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Music

FALL ARTS PREVIEW

Critic’s picks: Albums

Getty Images for BET

JANELLE MONÁE, “THE ELECTRIC LADY”

True to the chameleonic reach of her music, Monáe appears in various guises on the cover of her new album. More streamlined but just as compelling as 2010’s “The ArchAndroid,” her latest is all over the musical map, from the simmering R&B ballad “Primetime” (a duet with Miguel) to the funky ode to self-empowerment called “Q.U.E.E.N.” (featuring Erykah Badu). Electric lady indeed. (Out Sept. 10)


THE WEEKND, “KISS LAND”

 Seductive, sprawling, steely. And that’s just the first song on the new album by Abel Tesfaye, who performs under the name the Weeknd. “Kiss Land” flits around the edges of Frank Ocean’s brand of neo-R&B, which is to say it’s minimal while still sounding outsized and cinematic. (Out Sept. 10)

John Smierciak/Associated Press

MGMT, “MGMT”

MGMT, the indie-rock pairing of Andrew VanWyngarden and Ben Goldwasser, went full-on psychedelic on 2010’s “Congratulations,” their underrated (and underestimated) sophomore release. Its follow-up, the self-titled “MGMT,” ventures down a similarly self-guided path, at once epic and time-warped. (Out Sept. 17)

Dan Hallman/Invision/AP

ELVIS COSTELLO AND THE ROOTS, “WISE UP GHOST”

 “We had no deadline, no labels involved,” Costello told Rolling Stone over the summer. “We were just doing it on our own.” Thus began this unlikely record that features Costello getting down and dirty and righteous with the Roots, who have raised their profile as the house band for “Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.” (Out Sept. 17)

Carlo Allegri/Invision/Associated Press

CHER, “CLOSER TO THE TRUTH”

Against the odds, and in her 50s, she resurrected as a dance diva in 1998 with the album “Believe” (bolstered by the hit title track). Based on the first single, “Woman’s World,” Cher is attempting a similar comeback on her latest, “Closer to the Truth,” which features cameos by Pink and Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears. (Out Sept. 24)

Getty Images for MTV

DRAKE, “NOTHING WAS THE SAME”

Claiming Marvin Gaye — and specifically his 1978 album, “Here, My Dear” — as a major influence, this Canadian rapper and singer even made his new album in Gaye’s old studio. “Nothing Was the Same” features a star-studded cast, too, including Jay Z, Justin Timberlake, 2 Chainz, Rick Ross, and J. Cole, among others. (Out Sept. 24)

ELTON JOHN, “THE DIVING BOARD”

 Early word on John’s 30th studio album has been promising: Co-written with Bernie Taupin, it was produced by T Bone Burnett, who encouraged John to go back to the basics — piano, drums, and bass — that made his ’70s catalog so gripping. (Out Sept. 24.)

KINGS OF LEON, “MECHANICAL BULL”

Ending a hiatus that began in 2011, brought on by exhaustion and internal strife, the brothers Followill are back with their sixth album. “Wait for Me,” the first single, has a slack rhythm driven by twinkling guitars; it bodes well for the rest of the album. (Out Sept. 24.)

JUSTIN TIMBERLAKE, “THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE 2 OF 2”

  • As the bookend to the first “20/20 Experience,” released in March, JT’s sequel already has a hit single in “Take Back the Night.” Still mining a throwback soul sound, the second installment features collaborations with Jay Z and Drake. (Out Sept. 30.)

MILEY CYRUS, “BANGERZ”

  • By the time it’s released, more than a month will have passed since her infamous performance at the MTV Video Music Awards (“Twerk-gate,” as it’s known in tabloid parlance). That moment was likely the perfect setup for the more mature R&B sound the former “Hannah Montana” star pursued on the first single, “We Can’t Stop.” (Out Oct. 8.)

John Raoux/Associated Press

PAUL MCCARTNEY, “NEW”

  • There is perhaps no greater compliment than saying Mc-Cartney’s newest single recalls the glory days of the Beatles. That’s been the consensus surrounding “New,” the title track, produced by Mark Ronson, of McCartney’s next album. It’ll be Macca’s first solo album of original material since 2007’s “Memory Almost Full.” (Out Oct. 15.)

PEARL JAM, “LIGHTNING BOLT”

A frentic energy courses through “Mind Your Manners,” the first single from Pearl Jam’s 10th studio album. Singer Eddie Vedder rides the beat like a proto punk-rocker while sneering, “Tried my patience / Patience tried.” So far, so good. (Out Oct. 15.)

Gerald Herbert/Associated Press

Katy Perry, “Prism”

Go ahead and claim you don’t like Perry’s latest song, but chances are you’ll have the chorus lodged in your brain after the third listen. At least that’s the takeaway from “Roar,” Perry’s muscular new single that champions self-expression and the value of confidence in yourself. (Out Oct. 22.)

EMINEM, “THE MARSHALL MATHERS LP 2”

The first “Marshall Mathers LP” hit like a tsunami in 2000, elevating Eminem to the upper echelon of the rap game. For its continuation, he worked with producers Dr. Dre and Rick Rubin. First single “Berzerk” has rightly earned comparisons to ’80s-era Beastie Boys. (Out Nov. 5.)

Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images

LADY GAGA, “ARTPOP”

To lift a line from her latest hit, she lives for the applause (applause applause), and the Lady will no doubt get plenty of that for her third album. Prepare to hear its various singles in heavy rotation on Top 40 radio for the next, oh, six months. (Out Nov. 11.)

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