Fall Music Preview 2014: 25 Must-Hear Albums - Rolling Stone
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Fall Music Preview 2014: 25 Must-Hear Albums

Nicki Minaj, Kendrick Lamar, Foo Fighters and more give us insider info about their upcoming blockbusters

Fall Preview

Kevin Mazur/MTV1415/WireImage; Jim Dyson/Redferns via Getty Images

After four glorious months, summer 2014 – the season of Iggy Azalea, Magic! and "Weird Al" – has officially come to a close. The fall is also jam-packed with big-name releases: Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar and Jackson Browne are all finishing up fresh material. Find out how Dave Grohl hit the road, Stevie Nicks got back and more.

By Cady Drell, Josh Eells, David Fricke, Andy Greene, Kory Grow, Nick Murray, Elisabeth Garber-Paul, Rob Sheffield, Rachel Sonis, Simon Vozick-Levinson and Christopher R. Weingarten

Lil Wayne

CAMDEN, NJ - AUGUST 21: Lil Wayne performs during Drake Vs Lil Wayne Tour at the Susquehanna Bank Center on August 21, 2014 in Camden, New Jersey. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images)

Gilbert Carrasquillo/Getty Images

Lil Wayne, ‘Tha Carter V’ (10/28)

Once, this album was scheduled for a 2013 release. Now, as Wayne tours the country with his protégé Drake, the two are insisting that it will be coming out before the end of the year. This May, the pair teamed up for "Believe Me," supposedly the album's lead single, and they returned in September with "Grindin'," a menacing showcase for five minutes of the duo's best bars. "I was feeling the success of Tha Carter I," the rapper recently told XXL, attempting to contextualize the new record. "I felt like people wanted to hear me. I was amped to do that, but then Tha Carter III? I don't know what happened. It was amazing. And then Tha Carter IV was just unexplainable, and now this one here, there's no words. I just hope everyone likes it."

Garth Brooks

ROSEMONT, IL - SEPTEMBER 05: Garth Brooks performs on stage at Allstate Arena on September 5, 2014 in Rosemont, United States. (Photo by Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images)

Daniel Boczarski/Redferns via Getty Images

Garth Brooks, Title TBD (11/11)

After opening at Number 25 on the Billboard country singles chart, Brooks' new "People Loving People" dropped back to Number 36 in its second week. Nevertheless, 13 years after releasing Scarecrow, his last LP of original songs, the singer remains a commercial juggernaut: Last Christmas, his four-disc box set of 77 covers (available exclusively at Walmart and Sam's Club) easily hit Number One, selling nearly a million copies in the process. The new album will be released via GhostTunes, a new online sharing service he co-created.

Jerry Lee Lewis

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 03: Jerry Lee Lewis performs at the Congress Theater on December 3, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Paul Warner/WireImage)

Paul Warner/WireImage

Jerry Lee Lewis, ‘Rock & Roll Time’ (10/28)

For the third record in a row, Jerry Lee Lewis has recorded with an all-star cast of special guests, including Neil Young, Robbie Robertson, Nils Lofgren and the Rolling Stones' Keith Richards and Ron Wood. But of course, the Killer was always the star. "They were all superb musicians," Lewis tells Rolling Stone. "They know me, I know them, and we just fall right into it." Highlights include Lewis trading bluesy piano cadences with Derek Trucks on a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Mississippi Kid" and some rare moments where Lewis played guitar, such as a take on his Million Dollar Quartet pal Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues." "It's been years since I played guitar," he says. "It kind of hurt my fingers a little bit, but it came out pretty good." The record also features the 78-year-old playing songs by Chuck Berry, Bob Dylan, Jimmie Rodgers and more. "I just think it's a blessing from God that I'm still living," he says, "and I'm still rocking."

Pink Floyd roger waters

LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 11: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 48 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME. MANDATORY CREDIT PHOTO BY DAVE M. BENETT/GETTY IMAGES REQUIRED) David Gilmour performs at Douglas Adams: The Party, celebrating what would have been the author's 60th birthday, at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo on March 11, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Dave M. Benett/Getty Images)

Pink Floyd, ‘The Endless River’ (11/10)

For the first official Floyd album in two decades, David Gilmour has pulled together a disc of "mainly ambient and instrumental music" that draws from the recording sessions of 1994's Division Bell. The project began with Gilmour and Floyd drummer Nick Mason sorting through music they recorded with keyboardist Rick Wright (who died in 2008) during the Division Bell sessions. "We listened to over 20 hours of the three of us playing together and selected the music we wanted to work on for the new album," Gilmour said in a statement. "Over the last year we've added new parts, re-recorded others and generally harnessed studio technology to make a 21st century Pink Floyd album."

Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 3: Marcus Mumford of Mumford & Sons performs at Lollapalooza 2013 at Grant Park on August 3, 2013 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Various Artists, ‘Lost on the River: The New Basement Tapes’ (11/11)

For those not satisfied with the six discs of original recordings found on The Basement Tapes Complete, Lost on the River gives material from Dylan's legendary Sixties sessions a modern twist. With the singer-songwriter's permission, producer T Bone Burnett enlisted Elvis Costello, Mumford and Sons' Marcus Mumford and My Morning Jacket's Jim James to write and record their own songs using lyrics Dylan penned. "What transpired during those two weeks was amazing for all of us," Burnett said in a statement. "There was a deep well of generosity and support in the studio at all times, which reflected the tremendous trust and generosity shown by Bob in sharing these lyrics with us in the first place."

Jessie J

INGLEWOOD, CA - AUGUST 22: Singer Jessie J rehearses onstage during the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards at The Forum on August 22, 2014 in Inglewood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV)

Kevin Winter/MTV1415/Getty Images for MTV

Jessie J, ‘Sweet Talker’ (10/7)

Jessie J had previously achieved some chart success with the 2011 singles "Price Tag" and "Domino," but her second album, 2013's Alive, didn't even come out in the States. Her latest single, the Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande-featuring "Bang Bang," however, has made sure that the new album will fare a little bit better. "Max Martin had sent ["Bang Bang' to me and said, 'What do you think?'" she says. "I was like, 'I've never sang a song like this before.' And I'd always wanted to."

That said, expect Sweet Talker to bring the singer back toward her gospel roots: "I love pop music, and I naturally write pop music, but I sing naturally soul and gospel. A lot people don't know that about me. At the moment, I'm trying to marry the two, and still be commercial and still be pop, but have the element of soul."

TV on the Radio

DENVER, CO - SEPTEMBER 21: Kyp Malone (L) and Tunde Adebimpe of TV on the Radio perform during the Riot Fest Music Festival at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on September 21, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images)

Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

TV on the Radio, ‘Seeds’ (11/18)

So far in 2014, Tunde Adebimpe has toured with his Higgins Waterproof Black Magic Band and Dave Sitek has produced a new album for R&B singer Kelis, but come November, they and the rest of TV on the Radio will reunite to release Seeds, the band's first album since the death of bassist Gerard Smith. "We've been through a lot of stuff in the past few years that could have stopped the band cold," Adebimpe said in a statement. "But I'm glad we got it together and took stock of the unique connection we have between each other because the record is, 1,000 percent, without a doubt, the best thing we've ever done."

bob seger

AUBURN HILLS, MI - APRIL 11: Bob Seger of Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet band performs in concert at The Palace of Auburn Hills on April 11, 2013 in Auburn Hills, Michigan. (Photo by Scott Legato/WireImage)

Scott Legato/WireImage

Bob Seger, ‘Ride Out’ (10/14)

For his first new album since 2006's Face the Promise, Bob Seger is mixing original tunes with covers of songs like Steve Earle's "The Devil's Right Hand" and Woody Guthrie's "California Stars." On lead single "Detroit Made" (a John Hiatt cover), the singer expressed some local pride in his hometown's auto industry. "I feel really good about this record," he said in a statement. "This album touches on how I think a lot of us feel about finding our place in a more complicated world – from how we appreciate things as simple and pure as love, to navigating through the corruption and violence that permeates the news."


BARCELONA, SPAIN - JUNE 13: Daniel Victor Snaith of Caribou performs on stage during the second day of Sonar Festival on June 13, 2014 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Xavi Torrent/WireImage)

Xavi Torrent/WireImage

Caribou, ‘Our Love’ (10/7)

Dan Snaith has been an acclaimed electronic musician for more than a decade, but it was only recently that he realized he could make people dance. "After we toured for Swim, people would tell me stories of how they were 17, and they went to Ibiza on their summer holiday, and they danced on the terrace to 'Sun,'" the DJ-producer tells Rolling Stone. "That was like, 'Wait a minute, that's totally not like my life! That's amazing.'" Accordingly, the new album under his Caribou moniker is his boldest step yet toward the world of dance music: 10 deep grooves that hit with a physicality his heady psychedelic jams once only hinted at. "The whole initial impulse was to make something for everybody to listen to," Snaith says. "And that's such a shift for me."

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