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Beyoncé, Lil Wayne to headline summer album releases

“Get Your Heart On!,” Simple Plan — June 21

The band’s 2002 debut album “No Pads, No Helmets … Just Balls” gave us hits like “Addicted” and “Perfect” that ruled our Walkmans as we strolled down the halls of junior high, passing notes and discussing how great “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” looked in theaters. Simple Plan produced two albums following their debut, and neither made much of an impact on us. Other than an opportunity to have seventh grade flashbacks, don’t expect much from “Get Your Heart On.”   

“Bon Iver,” Bon Iver — June 21

This album may be the summer’s saving grace. Founder Justin Vernon is known for his ability to strip music down to the basics and let his voice carry the weight of his heart-breaking lyrics. After the hype of his debut album died down, Vernon returned home to Wisconsin to stay in touch with his roots. I expect this to shine through as he once again reminds listeners of isolation and love’s fragility. “Bon Iver” will be the album to get this summer.   

“4,” Beyoncé — June 28

The follow up to “I Am … Sasha Fierce” will arrive at the end of this month. Beyoncé’s fourth solo album should provide the dance hits necessary for a successful summer.  It’s important to remember that a great deal of Beyoncé’s success is founded in her ability to dance well and jiggle in certain places, things that are not included on an album. But she does have a good voice and hopefully will use that to electrify the dance floor this summer.

“Tha Carter IV,” Lil Wayne — August 29

I have my reservations about this album. “Tha Carter IV” comes at a time when Lil Wayne needs to make or break himself. Yes, Lil Wayne gave us nearly all the hits of the summer of 2008. Since then, however, he released “Rebirth” and “I Am Not A Human Being,” both unremarkable albums. If “IV” really is a follow-up to “III,” we should brace ourselves for another summer of Lil Wayne ruling the radio.


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