entertainment previews: Pop music

            entertainment previews: Pop music


Beyoncé, B'day
(Columbia) Why settle for balloons and cake when
you can celebrate turning 25 by dropping a new album
instead? The Dreamgirls star wrote, arranged,
and coproduced the whole shebang, assisted by the
Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, and others. (Sept. 5)

Justin Timberlake, FutureSex/LoveSounds
(Jive) The hotly touted follow-up to Justified
spans the gamut of hip-hop and polished pop-soul
flavas; Timbaland and Three 6 Mafia guest, but Justin still
slips into that to-die-for falsetto too. (Sept. 12)

Brazilian Girls, Talk to La Bomb
(Verve Forecast) Second set from New
York’s kookiest multiculti export since Deee-Lite
features lyrics in five languages. Ric Ocasek,
formerly of the Cars, oversaw recording of the
sensuous “Last Call.” (Sept. 12)

John Mayer, Continuum
(Columbia) He can hang with Common and Kanye as
comfortably as B.B. King and Clapton, so no surprise that
the latest from this cutie-pie guitar wunderkind fuses his
Grammy Award–winning pop chops with legit blues
influences. (Sept. 12)

Citizen Cope, Every Waking Moment
(RCA) After blindsiding the biz with the 2004
sleeper hit The Clarence Greenwood Recordings,
Citizen Cope returns with 11 tracks of distinctive
folk–rock–hip-hop fusion. Want more? Official
Web site preorders come autographed, with a bonus EP.
(Sept. 12)

Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences

(Hollywood) Different record label, same
invigorating mix of personal and political sentiments.
New pal Pink pops up on “Rock and Roll
Heaven’s Gate”; rising star Brandi
Carlile guests too. (Sept. 19)

Fergie, The Duchess
(will.i.am/Interscope) Former Kids Incorporated
star Stacy Ferguson and her lovely lady lumps grace the
first release for Black Eyed Peas cohort will.i.am’s
new vanity imprint. (Sept. 19)

Scissor Sisters (pictured),

(Universal Motown) A song about cross-dressing
pirates? Another featuring Elton John? No, it’s
not Johnny Depp’s next film…it’s the
sophomore full-length from glitzy, queer-as-fuck
disco-glam quintet Scissor Sisters. Voilà! (Sept.

Janet Jackson, 20 Y.O.
(Virgin) Two decades after Control, the
slimmed-down Miss Jackson delivers dance tracks (“So
Excited,” featuring Khia) and trademark slow jams,
with production by boyfriend Jermaine Dupri and
longtime stalwarts Jam and Lewis. (Sept. 26)


Lady Sovereign, Public Warning
(Def Jam) The queen of the U.K.
“grime” scene, this 5-foot-1 white London
rapper finally drops her full-length debut. Her
eviscerating, lickety-split lyrics, oft compared to
Eminem, convinced Def Jam CEO Jay-Z to sign her personally.
(Oct. 3)

The Decemberists, The Crane Wife
(Capitol) Longtime indie faves bring their
theatrical world of chimney sweeps, opium dens, and
sporting fiascos to the mainstream. Their literary bent
remains intact, however: The title was inspired by an
ancient Japanese folk tale. (Oct. 3)

Evanescence, The Open Door
(Wind-up) Raven-haired rock drama queen Amy Lee
and new guitarist and cowriter Terry Balsamo temper
darkness, raw emotion, and scarier lyrical fare with
graceful embellishment from a full choir and string
section. (Oct. 3)

The Killers, Sam’s Town
(Island) The Las Vegas foursome’s
successor to hit debut Hot Fuss embraces an arena-size sound
à la U2 while downplaying synthesizers and
obvious pop touches. The title cut features accordion
and toy piano. Seriously. (Oct. 3)

Deftones, Saturday Night Wrist
(Maverick) There was allegedly tons of Fleetwood
Mac–style behind-the-scenes drama prior to
completion of the fifth disc from this moody metal quintet,
but early reports indicate it’s their most
cohesive album yet. (Oct. 10)

Snoop Dogg, Blue Carpet Treatment
(DoggyStyle/Geffen) Snoop picked through 300
songs for his new one, with A-list collaborators
including Brandy, Cypress Hill’s B-Real, and possibly
Stevie Wonder, who dropped by to cut a cover of his
classic “Have a Talk With God.” (Oct.

Sarah McLachlan, Wintersong
(J) The Lilith Fair founder offers up a
contemplative seasonal set, including renditions of Joni
Mitchell’s melancholy “River” and John
Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War Is
Over),” plus some more traditional holiday
selections. (Oct. 17)

American Idol vets Ruben Studdard, Fantasia,
Chris Daughtry, Clay Aiken, and Taylor Hicks all have
new CDs on tap for fall… In September: Elton
John rejoins lyricist Bernie Taupin for The Captain
and the Kid,
a sequel to the 1975 masterpiece
Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt
Tori Amos and R.E.M. prep multidisc
retrospectives; and Tony Bennett releases his Duets,
with Dixie Chicks, George Michael, and Barbra
Streisand… In October: Crooner-come-lately Rod
Stewart goes back to his roots with Still the
Same… Great Rock Classics of Our Time;
New Artist Grammy-winning piano man John Legend
returns with Once Again, and eyeliner-heavy
pop-punks My Chemical Romance deliver the fruits of their
work with Green Day producer Rob Cavallo.

—Kurt B.