It’s probably best that Tim McGraw’s lead single Top of the World off of his upcoming 14th record, doesn’t push boundaries. Yes, his lyrics about love, heaven, and “sittin’ on top of the world” may be a bit on the trite side, but the sound is definitely preferable to some of his past trials at pushing into new musical territory, and the new song even features guest spots from his 18 year-old daughter Gracie McGraw (as well as Nashville duo Big and Rich). “[The record] 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,” according to Billboard. While it might not be groundbreaking, it (likely) has the soul that helped make him a superstar in the first place.
The English synthpop singer hopes her third album, with the help from star producer Max Martin (Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, Taylor Swift), will bring her bigger pop stardom. “I call it ‘sub-Ibiza,’” she said to Billboard regarding the new record, “where it’s a kind of rave but it’s a euphoric, ethereal kind of thing.” Lead single On My Mind has Goulding crafting her version of Swift’s Blank Space — and it’s certainly hard to knock the melody out of your head.
Bieber got a little love (and some much-needed humanizing) as he performed at this year’s VMAs, and broke down crying afterwords. His fourth studio record, on which he collaborated with none other than Kanye West and legendary hip hop producer Rick Rubin (Beastie Boys, Run D.M.C.), is being billed as “more mature-sounding,” according to Rolling Stone. That’s in line with his recent push to turnaround his image. His first two singles, Where Are U Now and What Do You Mean? (the latter of which beat out One Direction for a Spotify-record 21 million plays in five days), are surprisingly well-received, EDM-laced cuts but we’re not sure what’s in store for the rest of the record.
This fall’s biggest release will likely be the third record from 27 year-old soul diva, full name Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. It’s also the follow up to the 11-time platinum, six Grammy Award-winning 21 so we shouldn’t have to explain to you how great she is. She worked with some new faces on the record, including producer Danger Mouse (Gorillaz, The Black Keys) and Max Martin. For whatever it’s worth, Blur frontman Damon Albarn, who she also worked with, wasn’t a fan, recently calling the record “very middle of the road.” We’ll get a taste in early November, when the album’s lead single is expected to drop. In the meantime, listen to a track co-written by Adele and Sia which was cut from 25.
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Toronto rapper Drake has already made his imprint on 2015 with two mixtapes (If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late and What A Time to Be Alive) with Atlanta rapper Future, but he says that a studio record is also coming this year. He told Fader that If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late (featuring Energy, above), which was streamed 17.3 million times in three days on Spotify, was more of a mixtape. “There’s corners cut, in the sense of fluidity and song transition,” he says. He returned to his hometown to record the new tracks and — even if you’re not a rap fan — Drake may be worth a listen for his ubiquitous pop culture influence alone.
Next page: Our picks for the best Fall albums available now