Critic’s picks: Albums
Bob Dylan, “Tempest”
At least since 1997’s “Time Out of Mind,” there has been no dip in Dylan’s prolific recorded output. Early buzz on “Tempest,” including a five-star review from Rolling Stone magazine, suggests it’s the latest in a long stretch of acclaimed albums featuring Dylan’s inspired songwriting and his regular touring band. (Out Sept. 11)
The xx, “Coexist”
Less has always been more for this London trio whose stark, self-titled debut was a sleeper hit in 2009. Judging from the first single, the vaporous “Angels,” the xx is following a similarly artful approach on its sophomore release.
(Out Sept. 11)
Kanye West/G.O.O.D. Music, “Cruel Summer”
Not so much a Kanye West solo album as it is a collaborative effort, “Cruel Summer” features a who’s who of rap heavyweights, including artists signed to West’s G.O.O.D. Music label. Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, R. Kelly, Pusha T, Raekwon, Jadakiss, Big
Sean, and 2 Chainz are reportedly among the guests.
(Out Sept. 18)
Pink, “The Truth About Love”
The big-voiced belter is back doing what she does best: raging, laughing, questioning, and rejoicing about everything from herself to her husband, her year-old daughter Willow, and the world at large. She’s doing it all in neat little pop and soul packages, helped to life by longtime friends and collaborators like Butch Walker, Max Martin, and new friend Dan Wilson (who has worked with Adele and the Dixie Chicks.)
(Out Sept. 18)
The Killers, “Battle Born”
Frontman Brandon Flowers went solo for 2010’s “Flamingo,” a hodgepodge affair that didn’t go over as well as he had probably expected. “Battle Born” reunites Flowers with his bandmates, and the first single, “Runaways,” is quintessential Killers: a sweet melody that soon gives way to a soaring, anthemic chorus. Welcome back, boys. (Out Sept. 18)
Carly Rae Jepsen, “Kiss”
Hey, she just met you. And this is crazy. But this Canadian pop sensation will release her second album close on the heels of “Call Me Maybe” becoming the summer’s inescapable jam. Expect more catchy pop nuggets, including a duet with Justin Bieber and collaborations with hitmaking producers such as Max Martin. You’ll like it, maybe? (Out Sept. 18)
Aimee Mann, “Charmer”
The onetime frontwoman for Boston’s ‘Til Tuesday explores the concept of how we present ourselves on her buoyant upcoming album. “Living a Lie,” featuring the Shins’ James Mercer, presents two sides of a breakup. Bonus: Mann will play Berklee Performance Center on Nov. 3. (Out Sept. 18)
Green Day, “¡Uno!”
Let the title be a clue: This is the first installment of a planned trilogy from the Bay Area pop punks. (The next two albums will be called “¡Dos!” and “¡Tre!” and will be out
Nov. 13 and Jan 15, respectively.) The 12-track release is reportedly a return to short, sharp, shocking form following the group’s more expansive concept albums. (Out Sept. 25)
Mumford & Sons, “Babel”
Three years since their debut, “Sigh No More,” unexpectedly made these Brits stars of the Americana genre, Mumford & Sons return with great expectations for their follow-up. Their instrumentation is rootsy — led by banjo, acoustic guitar, and upright bass — but they play with the zeal of a rock band. (Out Sept. 25)
Lupe Fiasco, “Food & Liquor II: The Great American Rap
Album Pt. 1”
A sequel of sorts to his 2006 debut, “Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor,” his upcoming album is his latest outlet for using rap as a platform for social justice. (Out Sept. 25)
No Doubt, “Push and Shove”
The Cali quartet is taking the “dance with the one that brung ya” approach on its first album of all new material in 11 years. That means Gwen Stefani and her merry band of brothers will be ping-ponging between ska and reggae grooves, bubbly synth-pop, and hard driving beats. (Out Sept. 25)
Jason Aldean, “Night Train’’
The plainspoken country rocker broke through to superstar level with 2010’s blockbuster “My Kinda Party” and hits such as “Dirt Road Anthem” and “Don’t You Wanna Stay.” Looking to build on that momentum, Aldean went back into the studio with producer Michael Knox, so expect another mix of uptempo party jams and more thoughtful ballads.
(Out Oct. 16)
Taylor Swift, “Red”
Since she’s putting out a new album we’re going to guess that the pop country sweetheart has had a few breakups since 2010’s juggernaut “Speak Now.” Swift brought in some new collaborators this time out that exhibit savvy, good taste and common interests with Pink, including pop whiz Max Martin and singer-songwriters Butch Walker and Dan Wilson.
(Out Oct. 22)
Aerosmith, “Music From
After 11 tumultuous years — including car accidents, health scares, a battle with cancer, a fall from the stage, a relapse, lots of infighting — the bad boys from Boston have finally gotten it together long enough to put out an album of all new material. Advance word is that the disc — produced by golden era Aerosmith knob twiddler Jack Douglas — splits the difference between the raw blooze of their ’70s classics and the shiny pop fizz of their second act. (Out Nov. 6)
Alicia Keys, “Girl on Fire”
This Grammy-winning R&B songstress made a surprise detour into darker themes on 2009’s “The Element of Freedom.” For her upcoming fifth studio album, which was inspired by her travels to London and Jamaica, she paints in even broader strokes, incorporating more electronic influences and even some reggae.
(Out Nov. 27)