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Spring Music Preview

From Crazy Horse to Taylor Swift, 29 records that will rock you in 2012

spring music preview

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From Neil Young's first studio LP with the full Crazy Horse lineup since 1996 to Taylor Swift's follow-up to her 2010 megasmash, Speak Now, we go inside 29 records that will rock you in 2012.

Reporting by Steve Baltin, David Browne, Matt Diehl, Patrick Doyle, Josh Eells, Jenny Eliscu, Andy Greene, Monica Herrera, David Peisner, Jonathan Ringen, Jody Rosen, Austin Scaggs and Simon Vozick-Levinson

linkin park

ChinaFotoPress/Getty Images

Linkin Park, Title TBD

Available: June

"This is more of a song-based record," rapper-multi-instrumentalist Mike Shinoda says of the follow-up to 2010's polarizing A Thousand Suns. "We wanted to make something more personal." Co-produced by Shinoda and longtime collaborator Rick Rubin, the material is the band's most powerful since its megahit 2000 debut. On "Lost in the Echo," Shinoda reclaims his MC roots, and the anthem "Burn It Down" showcases Shinoda and Chester Bennington's call-and-response – all over electro grooves.

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alanis morissette

Paul Drinkwater/NBCU Photo Bank

Alanis Morissette, Title TBD

Available: June

Morissette wrote her new collection at home while caring for her newborn son. Nearly every tune has a monster chorus – from the ballad "Havoc" to "Celebrity," a scathing takedown of America's obsession with fame: "I am a tattooed sexy dancing monkey," Morissette sings. "Yes, it was inspired by specific people," she says. "But I'll never talk about that, 'cause it's just rude."

beach boys

FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images

The Beach Boys, Title TBD

Available: June

"It's a sentimental thing for me," Brian Wilson says of the Beach Boys' first all-new studio LP in decades. "We've been together 50 years – that's a long time." Since reuniting last year, the surviving members have recorded more than a dozen new tunes at L.A.'s Ocean Way studios – where they cut "Good Vibrations" and much of Pet Sounds in the Sixties. Expect lots of big harmonies and familiar subjects on songs like the mellow rocker "Beaches in Mind" and the nostalgic ballad "That's Why God Made the Radio."

"Conceptually, the album is not going to be anything outlandish or silly like Smiley Smile – it will be like the Beach Boys circa '65," adds Mike Love. "I'm trying to write lyrics that fit the music without making it sound like you're writing from a hospice."

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justin bieber

Larry Busacca/WireImage

Justin Bieber, <em>Believe</em>

Available: Summer

Fresh off his 18th birthday, the teen-pop idol is gunning for Justin Timberlake on his third full-length LP, which he's cutting in Los Angeles. Kanye West and Drake are reportedly among the disc's all-star guests; producers include Diplo, who recently spent four days with Bieber crafting uptempo, Jackson 5-ish tracks. Says the producer, "Everybody wants to be on this."

Hear Justin Bieber's 'Boyfriend' below.

 

 


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rick ross

Gary Miller/FilmMagic

Rick Ross, <em>God Forgives, I Don’t</em>

Available: Summer

The Miami rap don's fifth LP was postponed by several months after he suffered multiple seizures last fall. But Ross says the delays have nothing to do with his health. "In my case, in the Boss' case, it's more of a timing thing," he says. "It could potentially mean millions of dollars – so it's all about taking advantage of the time you get, and keeping recording even though you got some incredible shit." So far he's banked tracks with Jay-Z ("He laced me – you know how the homey do"), Pharrell Williams and Alicia Keys. Adds Ross, "I just want to keep raising the bar."

yeasayer

Sandra Mu/Getty Images

Yeasayer, Title TBD

Available: Summer

"It's sexier," says multi-instrumentalist Anand Wilder of the psych-rock crew's follow-up to its 2010 breakthrough album, Odd Blood. Expect bigger synths and lots of studio experimentation. "We don't want to do Odd Blood Part Two," adds Wilder. "Our goal is to always disappoint a ton of people."

taylor swift

Larry Busacca/Getty Images

Taylor Swift, Title TBD

Available: TBD

After wrapping her latest blockbuster world tour, Swift is already thinking about cutting her follow-up to 2010's megasmash, Speak Now. "I have the entire summer just to finish up the rec­ord," says Swift, "so that will be awesome." Expect some new tricks: "There are a few songs that are completely from another person's perspective," adds the singer. "I really like the feeling of making little departures musically."

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