Wednesday, May 30, 2012 | 11:09 p.m.
Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Americana (June 5) New Neil Young is always worth a spin, but when he’s got the Horse at his side, look out. We’re talking Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, Rust Never Sleeps and Ragged Glory here. Whether Americana, a collection of traditional tunes like “Clementine” and “This Land Is Your Land,” can get to those heights seems doubtful, but good things tend to happen when these old pals reconvene.
Fiona Apple, The Idler Wheel Is Wiser Than the Driver of the Screw … (June 19) The moody alt-rocker’s recording career has been a start-and-stop ride, which has only helped ramp up anticipation for her fourth album and first in seven years. It has a firm release date and a first single you can hear now (“Every Single Night”), but don’t hold it against us if it gets last-minute delayed.
The Gaslight Anthem, Handwritten (July 24) Rock ’n’ roll is either deader than ever or making its latest comeback, depending who you ask. Fans of Brian Fallon’s Jersey foursome would probably argue it’s been with us all along. The band broke big with 2010’s American Slang and appears ready to take another giant step with this follow-up.
Passion Pit, Gossamer (July 24) Even if your brain isn’t sure, your body craves the Bostoners’ synthy pop tunes. So why fight it? Crank up summery first single “Take a Walk” and get ready to do some serious singing and dancing when the Pit’s sophomore record hits the streets.
G.O.O.D. Music, Cruel Summer (TBA) Label compilations are typically skippable. Except that Kanye West is overseeing this one. And it will draw from an artist stable that includes Mos Def, Q-Tip, John Legend and Kid Cudi. And some of it just debuted at Cannes, accompanying a film that played on a seven-screen pyramid. So yeah, this one’s not like all the rest.
Also: The Beach Boys, That’s Why God Made the Radio (June 5); Big K.R.I.T., Live From the Underground (June 5); The Hives, Lex Hives (June 5); Japandroids, Celebration Rock (June 5); Liars, WIXIW (June 5); Patti Smith, Banga (June 5); Jimmy Fallon, Blow Your Pants Off (June 12); Hot Chip, In Our Heads (June 12); Metric, Synthetica (June 12); Rush, Clockwork Angels (June 12); The Tallest Man on Earth, There’s No Leaving Now (June 12); Usher, Looking 4 Myself (June 12); Justin Bieber, Believe (June 19); Kenny Chesney, Welcome to the Fishbowl (June 19); The Smashing Pumpkins, Oceania (June 19); Can, The Lost Tapes (June 19); The Flaming Lips, The Flaming Lips & Heady Fwends (June 26); R. Kelly, Write Me Back (June 26); Linkin Park, Living Things (June 26); Maroon 5, Overexposed (June 26); Ty Segall, Slaughterhouse (June 26); Chris Brown, Fortune (July 3); Flo Rida, Wild Ones (July 3); Mission of Burma, Unsound (July 9); Aesop Rock, Skelethon (July 10); The Dirty Projectors, Swing Lo Magellan (July 10); Soul Asylum, Delayed Reaction (July 10); Nas, Life Is Good (July 17); Rick Ross, God Forgives, I Don’t (July 31); Alanis Morissette, Havoc and Bright Lights (August 28).