The Season in Albums

Photo: Carlos Osorio/Getty Images (Drake); Courtesy of Warner Bros. Music (Cher); Dominique Charriau/WireImage/Getty Images (M.I.A); Courtesy of Domino Records (Arctic Monkeys); Courtesy of Universal Music Group (Lorde); Courtesy of Bad Boy Records (Monae); Fredrik Etoall (Icona Pop)

8/27: Goodie Mob, ‘Age Against the Machine’
The mid-nineties Atlanta rap quartet from the ­Dungeon Family collective reunites after a fourteen-year hiatus (thanks in large part to Nelly), with renewed star power from member Cee Lo Green and the bouncy, theatrical message-rap fans have been missing.

9/3: Ashanti, ‘BraveHeart’
“We miss you, baby!” Busta Rhymes calls out on “The Woman You Love,” as do Ashanti fans, who have been waiting years for this long-delayed album.

Nine Inch Nails, ‘Hesitation Marks’
Trent Reznor takes a break from his new career as an oddly compelling film scorer to channel ­Downward Spiral–era NIN.

9/10: 2 Chainz, ‘B.O.A.T.S. II’
Party-starter Mr. Chainz promises that more dirty “club bangers” are on the way.

Arctic Monkeys, ‘AM’
Includes a catchy single about the dangers of late-night booty-calling while high.

Sheryl Crow,‘Feels Like Home’
The first explicitly country record from Nashville-based Crow. Another first for her: All songs are co-written, including one with Brad Paisley.

Janelle Monae, ‘The Electric Lady’
The bopping, neo-soul-from-another-planet single “Q.U.E.E.N.” (with Erykah Badu) is both totally weird and winning—just like Monae herself.

The Weeknd, ‘Kiss Land’
Fragile, synth-heavy tunes from Abel Tesfaye, who has compared this record to a horror movie, citing ­influences like David Cronenberg and Ridley Scott.

9/15: Toad the Wet Sprocket, ‘New Constellation’
Nineties nostalgia never gets old, and neither, apparently, do these guys. The title single of their sixth album—the first since 1997—sounds like the same melodic college rock. But we’re not complaining.

9/17: MGMT, ‘MGMT’
The band is “less distraught, nervous, and paranoid” than they were around 2010’s Congratulations, according to lead singer Andrew VanWyngarden, but their music is just as tripped-out, if the new single “Your Life Is a Lie” is representative (check out the video, featuring a crying pebble and Henry Winkler).

9/24: Cher, ‘Closer to the Truth’
Her random appearance on The Voice, singing “Woman’s World,” was a glittery flashback to the glorious Auto-Tune days of “Believe,” but she may have new tricks in store: Pink co-wrote two songs, and Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters shows up, too.

Drake, ‘Nothing Was the Same’
Drake promises this record will go deeper into the confessional rapper’s backstory, including the fact that he “Started From the Bottom,” as his single repeats.

Elton John, ‘The Diving Board’
Sir Elton calls this album the one “I’ve been wanting to make for decades.” With production from T Bone Burnett and lyrics co-­written by longtime collaborator Bernie Taupin, it may live up to his expectations.

Icona Pop, ‘This Is … Icona Pop’
More dance-and-sing-along-ready electropop from everyone’s favorite nineties bitch(es).

9/30: Haim, ‘Days Are Gone’
It’s easy to hear a little Fleetwood Mac, a little Kate Bush in the three Haim sisters’ close harmonies and seventies-esque tunes.

Lorde, ‘Pure Heroine’
Sixteen-year-old New Zealander Ella Yelich-O’Connor writes tongue-in-cheek songs about cliques and posh kids; “Royals” already seems tailor-made for the Girls soundtrack.

Justin Timberlake, ‘The 20/20 Experience Part 2’
Let’s hope for more sexy-back and less Sinatra-style throwback.

10/15: Diane Birch, ‘Speak a Little Louder’
Birch sings like a ­southern-fried Laura Nyro, all husky alto and soul.

Pearl Jam, ‘Lightning Bolt’
Eddie Vedder’s in fine voice, longtime producer Brendan O’Brien is onboard, and the band has been debuting new tracks with the kind of guitar riffs that inspire one’s head to bang. Or at least gently bob.

10/29: Arcade Fire, TBA
Little is known about this album, but James Murphy is helping produce, and he’s called it “fucking epic.”

11/5: MIA, ‘Matangi’
Long delayed but finally set for release after MIA threatened to leak it. She claims her label felt this record was “too positive.” Single “Bring the Noize” sounds like the usual Maya: blaring horns, gun-shot-staccato verses.

11/11: Lady Gaga, ‘Artpop’
She’s already declared herself “over” and “no longer relevant” in a creepy Haus of Gaga trailer for the album, but it’s the usual Gaga subversion—lead single “Applause” sounds made for the club.

11/TBA: Wu-Tang Clan, ‘A Better Tomorrow’ (working title)
The much-awaited album, which the Clan is hoping to release on the twentieth anniversary of its debut Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers), will potentially feature dug-up tracks from Ol’ Dirty Bastard.

The Season in Albums