Release me
Gotta love this fall's many-splendored mélange of CDs.

By Johnny Ray Huston and Kimberly Chun


Aug. 30

Anastacia, Anastacia (Daylight/Columbia) The "Freak of Nature" names her third album after herself, enlisting producers aplenty; unfortunately, the lead-off track, "Seasons Change," isn't an Exposé cover.

Bloc Party, Silent Alarm Remixed (Dim Mak/Vice/Atlantic), and Le Tigre, This Island Remixes (Chicks on Speed) No one is immune from the remix bug.

Death Cab for Cutie, Plans (Atlantic) Catch it.

Bob Dylan, No Direction Home: The Soundtrack – The Bootleg Series Vol. 7 (Columbia/Legacy) This two-CD companion goes with the Martin Scorsese documentary; the Starbucks-only Bob Dylan: Live at the Gaslight 1962 comes with a latte.

Macy Gray, Live in Las Vegas (Nutech Digital) Ms. Rasps-a-lot has never fully recovered since wearing that horrible "My Album Drops Sept. 18" dress to the Grammys.

Rihanna, Music of the Sun (Def Jam) Just in case you can't get enough of the Barbados diva's "Pon de Replay," which will chase you down and kill you if you try to escape it.

30 Seconds to Mars, A Beautiful Lie (Immortal/Virgin) Jared Leto takes a break from dating Hollywood blondes to rock out.

Kanye West, Late Registration (Roc-a-Fella/Def Jam) The brat samples Shirley Bassey's "Diamonds Are Forever" on his lead-off single, about the cruelty behind the bling; Jon Brion lends a hand in the studio, while the Game, Brandy, Jamie Foxx, and Maroon 5's Adam Levine – be very afraid – guest.

Tony Yayo, Thoughts of a Predicate Felon (G-Unit/Interscope) He compares Fat Joe to Sammy the Bull, but does anyone care?

Sept. 6

50 Cent, The Massacre (Aftermath/Interscope) Music videos for each song on this reissue – just in time for Get Rich or Die Tryin'.

Rolling Stones, A Bigger Bang (Virgin) 62-year-old Virgin artist Mick Jagger takes on the policies of President Bush on "Sweet Neo Con."

Sept. 13

Devendra Banhart, Cripple Crow (XL) The neo-folk sprite makes the big-label leap, gathering pals for an album cover that looks like a Jim Henson tribute to Sgt. Pepper's and Their Satanic Majesty's Request.

Brakes, Give Blood (Rough Trade America) British Sea Power, Electric Soft Parade, and Tenderfoot supergroup gives till someone hurts.

CocoRosie, Noah's Ark (Touch and Go) Banhart guests, and there are songs about Jean Genet and K-holes. Did local scribbler Sy do the cover art? It looks a helluva lot like her Those Fucking Unicorns.

Dengue Fever, Escape from Dragon House (M80/Birdman) Ch'hom Nimol and company return with darker lyrical subject matter, including a track about the Khmer Rouge.

DJ Quik, Trauma (Mad Science/Fontana) The Game, Chingy, Ludacris, T.I. and Nate Dogg make cameos on this mix tape turned CD.

Donovan, Try for the Sun: The Journey of Donovan (Epic/Legacy) Perfectly timed to reach into the pockets of Banhart fans.

Institute, Distort Yourself (Interscope) Bush's Gavin Rossdale contorts himself as Gwen conquers.

Syleena Johnson, Chapter 3: The Flesh (Jive) R Kelly's latest female protégé and the voice behind the hook of Kanye's "All Falls Down" gets her freak on, postdivorce.

Brie Larson, Finally out of PE (Casablanca) Cheese.

The Like, Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking? (Geffen) Daughters of industry.

Paul McCartney, Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard (Capitol) The big Mac returns to melodic form with the aid of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich.

Linda Perry, In Flight (Kill Rock Stars) Who needs Christina?

Pet Shop Boys, Battleship Potemkin (Parlophone/EMI UK) The pair score Eisenstein's classic.

Pussycat Dolls, PCD (A&M/Interscope) Pass the PCP for Spice Girls redux.

Sigur Ros, Takk (Geffen) Gregg Araki's Mysterious Skin tapped into the group's soundtrack potential.

Trina, The Glamourest Life (Atlantic) Webster's wouldn't approve of the title, and Sheila E. couldn't be reached for comment; taking a break from her modeling agency and perfume-crafting, the Diamond Princess gets simply deep with Kelly Rowland.

Wolf Parade, Apologies to the Queen Mary (Sub Pop) Boosted by Modest Mouse's Isaac Brock, the latest in a pack of wolfish bands erects a wall of angular, rhythmic rock.

Sept. 20

American Analog Set, Set Free (Arts and Crafts) Homey ambience at cost.

Broadcast, Tender Buttons (Warp) Is there a there there?

Ian Brown, Greatest Hits (Koch) The only hits we know of are the ones in the face ol' monkey mug was doling out at the Great American Music Hall last year.

Ryan Cabrera, You Stand Watching (Atlantic) Run for the hills: Ashlee's on-and-off squeeze returns with spiky hair and soft strumming.

Earth, Wind and Fire, Illumination (Sanctuary Urban) The legends of '70s soul enter the 21st century with their 23rd album, enlisting the help of Raphael Saadiq, Big Boi, and – shudder – Wil I Am, of Black Eyed Peas.

Echo and the Bunnymen, Siberia (Cooking Vinyl) Nicole Kidman may love them, but will this be decent enough for Kelley Stoltz to cover?

Killer Mike, Ghetto Extraordinary (Purple Ribbon/Sony) Big Boi drops in on his signee's album.

KoRn, Souvenir of Sadness (Immortal/Epic) Creamed?

Ray J, Raydiation (KnockOut Entertainment/Sanctuary Urban) Years of trying, and still his name never appears without the phrase "Brandy's brother" attached.

Shaggy, Clothes Drop (Geffen) Airing dirty laundry, we hope.

Barbra Streisand, Guilty Pleasures (Columbia) Lovemaking with Barry Gibb – what (protests from James Brolin aside) does Babs have to be guilty about?

Various artists, To Luther, with Love ... A Tribute to Luther Vandross (J) Mary J. Blige, Monica, and Angie Stone pay musical respect to Loofuh.

Sept. 27

Ryan Adams, September (Lost Highway) The prolific one teams up with that nice Norah Jones for this month's release (see Nov. 1).

Baby Shambles, Fuck Forever (Rough Trade) Ex-Libertine Pete Doherty acts out with squeeze Kate Moss and ex-Clash guitarist Mick Jones.

Big Star, In Space (Rykodisc) Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens brought a couple of Posies to their old Memphis stomping grounds – Ardent Studios – to record this, which has to live up to a mighty legacy.

Toni Braxton, Libra (Blackground/Universal) After turning your pregnancy into a TV special, is there anywhere to go but up? The first video shows Toni's been spending as much time at the gym as she has at the astrologer's.

Go Team! Thunder, Lightning, Strike (Columbia) Bonus tracks to Go.

India.Arie, India.Arie's Song (Motown)

Jet, TBA (Elektra/Atlantic) Has success silenced the snarl?

Bettye LaVette, I've Got My Own Hell to Raise (Anti-/Epitaph) Madonna in-law Joe Henry raises the undead soul lady.

Lil' Kim, The Naked Truth (Queen Bee/Atlantic) La Bella Mafia was terrible, her theme to Victoria Gotti's show was even worse, but revelations about the case that's led to her imminent lockdown might be found here. The single is titled "Shut Up Bitch."

Sean Paul, The Trinity (VP/Atlantic) Since this year Rihanna has the dancehall-flavored hit that's as catchy as a jackhammer to the cranium, the Dreaded One better be ready for competition.

Emma Roberts, Unfabulous and More (Columbia) Julia's niece is spoiling for a singing career.

Gretchen Wilson, All Jacked Up (Epic) You wish.

Oct. 4

Broken Social Scene, Broken Social Scene (Arts and Crafts) Try saying "the little Canadian collective that could" five times fast.

The Darkness, The Painstaking (Atlantic) Darkness falls?

The Fall, The Fall Heads Roll (Narnack) One day Mark E. Smith will record funny rants from beyond the grave. Maybe he already is.

Franz Ferdinand, You Could Have It So Much Better ... (Domino/Epic) This Better be good.

Magic Numbers, The Magic Numbers (Capitol) Old-fashioned '60s pop songcraft meets two pairs of sibs and a buzz fed by the likes of Nick Hornby.

My Morning Jacket, Z (ATO/RCA) Zzz ... braaagh! Did you say something?

Sinead O'Connor, Throw Down Your Arms (Sanctuary) The ex-lesbian priest-turned-rasta sparks up a new joint.

Liz Phair, Somebody's Miracle (Capitol) It'll be a miracle if we like it.

Twista, The Day After (Atlantic) Kanye West, the Neptunes, and Dre upstart Scott Storch collabo with the speedy word-slinger behind "Slow Jamz," who's out to show he's more than an overnight celebrity.

Oct. 11

Atmosphere, You Can't Imagine How Much Fun We're Having (Rhymesayers Entertainment) Imagine how many lady bugs Slug and Ant pull.

Clientele, Strange Geometry (Merge) The London dreamers break that singles rut.

Constantines, Tournament of Hearts (Sub Pop) We [TK ART: USE HEART SYMBOL HERE heart] the Toronto rock kids?

Danger Doom, The Mouse and the Mask (Epitaph) Danger Mouse and MF Doom fashion a sonic tribute to the Cartoon Network's [adult swim].

Dashboard Confessional, TBA (Vagrant/Interscope) Daniel Lanois carves his name into this Dashboard.

Early Man, Closing In (Matador) Chavez's Matt Sweeney produces the nouveau-metal twosome.

Gang of Four, Return the Gift (V2) Postpunk polemicists get remix help.

Ricky Martin, Life (Columbia) Amerie and others are on hand to help Mr. Cute Butt try to prove that there is indeed life after "She Bangs."

OutKast, 10 the Hard Way (Laface/Zomba) Their sixth album is supposed to be a throwback, and no, Andre 3000 isn't a Republican.

Dolly Parton, Those Were the Days (Sugar Hill) The woman who wrote "I Will Always Love You" loves covers.

Scissor Sisters, TBA (Universal) Butt magazine jockstrap model Jake Shears and pals serve up another helping of glam-inflected neo-disco.

Oct. 18

Cardigans, Super Extra Gravity (Universal Europe) These popsters have always brought the catchiness. Are they poised to ride back to prominence on a Dungen-led Swedish wave?

Dr. Dre, Detox (Aftermath/Interscope) Proof that rehab can be a long and painful process, this oft-delayed and mega-expensive Chronic 2001 follow-up was abandoned at one point, so don't believe in its existence until you get your hands on it.

Silver Jews, Tanglewood Numbers (Drag City) David Berman pulls a CocoRosie and rhapsodizes cat tranquilizers with "K-Hole."

Ashlee Simpson, I Am Me (Geffen) Beware: Stealth MTV idiocy and maybe even some more live jig-dancing are on the horizon.

t.A.t.U., Dangerous and Moving (Interscope) Those pseudo baby-dykes are moving so fast we're not going to get them – but Richard Carpenter has, and thus the wackiest collaboration of the season.

Brian Wilson, What I Really Want for Christmas (Arista) ... Is my two frontal lobes.

Oct. 25

Vashti Bunyan, Lookingafter (Di Cristina) The maternal muse of Banhart and Animal Collective goes solo again.

Fefe Dobson, Sunday Love (Island) MTV/TRL's "Canadian firecracker" attempts to best her "Got Milk?" ad with songs cowritten by Tim Armstrong and Joan Jett.

Nov. 1

Ryan Adams, 29 (Lost Highway) Is he at album 29 yet?

Nov. 8

Neil Diamond, TBA (Columbia) Rick Rubin makes the "jazz singer" play guitar for the first time in 35 years, baby.

Lenny Kravitz, TBA (Virgin) When it comes to hit-making and selecting upholstery, the question is the same: Will it pop?

Bob Seger, Face the Promise (Capitol) Like a rock – except when it comes to recording new studio albums.

Nov. 15

Madonna, Confessions on a Dancefloor (Maverick/Warner) She may have met the equine version of Montecore recently, but broken collarbones don't necessarily mean broken release dates.

Shakira, Oral Fixation 2 (Epic) Who knows how many sequels an oral fixation might wreak?

Dec. 6

Hoobastank, TBA (Island) Will it stink?