Decibel : Soak up the sounds: Three sweet summer releases will rock listeners’ playlists

This summer will bring fun, sun and some pretty exciting albums. Here are three artists that everyone should watch out for:

Brandy

‘Two Eleven’

June

RCA Records

Brandy was one of the hottest acts in the mid-90s. But after releasing unsuccessful albums in the early 2000s and battling legal battles and personal woes, her career hit a standstill. Now Brandy is back with her first album in four years, set to feature plenty of collaborations and mainstream appeal to get her back on top.

Named after Brandy’s birthday and the day her idol Whitney Houston died, the album has already spawned two big singles. The first, ‘It All Belongs To Me,’ features fellow rhythm and blues artist Monica. The two are known for their 1998 duet in ‘The Boy is Mine,’ but their latest song is surprisingly underwhelming. The track lacked the sassy R&B attitude that their previous single had.

In ‘Put It Down,’ featuring Chris Brown, Brandy taps into her pop side without sacrificing her R&B roots. The tune is catchy and shows off her signature smoky voice.

The album features production by Drake, Frank Ocean and many more illustrious artists in the genre. With all of these stars aligned, ‘Two Eleven’ is destined to be a hit.

Linkin Park

‘Living Things’

June 26

Warner Bros. Records

Linkin Park’s latest album strays far from its punk rock roots and into the abyss of electronic pop-sounding super hits. Never fear, Linkin Park fans: ‘Living Things’ still maintains the group’s vintage sound.

The band rose to fame by infusing rock with hip-hop and blending intense, powerful vocals with the occasional rap. However, over the years, the band has begun to sound less punk and more pop with the incorporation of electronic sounds. This may be a turn-off for its devoted rock fans, but the album should not be dismissed.

The album’s lead single, ‘Burn It Down,’ has hit alternative radio stations in all of its mainstream glory. The song is a balanced mix of rock and electronic pop that is a preview of what the rest of the album has to offer. ‘Living Things’ may be a far cry from punk rock, but its songs should still pack a punch.

Justin Bieber

‘Believe’

June 19

Island Records

If there were ever a time to be a Belieber, it’s now.

Justin Bieber has stripped away some of his bubblegum image along with his signature locks and surprisingly, his new album, ‘Believe,’ is annoyingly good.

The Biebs needs no introduction. The Canadian teen heartthrob took over the music world with songs like ‘One Time’ and ‘Baby,’ setting the stage for the horrible epidemic known as Bieber Fever. The nauseatingly catchy songs and gross popularity of his girlish haircut solidified his image as a star. Now, with a less painful haircut, Bieber is taking on more interesting collaborations and featuring R&B vibes.

The album’s first single, ‘Boyfriend,’ begins with Bieber’s whispered rap-like verse that is only made worse with a chant of ‘swag.’ However, the rest of the song, in which Bieber tells how great of a boyfriend he is by offering fondue to a potential lover, is a catchy pop tune that sticks itself in listeners’ heads.

With guest spots coming in the form of Drake, Ludacris, Usher and possibly Lil Wayne, the album is sure to feature more undeniably irksome, yet strangely likable songs.

ieinyang@syr.edu

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