New sounds for summer
Even with a limited line-up of musicians coming to the city this summer, there's plenty to cheer about in the world of music, as the recording studios have a great assortment of releases lined up for listeners. Here's a look at some that are sure to get you excited.
Kimbra Vows (May 29)
Many associate the name Kimbra with the soulful voice on Somebody that I Used to Know, the collaboration with Belgian-Australian singer-songwriter Gotye. But the Kiwi musician has had other collaborations and singles released in the past. She makes her studio debut (outside of the South Pacific) with Vows, revealing a fresh and upbeat side of the 22-year-old you might not expect.Rumer Boys Don't Cry (May 29)
Ever since the Pakistan-born British singer-songwriter dropped her debut in 2010, there's been comparisons to another Brit, the one who cleaned up at the Grammys this year and has a penchant for using numbers for album titles. This may be a strange choice to highlight, considering it's an album of cover versions, but Rumer's vocals are strong enough to keep this one afloat.
Usher: Looking 4 Myself (June 13)
Usher's seventh studio album comes hot on the heels of the Grammy-winning Raymond v Raymond. We're not sure what the play on 'four' is all about (other than the fact he's Usher Raymond IV, but how lame), but if the lead single Climax is anything to go by, there'll be a lot to look forward to.
Justin Bieber - Believe (June 19)
Usher's 18-year-old protege is all set to release his third studio album. An early track listing suggests some powerhouse hip hop collaborations, featuring the likes of Ludacris, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean and fellow Canuck Drake.
Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel Is Wiser than the Driver of the Screw, and Whipping Cards Will Serve You More than Ropes Will Ever Do (June 19)
A 100-plus character title may seem a little excessive, but it's not out of line with the American singer-songwriter's second album, When the Pawn..., the condensed version of the actual eight-line-poem title. Abbreviated to The Idler Wheel, this record comes highly anticipated as Apple has not had a studio release since late 2005.
Maroon 5 - Overexposed
In part, the lacklustre sales of their underwhelming Hands All Over in 2010 drove the five-piece to push their follow-up for this summer. It serves as a chance for the California crew to prove they can still make inspired music that tops the album charts. Lead man Adam Levine calls it one of their 'most diverse and poppiest albums yet'; the first single Payphone features a slick verse with rapper Wiz Khalifa.
Linkin Park - Living Things (June 26)
For their fifth studio release, the band has created an album more in line with their roots. Expect big melodies, a lot of guitar, electronic elements and overall more personal album from the West Coast natives. No doubt this is one of the most anticipated releases this summer.
Chris Brown - Fortune (July 3)
This album was originally planned as a second disc in the F.A.M.E. album, but it was later decided it would get an entirely separate release. Fortune marks Breezy's first outing under RCA Records and promises to be more varied than ever. Brown said on Twitter it would include dubstep tracks and display a more mature side of him.
Blur - Blur 21: The Box (July 23)
Twenty-one years in the music industry and you're certainly going to have plenty of stories to tell. Well, Britpoppers Blur have stories and a whole lot of music, too. As part of the 21st anniversary of the release of their debut album, Leisure, the band will release a massive box set, consisting of 21 discs, with 65 previously unreleased tracks.