STORY WRITTEN BY JOE SZCZECHOWSKI
For Digital First Media
Traditionally the busiest time of the year for “superstar” album releases has been the three-month period between September and November. Artists and record companies want to have their new albums available in time for holiday gift giving. This year is no exception.
Here’s a preview of seven notable albums being released between now and November.
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Demi Lovato may be gone from the X factor, but she’s back with a new album, “Confident” on Oct. 16.
“I’ve never been so sure of myself as an artist when it comes down to confidence, but not only personal things, but exactly what I want my sound to be and what I know I’m capable of,” Lovato said in a press release. “This album will give me the opportunity to show people what I can really do.”
There are 11 tracks on the standard edition of the album, 15 on the deluxe edition. Lovato is credited as a cowriter on all but three of the songs.
Songs include the recent hit “Cool for the Summer,” the current title track, as well as “Old Ways” and “Stone Cold.” Iggy Azalea guests on the track “Kingdom Come” and Sirah is featured on the song “Waitin’ for You.”
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Australian pop punk band 5 Seconds of Summer will release its second album, “Sounds Good Feels Good” on Oct. 23. The standard edition of the album will feature 14 songs. There will be 17 songs on the deluxe edition, and Target will offer its own version of the album with two additional tracks. The advance singles “She’s Kinda Hot” and “Hey Everybody!” are featured on the album, along with titles including “Permanent Vacation,” “Jet Black Heart,” “Catch Fire,” and “Waste the Night.”
5 Seconds of Summer will appear as part of the Q102 Jingle Ball 2015 at the Wells Fargo Center on Wednesday, Dec. 9.
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Carrie Underwood will return with “Storyteller” on Oct. 23. It’s her first album since 2012’s “Blown Away,” and her fifth studio album overall. Underwood co-wrote six of the album’s 13 tracks, including the first single, “Smoke Break.”
“We were writing and kept taking breaks to go outside because we were getting a little stuck on a song we were already working on,” Underwood posted on her Facebook page. “It was so beautiful outside that we had a hard time focusing, so we decided to write a song about taking breaks! ‘Smoke Break’ seemed like a great title, so we ran with it!”
Other song titles include “Renegade Runaway,” “Dirty Laundry,” “Church Bells,” and “Heartbeat.” Underwood says that fans can expect a more traditional country sound on “Storyteller.”
“I feel like a lot of the songs that I wrote and gravitated to ended up being more traditional and ‘twangy’ than anything I have ever done before,” she wrote on Facebook. “I just went with it! I love the story telling aspect of country music… it’s one of the reasons I always wanted to be a part of it.”
Target will release a deluxe version of “Storyteller” with two additional songs.
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Music legend Rod Stewart will release his 29th album, “Another Country” on Oct. 23. While its title might suggest a collection of country covers, the new album features 12 brand-new songs (17 on the deluxe edition), all of which Stewart had a hand in writing.
Stewart was apparently inspired by the success of his previous album, “Time” released in 2013. That album contained 11 songs written or co-written by Stewart.
“I’ve found that the only way to write songs is to be as personal and honest as possible,” he said in a press release. “When my last album was so well-received, it gave me the confidence to keep on writing, and to examine and write about different things. It also gave me the freedom to experiment with different sounds like reggae, ska and Celtic melodies.”
The album’s title track, “Another Country” was inspired by Stewart’s respect for the armed forces, and the emotions those who serve feel being apart from loved ones. Other songs on the album include “Walking in the Sunshine,” “We Can Win,” “The Drinking Song,” and the lead single, “Love Is.”
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Singer songwriter Vanessa Carlton will release her fifth studio album, “Liberman” on Oct. 23. Carlton’s last album was “Rabbits on the Run” released in 2011. Since then, Carlton moved from New York City to Nashville, got married (to musician John McCauley of the band Deer Tick), and had a baby girl.
According to a press release, the ten songs on the upcoming album reflect Carlton’s current state of mind. “The simple instrumentation mixed with her wistful vocals and poignant lyrics bring you into her world and showcase a new side to this accomplished songwriter.”
When discussing the album title, which was named after a colorful oil painting by her grandfather whose given name was Liberman, Carlton says, “The swirly colors of that painting reminded me of the music and the music reminds me of those colors. Then I looked up what Liberman means and it’s ‘honorable man’ and ‘my beloved’ – all these things that just felt right to me. It’s a strong family name that, in a weird way, describes the music to me.”
In a video trailer for the album, Carlton says “I wanted to be 10 songs and I wanted it to be short. I wanted it to also feel like a dream – like you were experiencing a dream and then the dream was over. I wanted to make the type of album that I listen to when I walk and wear headphones.”
Song titles include current single, “Willows,” as well as “Take It Easy,” “House of Seven Words,” “Blue Pool,” and “Matter of Time.” Touring in support of “Liberman,” Carlton will play Philadelphia’s World Café Live on Dec. 9.
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Tim McGraw’s fourteenth studio album, “Damn Country Music” will be released on Nov. 6. Produced by McGraw and his longtime collaborator Byron Gallimore, the album features 11 songs (14 on the deluxe edition) including a duet with McGraw’s oldest daughter Gracie titled “Here Tonight,” and a guest appearance by Big & Rich on the song “California.” Other songs on the album include “Losin’ You,” “How I’ll Always Be,” “Top of the World,” “Love Runs,” and the title track.
“When I recorded [the song] “Damn Country Music,” it was one of those electric moments,” McGraw said in a press release. “It speaks to a passion and being at a crossroads in your life when you make that decision to pursue it knowing you might pay a heavy price.”
In an interview with Lauren Moraski for CBS News last May, McGraw said, “I think music is always a progression — it kind of shows where you’ve gone, where you’re at and where you’re going. And that’s what I try to do with my music. Art reflects life, life reflects art — you know the old saying. And that’s certainly true when you’re making music, just about as much as anything.
“Music sort of puts you in a place in time,” he added. “All I try to do is get better in the studio and get better as an artist, get better as a communicator and try to please myself as much as anything.”
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One direction returns to the scene on Nov. 13 with its fifth album, “Made in the A.M.” It is the group’s first full-length album release as a four-piece since Zayn Malik left the band. The album has been advanced by a number of singles including the hit “Drag Me Down” and the current single, “Infinity.”
Other songs on the 17-track album include “Perfect,” “What a Feeling,” “Never Enough,” “I Want to Write You a Song,” and “Temporary Fix.” The group has kept tightlipped on any additional album details except to suggest that the album will continue “to showcase a more mature sound for the band. The track ‘Infinity’ provides a taste of what to expect from the upcoming album.”
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Other upcoming albums include “If I Can Dream: Elvis Presley with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra” which features the King with newly recorded backing by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (Oct. 30); Ellie Goulding’s “Delirium” (Nov. 6); Cee Lo Green’s “Heart Blanche” (Nov. 13); Electric Light Orchestra’s “Alone in the Universe” (Nov. 13); Enya’s “Dark Sky Island” (Nov. 13) and as yet untitled albums by both Justin Bieber and Jeezy (both Nov. 13).