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Fall Music Preview 2012: The 24 Albums You Need to Hear

Bob Dylan, Green Day, Ke$ha and More

fall music preview

The next four months will see supersized sonic experiences from some of rock's greatest: The first two of Green Day's three new albums will drop, as will Bob Dylan's apocalyptic 35th studio record, No Doubt's first release in over 10 years and Mumford & Son's highly anticipated follow-up to Sigh No More. Keep reading for the lowdown on these, and 20 other records that will rock you in 2012.

Reporting by David Browne, Matt Diehl, Patrick Doyle, Gavin Edwards, David Fricke, Andy Greene, David Peisner, Austin Scaggs, Simon Vozick-Levinson and Jonah Weiner.

big boi

Jonathan Mannion

Big Boi, ‘Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors’ (11/13)

Big Boi's second solo LP will surprise anyone who assumed he just brought the street thump to Outkast. "In my iPod, I got everything from the S.O.S. Band to the Beatles to Mumford & Sons," says the MC. Vicious Lies reflects that eclecticism, with guest appearances from electropsych crew Phantogram and Swedish R&B act Little Dragon. "I always gravitate toward songs with stronger rhythms," says Big Boi. "But if it's jamming, it's jamming."


Don Van Cleave

Soundgarden, Title TBD (11/13)

"It re-establishes that we still rock, we're still heavy, and we're still a little weird," guitarist Kim Thayil says of the grunge gods' first new album since the Nineties. Standout tracks like "Blood on the Valley Floor" showcase the classic combo of Thayil's asymmetrical riffage and frontman Chris Cornell's antihero howl, while "A Thousand Days Before" gets experimental. "That one has a little Indian thing and some chicken-pickin'," Thayil says. "We call it 'country & eastern.' "


Steven Greenstreet

Ke$ha, Title TBD (2012 TBD)

After months of work at producer Dr. Luke's Malibu home studio, Ke$ha is still tinkering with her second full-length album. The new disc is packed with tunes she calls "cock pop" – the Top 40 equivalent of sexually boastful hard rock of the Seventies. "I have one song that compares my hoo-ha to a golden Pontiac Firebird, in all its majesty," says the star. "They're equally badass." Touring the world behind smash singles like 2009's "Tik Tok" and 2010's "We R Who We R" has taught Ke$ha some life lessons: "I'm trying to keep the rock & roll mentality – 'Let's destroy shit and party and get laid!'" she says. "But I also put the crazy-white-girl rapping aside for a few songs and got super-real with my fans."