After a long absence, some classic artists, such as Devo, Steve Miller, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and Sarah McLachlan, return June 15. We also see if Drake can live up to all the hype with his first full-length album for Lil Wayne”s Cash Money label. Robyn and Kevin Rudolf also make sure we keep the party going.
Devo, “Something for Everybody” (Warner Bros.): The red flowerpot hats may be gone, but Devo whips it good with its first album of new material in 20 years. Producers include Santigold, the Dust Brothers” John King and The Bird & the Bee”s Greg Kurstin. Drummer John Freese sits in with the classic line-up of Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh and Gerald and Bob Casale.
Drake, “Thank Me Later” (Young Money/Cash Money/Universal Motown): After mix tapes, a Grammy nomination and several hits, Drake finally releases his first official full-length album. Joining the Canadian rapper are his mentor, Lil Wayne, as well as Jay-Z, T.I., Alicia Keys and The Dream.
The Gaslight Anthem, “American Slang (SideOne Dummy): New Jersey band and Springsteen acolytes pair with producer Ted Hutt for its third, adventurous, rocking album.
Sarah McLachlan, “Laws of Illusion” (Arista): Ethereal singer/songwriter puts out first studio album in several years. McLachlan recorded much of the album live (including six songs in five days) giving “Laws” a looser, more spirited feel than some of her previous works. While first single “Loving You is Easy” may be one of her breeziest songs ever, some of the other tunes deal with the heartbreaking dissolution of her marriage. Read review here.
The Steve Miller Band, “Bingo” (Space Cowboy/Roadrunner/Loud & Proud): The original space cowboy delivers first album in 17 years, just like that. Abracadabra.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, “Mojo” (Reprise): In the band”s first new album since 2002″s “The Last DJ,” Petty and the boys deliver a stripped-down, blues-influenced set.
Punch Bros., “Antifogmatic” (Nonesuch): Steller acoustic outfit that often rocks harder than most plugged-in bands pairs with producer Jon Brion for a set of 10 originals. The Chris Thile-fronted band is on tour with Steve Martin for several dates this summer and are also featured prominently on Dierks Bentley”s new, bluegrass-influenced set, “Up on the Ridge.”
Robyn, “Body Talk PT. 1,” (Cherrytree/Interscope): Swedish singer continues a career resurgence with her latest set of electronic-based pop, fronted with first single, “Dancing on my Own.” In addition to playing at the Pitchfork Music Festival, Robyn starts a co-headlining tour with Kelis July 23.
Kevin Rudolf, “To the Sky” (Cash Money/Universal): Producer/songwriter Rudolf, known for his work with Lil Wayne, Lifehouse and Cobra Starship, follows up his debut album (which spawned the hit, “Let It Rock”), with his sophomore set, which combines pop, rock and hip-hop.
Various Artists, “NOW 34 That”s What I Call Music!” (Capitol/EMI): The latest in the never-ending, popular series includes hits from Black Eyed Peas, Justin Bieber, B.o.B., Ke$ha, Rihanna, Usher, Lifehouse and lots more.