Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


What you should do this summer: Part II of IV

New artists often appear so quickly it’s hard to keep up. This summer, however, many of the hottest new releases will be from artists you already know. It’s the summer of the comeback. These artists are controversial, influential hit makers, many of whom have shaped the music industry in the past decade or so with their antics and live performances. Let’s hope they have the staying power to do it again this time around.

Green Day, 21st Century Breakdown

Perhaps the most highly-anticipated album of the summer actually drops during finals week. Three years after their ambitious concept album, American Idiot, Green Day is sticking it to the man again. Their eighth studio album, 21st Century Breakdown, will feature the band’s politically charged brand of pop punk but with a twist — the album is a rock opera divided into three acts. Breakdown‘s also got Madison roots: Garbage drummer and University of Wisconsin alumnus Butch Vig produced the album. Rock on.


(May 15, Reprise)

Eminem, Relapse

“Ladies and gentlemen, the moment you’ve all been waiting for,” Eminem raps on his single, “Crack The Bottle.” Sorry to burst your bubble, Em, but we all thought you dropped off the face of the earth. Nevertheless, the always-controversial Eminem is getting ready to release his first album in five years, Relapse, produced by his BFF, Dr. Dre. Critics predict Eminem waited too long to release his comeback album and that no one cares anymore. It remains to be seen if anyone will actually listen to Relapse, but it should be interesting.

(May 19, Interscope)

Marilyn Manson, The High End of Low

When it comes to controversial musicians, Eminem’s got nothing on Marilyn Manson, the master of shock value. His new album, The High End of Low, is apparently his most extreme and autobiographical endeavor to date. Manson claims to have written all the lyrics on the walls of his house before recording. The album also marks the return of bassist Twiggy. With song titles like “I Want To Kill You Like They Do In The Movies” and “Pretty As A Swastika,” The High End of Low is sure to make your skin crawl.

(May 26, Interscope)

Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey and the Googrux King

You can avoid controversy and chill out with Dave Matthews Band. However, fans should expect the album to reflect on life and death — it was written and recorded in memory of and tribute to LeRoi Moore, Dave Matthews Band’s saxophone player of 17 years, who passed away in August 2008.

(June 2, RCA)

Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D.

With such intense albums dropping this summer, somebody’s got to bring the party — and no one can do it better than Black Eyed Peas. After a four-year hiatus, the Peas are back with The E.N.D., which stands for “The Energy Never Dies.” The album’s first single, “Boom Boom Pow,” is an electronic, futuristic body-shaking banger. The Peas are solid performers who consistently churn out the hits, so this one should be pretty good. And, let’s face it — Fergie is so much better with BEP.

(June 9, Interscope)

Lil’ Wayne, Rebirth

OK, this is not a comeback. Rather, it’s Lil’ Wayne’s Rebirth as a rock artist.

But fear not, rap fans — if his first single, “Prom Queen,” is any indication, it’s just Wayne rapping over some guitar riffs. (The song bombed on the charts, but I’m kind of digging its ska vibe.) He’s faced some skepticism about his singing voice from critics and fans, but this is one artist who has proven time and again that he’s going to do whatever he wants.

(June 23, Universal)

These are just a sampling of this summer’s upcoming releases. Also check out new releases from 311, Elvis Costello, Iggy Pop, Taking Back Sunday, Franz Ferdinand, The Dirty Weather, The Mars Volta, Regina Spektor and Third Eye Blind.

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