To quote Britney Spears, it's been a while! I know I shouldn't have kept you waiting, but I'm here now, and with lots to cover as we get August underway.
Let me break the ice, if you will, with a little rundown of some of the more relevant upcoming album release dates, which hereafter will be maintained and updated in the sidebar so whenever you get as tired of the scene for a moment, as I admit I did recently, you can hopefully find some beacon of hope on the horizon! Since album release dates are always in flux, especially for newer artists, and because some artists and/or labels are more forthcoming than others about projects in the works, I want to encourage anyone who at any time knows of an upcoming pop release date (or close to it) that is either not listed or differs from what is listed to let me know (email firstname.lastname@example.org)!
As a brief overview, the next mainstream release is the debut this coming Tuesday of Mike Posner, the raspy-voiced Duke grad whose inventive and clever debut single "Cooler Than Me," which Vertigo Shtick covered shortly after its release, became one of the big slow burn hits of the year, debuting on the Hot 100 in early May at number 64, then dropping off the chart for a month before rocketing back at number 14 and in the top ten ever since. Industry insiders and indie/pop crossover fans (the few willing to admit it, at least) have been buzzing fondly about 31 Minutes To Takeoff in the non-fanatic kind of way that suggests Posner's album may indeed turn out to be an unflashy summer gem.
Which is just as well, since two weeks later marks perhaps the longest, flashiest, and undeniably effective pre-launch campaigns of recent memory as Katy Perry drops her brilliantly engineered sophomore effort Teenage Dream with an inescapable summer number 1 and a fast-selling midtempo top ten hit under its belt. With that inevitable distraction it might be easy to overlook new albums from Ciara (whose more traditionally urban R&B direction, while artistically and critically quite successful, has pushed her further toward the mainstream pop sidelines) and Fantasia (who has always resided comfortably within the confines of the genre, from whence comes her long-awaited third album).
Usher's nine-track Versus will follow up on Raymond v. Raymond, the moderately reviewed divorce album was released in March (followed by...you guess it...an extended re-release edition). Following a thrilling and successful quickie club tour of the U.S. with Kelis, Swedish pop queen Robyn drops Body Talk Pt. 2 first week in September, leaving just enough time for another tour stint through Europe and, hopefully, the States and to pull off the ambitious three-part Body Talk album hat trick before the year is out, just like she said she would!
Further on the horizon are a few exciting projects from the R&B camps, from Jazmine Sullivan's hotly anticipated sophomore album Love Me Back to child of destiny Kelly Rowland's first production after severing artistic ties with her former label and manager (Mathew Knowles, father and champion of Beyoncé and creator of Destiny's Child) and doing some rather intriguing experimentation with different styles, from traditional R&B to David Guetta-produced house. (Rowland recently solicited album title ideas from fans via Twitter before selecting the undeniably appropriate moniker - who was the Twitter genius who suggested such a masterful idea?)
I'll get more information on these and other upcoming releases as they draw closer, but below is a brief timeline that will henceforth be updated and available on Vertigo Shtick at any time.
Upcoming Pop Album Release Dates*
- Mike Posner - 31 Minutes To Takeoff
- Ciara - Basic Instinct
- Fantasia - Back To Me
- Katy Perry - Teenage Dream
- The Saturdays - Headlines
- Usher - Versus
- N.E.R.D. - Nothing
- Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 2
- Sara Bareilles - Kaleidoscope Heart
- David Archuleta - Other Side Of Down
- Kanye West - Good Ass Job
- Maroon 5 - Hands All Over
- Liza Minnelli - Confessions
- Ne-Yo - Libra Scale
- Jazmine Sullivan - Love Me Back
- Selena Gomez & The Scene - [Title TBA]
- Kid Cudi - Man On The Mon II: The Legend Of Mr. Rager
- Taylor Swift - Speak Now
- Kelly Rowland - Kelly Rowland
- Nicki Minaj - Pink Friday
- Sophie Ellis-Bextor - Straight to the Heart
- Missy Elliott - Block Party
- RichGirl - RichGirl
- Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 3
*Release dates are unofficial and based on best information publicly available.