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As the school year comes to an end, we at The Eagle are retiring our spring playlists and looking forward to the new music that summer brings. Here are just a few of the albums to watch for over the next few weeks.
Broken Social Scene — Forgiveness Rock Record
Though they might be best known for launching the career of the much more popular Feist, Broken Social Scene has been conducting sprawling art rock for about a decade. It’s a bit unfair to call them a band — they are considered a “collective,” with a rotating list of musicians that number anywhere from six to 19 people — and because of this setup, it can be hard to predict what each new album will sound like. From the dreamy minimalism of “Bee Hives” to the bombastic instrumentation of their 2005 self-titled album, the aesthetic changes as much as the artists themselves. Expect surprises when “Forgiveness Rock Record” is released May 4.
The New Pornographers — Together
Who would have thought 20 years ago that our Canadian neighbors to the north would be producing some of the most daring, progressive rock music of the day? Although they are often grouped in with compatriots Broken Social Scene and Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers have enjoyed more mainstream success than the former and a more prolific streak than the latter. “Challengers,” released in 2007, contained charming pieces of upbeat tracks laced with a somber lyricism, most notably on tracks like “Myriad Harbour.” “Together” will also be released May 4.
The National — High Violet
GQ magazine recently described The National as “Joy Division fronted by Leonard Cohen,” which is both eerily accurate and indicative of why the band’s sound is so successful. Rooted in the post-punk revival of the naughts (think Interpol and The Strokes), The National’s debut album “Boxer” was an album painstaking in its instrumental balance. And yet, it is undoubtedly Matt Berninger’s voice that is the band’s most prominent feature — deep, soulful and sad, not the result of singing classes but of deeply felt emotions shared over drinks and cigarettes with friends. “High Violet” will be released May 11.
The Roots — How I Got Over
It might be hard to justify why another Roots’ release is worth buying. The hip-hop group has been together for 23 years, and it is easy to be skeptical of their ability to reinvent themselves after so long. But their career thus far has been full of surprises, and it’s undeniable that the band has been on the cutting edge of hip-hop for their whole existence. Consider their new album, a political piece focused on the relief felt after the Bush administration left office and the Obama one arrived. It may feel a year too late, but the group is bringing on big figures from the underground rap community to collaborate, including Young Chris, ChestnuTT and Beanie Sigel. The album will be released on June 8.
Eminem — Recovery
At the beginning of the last decade, Eminem was the biggest name in rap, thanks in no small part to his undeniable skill and creative lyrics. Fans who waited for his new album were underwhelmed by 2009’s “Relapse,” in which the wordsmith defaulted to nonsensical tirades and received mixed reviews for it. Though it picked up a Grammy for “Best Rap Album,” Eminem decided that it wasn’t up to snuff. So, earlier this year he threw out the idea of “Relapse 2” and decided to record “Recovery.” Though there are clear parallels to last year’s album, “Recovery” might prove a proper comeback album. It will hit stores June 21.
M.I.A. — TBA
After taking a break from touring to form her own record label, Sri Lankan native M.I.A. will release her third record this summer. Buoyed by the incredible success of “Paper Planes” from 2007’s “Kala,” M.I.A was put in an strange position — despite the odds, her hyper-political brand of eclectic art-pop achieved mainstream success. For her third album, she turned to her own record label for collaborators, including Disc Jockey Egyptian Lover, meaning that this album may blend even more disparate sounds into a coherent whole when it is released June 29.