After the summer doldrums with one or two major releases every week, we have the biggest release slate in several months. It’s a fall bonanza led by Linkin Park, Weezer, Jamey Johnson, the Killers’ Brandon Flowers, Trey Songz and Robert Plant. We picked the top releases, but there are plenty of other great albums coming out Sept. 14, like new sets from Chocolate Genius Incorporated, Black Angels and Michelle Branch. Enjoy yourself and happy listening.
Trey Anastasio Band, “TAB at the Tab” (Rubber Jungle): Head Phish stick releases live set recorded at the Tabernacle in Atlanta in February. Includes
Chromeo, “Business Casual” (Atlantic): Dave 1 and P-Thugg serve up another steaming heap of ‘70s-influenced funk with a dose of pop thrown in. The Montreal duo is poised to break into the mainstream with its third album. Once you get a taste, you’re hooked.
Brandon Flowers, “Flamingo” (Island): What started as songs intended for a new Killers’ project became the fodder for Flowers’ first solo album. The set, produced by Stuart Price, Daniel Lanois and Brendan O’Brien, all of whom also play on the album, includes homages to Flowers’ Las Vegas hometown. First single, “Crossfire,” is already a Rock Songs Top 20 hit.
Jamey Johnson, “The Guitar Song” (Mercury Nashville): Outlaw singer/songwriter who set Nashville ablaze with the ACM song of the year “In Color,” in 2008 comes back with a double album: one side, the Black album, has sad songs, while the White album is sunnier. They all work for us.
Linkin Park, “A Thousand Suns” (Warner Bros.): LP reunites with Rick Rubin, who produced its last album, “Minutes to Midnight,” for an album that leans heavily on the rock, although reports are there’s a hip-hop presence on at least one track. First single, the intense “The Catalyst,” has already hit No. 1 on the rock chart.
Of Montreal, “False Priest” (Polyvinyl): They’re from Athens, Ga... so go figure. But fans already knew that since this is Kevin Barnes’ 10th album under the Of Montreal moniker. This time, he turns to producer Jon Brion, who adds some orchestrations to Barnes’ stylized vocal delivery.
Robert Plant, “Band of Joy” (Rounder): The Led Zep singer started out trying to make a follow-up to Grammy-winning “Raising Sand,” his duet set with Alison Krauss. When that flamed out, he continued on with producer T-Bone Burnett for this exercise, cleverly named after his pre- LZ band. Plant is accompanied by Patty Griffith and Buddy Miller on his musical journey of relatively obscure blues and country tunes.
Trey Songz, “Passion, Pain & Pleasure” (Atlantic): Songz has been building slowly and steadily to this point, his fourth studio album. If you liked the first two singles, “Bottoms Up” featuring NIcki Minaj, which reached the top 20 of the Billboard Hot 100, and “Can’t Be Friends,” you’ve got an idea of what to expect from this R&B singer.
Mavis Staples, “You Are Not Alone” (Anti-/Epitaph): Mavis Staples is 71 and that lifetime of experiences-- good and bad--are gloriously reflected in her voice. This time, she collaborates with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who guides her through a collection of gospel classics and new material, including two penned by Tweedy. Let Staples take you to church. You won’t be sorry.
Weezer, “Hurley” (Epitaph): Rivers Cuomo and co. go indie on their first post-Geffen set and return to its more quirky side following the precious pop sounds of “Raditude.” Collaborators include Ryan Adams, Semisonic’s Dan Wilson, Linda Perry, No Doubt’s Tony Kanal, Desmond Child, and, believe or not, actor Michael Cera, who sings and plays mandolin. Read review here.