Dave Matthews, Some Devil, September 23 (RCA)
Choosing to leave the band out of his name and album, Dave Matthews embarks on the tricky path of creating a solo album. Despite help from Phish's Trey Anastasio and others, the ultimate question remains: should it sound like Dave Matthews or Dave Matthews Band? Will he alienate his fans or simply lead them farther along the path to the promised land? Only time will tell, friends. Only time will tell.
DMX, Grand Champ, September 16 (Def Jam)
If you believe his words, the man who showed the world how to "stop, drop, open up shop" will put an end to his recording career after this release. We hope he goes out the same way he came in and not like his rather unsuccessful previous effort, The Great Depression (which certainly lived up to it's title). The new album features guest appearances from 50 Cent and Cam'ron, among others.
Andrew W.K., The Wolf, in stores now (Island Records)
The second major label album from W.K. looks to depart from I Get Wet's successful formula. The Wolf not only features a power ballad, but only one song has "party" in the title. Has the Kit-Kat spokesman softened, or can he still "cut without a knife"?
Limp Bizkit, Results May Vary, September 23 (Interscope)
Mark your calendars: the death of nu-metal is coming soon! The sooner this record flops, the sooner you can stop vomiting while listening to the ego-maniacal Fred Durst sing about sniffing panties. Wes Borland may be the smartest man in music business for leaving before the impending disaster that awaits this record.
Outkast, Speakerboxx/The Love Below, September 23 (Arista)
Andre 3000 and Big Boi are two of the most creative minds in rap music. Rather than splitting up the best current rap duo, the two opted to record two solo discs and put them together for this double album.
The Strokes, Room on Fire, October 21 (RCA)
Love them or hate them, many seem interested in whether one of the most popular rock bands will stick with their signature sound or move on to bigger and better things. "12:51," the album's first single, shows that there may be something new in the Strokes' deck with more prominent percussion, handclaps and a catchy backing keyboard. Anyone hoping for clearer vocals from Julian Casablancas, however, may be out of luck.
Hatebreed, The Rise of Brutality, October 28 (Universal)
These hardcore behemoths went from being underground sensations to having lead singer Jamey Jasta hosting shows on MTV2. The times, they are certainly a-changin'. In true hardcore fashion, Hatebreed's second album does not stray far from their first, and from this title, look for more of the same with their third effort -- crushing breakdowns, furious vocals, and devastating riffs. See you in the pit!
Wyclef Jean, Preacher's Son, October 28 (J Records)
On the former Fugee's fourth solo disc, audiences can expect guest vocals from the likes of Missy Elliott, Santana and Monica (with no signs of The Rock). Mixing light party tracks with commentary on the war and the current state of rap, Jean will hopefully strike the balance that made his solo debut, The Carnival, so successful.
Ryan Adams, Rock N' Roll, November 4 (Universal)
In terms of output, Adams is rivaled only by the NOW! That's What I Call Music collection. With his fourth solo disc, Adams gets away from his acoustic guitar in order to rock out. Andrew W.K., beware.
Godsmack, The Other Side, November 18 (Universal)
The experimentation that characterizes today's hard rock makes Godsmack's decision to put out an entirely acoustic album so trite and boring. Sarcasm aside, Godsmack is not exactly known for changing anything but their drummer in their two albums since they burst onto the scene in 1998. But on this album, the band will rearrange some older tunes like "Voodoo" with their acoustic arsenal, while contributing brand spanking new ones as well.
Guns 'N Roses, Chinese Democracy, Your guess is as good as ours (Geffen)
One of the longest running jokes in the music industry, rumors surrounding the impending release of this ridiculously expensive and prolonged album never seem to die. Why not fuel them further in order to illustrate the all-powerful and all-knowing power of Street? We think the album will see the light of day this winter.