Spring Preview '13: Here are 13 albums we're excited to check out this season
At a time when the music industry could use a few hits (any time between Adele albums, essentially), the spring of 2013 will feature new works by many of the biggest names in pop, hip-hop and indie rock. Take a look at highlights from the upcoming release schedule. We also let you know if you'll be able to check them out live in and around the Big Apple.
David Bowie | 'THE NEXT DAY' | March 12
When David Bowie wants to release an album, no one has to say yes first. Reportedly recorded over the course of two years, "The Next Day" was announced just two months before release. Here's hoping that he changes his mind and decides to surprise everyone again ... with a tour (though reports are that he won't be supporting the record with live dates).
Bon Jovi | 'WHAT ABOUT NOW' | March 12
When a band has as many hits to its name as does Bon Jovi, it can go on tour whenever it likes. The tour to support "What About Now" kicked off in February, but will wait until July to make its way to New Jersey. Expect the band to be in fine form by then, and the new-but-familiar tracks from "What About Now" to be fully integrated into the set list.
See it live: July 24-25 at MetLife Stadium
Justin Timberlake | 'THE 20/20 EXPERIENCE' | March 19
Best known as a five-time "Saturday Night Live" host, Timberlake tries his hand at music with an album and national tour alongside Brooklyn Nets part-owner Jay-Z. Based on the first single "Suit and Tie," keep an eye on this up-and-comer; he could end up being pretty popular.
See it live: July 19, Yankee Stadium
Blake Shelton | 'BASED ON A TRUE STORY ...' | March 26
When not judging televised singing competitions (he was a judge on "Nashville Star" and "Clash of the Choirs" before joining "The Voice"), Blake Shelton has carved out quite the career, with "Based On a True Story ..." being his seventh album. His last non-Christmas release, "Red River Blue," went platinum and hit the top of both country charts and the Billboard 200.
See it live: July 21 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
The Strokes | 'COMEDOWN MACHINE' | March 26
The first single from "Comedown Machine," titled "All the Time," would sound right at home on the The Stroke's debut album "Is This It." Considering that it was the highest-selling record of the band's career, that's not such a bad thing.
Depeche Mode | 'DELTA MACHINE' | March 26
For the electro-pop pioneers, the danger of releasing new material is that it sounds like all of the bands the follow in their footsteps. But the slowed-down "Heaven" from its 13th album is all Mode. Plus, a new Depeche Mode album means a new tour, which means another chance to see one of rock's great live acts.
See it live: Sept. 6 at Barclays Center; Sept. 8 at Nikon at Jones Beach Theater
will.i.am |'#WILLPOWER' | March 26
The full-length effort from the Black Eyed Peas has been rumored since 2011, and will.i.am even threw an album wrap party in August 2012. Sorry Mr. i.am, but Guns N' Roses still had the greatest album delay of all time.
Lil Wayne | 'I AM NOT A HUMAN BEING II' | March 26
Somehow, the leader of Young Money has the most appearances of any solo act on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, having surpassed Elvis Presley last September. Expect Weezy to extend his lead with tracks from his 10th full-length release, especially since the album features collaborations with Drake, 2 Chainz and Nicki Minaj.
Tyler, the Creator | 'WOLF' | April 2
The leader of Los Angeles' Odd Future collective returns for his third solo album, and first since Frank Ocean became the best-known member of the crew. Don't expect much of Ocean's subdued soul to have rubbed off on Tyler's over-the-top and often violent lyrics.
See it live: March 23 at Music Hall of Williamsburg
Paramore | 'PARAMORE' | April 9
The band's first album since a messy lineup change, its lead single "Now" points toward a darker sound. Hayley Williams' voice, though, continues to be the band's defining characteristic.
See it live: May 16 at Hammerstein Ballroom
Yeah Yeah Yeahs | 'MOSQUITO' | April 16
The New York trio will send its fourth album into the world days after a high-profile festival performance at Coachella on April 12. Lead single "Sacrilege" puts the YYYs back on familiar ground (i.e. distorted vocals, nervy guitar).
See it live: April 7 at Webster Hall
Vampire Weekend | 'MODERN
VAMPIRES OF THE CITY' | May 7
Vampire Weekend's third album is set for a May release, which allows music blogs and hipsters plenty of time to take a stand for or against one of music's most polarizing bands. This is a foursome, after all, that announced the album title in a newspaper classified ad.
She and Him | 'VOLUME 3' | May 7
Indie guitar maestro M. Ward and hipster Rorschach test Zooey Deschanel unite for a third album of coffeehouse friendly alt-country tunes. The album features three cover tunes, including classic "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" and Blondie's "Sunday Girl."
See it live: July 6 at Central Park Summerstage