out November 24; Monica's much-delayed Still Standing album, now scheduled for November to coincide with her BET reality show; and Imogen Heap's new album, which will be out August 25 and will hopefully be capitalizing on her newfound mainstream fan base.

There's also the sophomore album Breakthrough by MySpace-turned-Top 40 staple Colbie Caillat, which also drops August 25, and the new album from Jennifer Lopez, now scheduled for release in January 2010 despite the leaked song "Hooked on You." And Paula Abdul is reportedly back in the studio working on a new album, but we'll see how things pan out following the demise of her run on Idol .

Tags: Music