Fall Music Preview 2012: Releases from Taylor Swift, Green Day, Mumford and Sons, more

The Philadelphia InquirerSeptember 20, 2012 

Just because people don't buy music anymore doesn't keep artists from releasing it. On Tuesday, Pink, honky-tonk singer Dwight Yoakam, indie harmonizers Band of Horses and adult-alternative heroine Aimee Mann released albums, and the deluge continues from there.

Besides the albums highlighted below, releases of note include two from the 93-year-old folk legend Pete Seeger (Sept. 25); British ambient folkie Beth Orton's Sugaring Season (Oct. 2); and Beck's Song Reader, a 20-song album that will include no actual recorded sound, just sheet music with lyrics. That stocking stuffer comes out Dec. 7.


Here are releases to look for this fall.

G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer (went on sale Tuesday). Last year, Kanye West announced that the album by his posse on his G.O.O.D. Music label, Cruel Summer, would be out by spring. By now, the effort — with Big Sean, Pusha T and 2Chainz, among others, as well as West — is so long overdue it'll barely make the season it's named for.

Green Day, ¡Uno!, ¡Dos!, ¡Tre! (on sale Sept. 25, Nov. 13 and Jan. 13, respectively). After two rock operas in a row — 2004's American Idiot and 2009's less memorable 21st Century Breakdown — the California punk-pop trio's new songs like Oh Love and Kill the DJ signal a return to the bratty bash-and-pop approach of their '90s recordings. Then again, Green Day is set to release so much music there's no telling where frontman Billie Joe Armstrong's ambitions will take them.

Bettye LaVette, Thankful N' Thoughtful (Sept. 25). Soul woman Bettye LaVette toiled in obscurity after recording her single My Man, He's a Loving Man, in 1962, when she was 16. Since she released the 2003 album A Woman Like Me, however, she's been on a roll. LaVette has a new album, Thankful N' Thoughtful, and an autobiography (A Woman Like Me) coming out two days later.

Mumford and Sons, Babel (Sept. 25). The 2009 Sigh No More by London folkie foursome Mumford and Sons was one of the biggest out-of-the-blue blockbusters in recent memory, thanks to hit Little Lion Man. Can the band again take its hootenanny to the top of the charts?

No Doubt, Push and Shove (Sept. 25). California ska-pop band No Doubt hasn't released an album in 11 years. Push and Shove is said to pull from the Gwen Stefani-fronted band's influences of Jamaican rhythms and British synth-pop.

Kendrick Lamar, good kid, m.A.A.d. city (Oct. 2). It will be a major upset if 25-year-old Compton, Calif., native Kendrick Lamar doesn't become the next hip-hop household name. The well-connected member of the rap collective Black Hippy comes with a major-label debut produced by Dr. Dre and features Party Nauseous, a collaboration with Lady Gaga.

Jamey Johnson, Living for a Song (Oct. 16). Nashville's leading country rebel's new one is a tribute to the great honky-tonk songwriter Hank Cochran. Cochran's songs — including I Fall to Pieces and Make the World Go Away — are sung by Johnson and a wish list of partners, including Merle Haggard, Alison Krauss, George Strait, Willie Nelson and Elvis Costello.

Taylor Swift, Red (Oct. 22). The video for the lead single on Red, Taylor Swift's fourth album, finds the pride of Wyomissing, Pa., telling a Jake Gyllenhaal look-alike that We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together. The song sold 623,000 digital units in its first week, breaking Ke$ha's record for the most downloads in a week from a female artist. The album has a duet on Everything Has Changed with British songwriter Ed Sheeran, and seems poised to move Swift farther than ever from calico-dress country.

Bat for Lashes, The Haunted Man (Oct. 23). Pakistani-British art-pop maker Natasha Khan, who performs as Bat for Lashes, carries a man in her arms on the cover of her third album while wearing nothing but her birthday suit. It's not just the intensity of Khan's gaze that grabs your attention, though. It's also her quietly commanding, moody, piano-driven tunes like Haunted's first single, Laura.

The Coup, Sorry to Bother You (Oct. 30). It's been six years since Oakland, Calif., hip-hop outfit the Coup released its last album, Pick a Bigger Weapon. On the funk- and punk-flavored Sorry to Bother You, agit-rapper Boots Riley serves up a reminder that he's the rare MC who can drive a political agenda while making you dance — and laugh.

Big Boi, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors (Nov. 13). The name of the album by the Atlanta rapper who's one-half of OutKast was inspired by his grandmother, who told him it would make an apt title for a movie about her life. Big Boi (real name: Antwan Patton) is following 2010's funky Sir Lucious Leftfoot with an album that features guest appearances by indie-pop band Phantogram, Swedish electronica outfit Little Dragon and rappers A$AP Rocky and Kid Cudi.

Alicia Keys, Girl on Fire (Nov. 27). The Grammy-grabbing pianist and songwriter's fifth studio album is her first since she gave birth to her daughter, Egypt, and features collaborations with Bruno Mars and, intriguingly, producer Jamie xx of the xx.

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