Summer Music Preview | EW.com

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Summer Music Preview

Summer Music Preview -- From the Beastie's brat rap to Fogerty's bayou classics, the season's forecast is sunny

For the pathetic pop-culture junkie — yep, we mean you — summer is not a season for sun, surf, or salty breezes. The junkie sees the sweltering months after Memorial Day as an excuse to spend even more time locked inside dark, air-conditioned rooms. Admit it: After the synapse-snapping explosions of the latest summer movie, you’d like nothing better than to roll home, switch on the stereo, and rest your lazy bones spinning the new albums that will define these dog-day afternoons. Here, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY gives you a sip of this summer’s most anticipated music, from languid folk-pop (Elliott Smith) to smoother-than-sunscreen R&B (Maxwell, Des’ree) to rock that could burn a hole in the ozone layer (Korn). And for those who don’t mind the glare of the great outdoors, there’s a guide to the season’s hottest tours, including Lilith Fair, Smokin’ Grooves, and the Dave Matthews Band’s sold-out stomp across America. Godzilla, step aside.

RECORD HEAT

JOHN FOGERTY
Premonition
His tour, and Grammy, for 1997’s Blue Moon Swamp, convinced Fogerty to finally dust off his treasure trove of Creedence Clearwater Revival-and-beyond songs for a live album. But the roots rocker himself was surprised by the sheer number of hits. ”Putting this record together,” he laughs, ”even I got, let’s say, less than humble for a few seconds.” (June 9)

MAXWELL
Embrya
After making monogamy hip on his ‘96 debut, Urban Hang Suite, the Brooklyn native gets serious on his sophomore effort. Touching on his West Indian roots, Maxwell heats up his mellow Marvin Gaye groove with a little island spice. But with lyrics like ”She became filled earlier as the late of destiny carved her creation,” he better go easy on that hot sauce. (June 30)

LUCINDA WILLIAMS
Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
The phrase ”arduous journey” doesn’t capture all the work that went into Wheels, the first disc in six years from the high priestess of hardscrabble haiku and plaintive twang. Williams plowed through several producers (including Steve Earle and ex-E Streeter Roy Bittan) in her quest for the right balance of jangle and grit. (June 30)

DES’REE
Supernatural
The British New Age soul singer, who scored platinum thanks to ”You Gotta Be,” her ‘95 ode to self-love, realizes on her third album that she’s gotta be…less serious. ”I think Supernatural conveys me having a good time,” she says. ”I’m not as precious as I used to be about my music.” (July 14)

BEASTIE BOYS
Hello Nasty
All that Tibetan spirituality still hasn’t mellowed the bratty Beasties. Eschewing the displays of studio wizardry and ’70s-funk hipsterism that marked their last three albums, the funny and relentlessly inventive Nasty finds the Boys giving props to their old-school rap roots. (July 14)

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Dead Man on Campus
This collegiate comedy looks DOA, but the Dust Brothers-produced soundtrack should liven things up considerably. Highlights: a collaboration between Marilyn Manson’s Twiggy Ramirez and ex-model Twiggy, songs from Elastica and Blur, and Marilyn Manson covering Bowie’s ”Golden Years.” ”It has this incredible up-tempo dance beat,” says Dust Brother Mike Simpson. (July 21)

CHARLI BALTIMORE
Ice
How’s this for a can’t-miss? Take the Notorious B.I.G.’s gorgeous ex-girlfriend, add top-notch producers like Wu-Tang’s RZA, and remake crowd-pleasers like ”Ice Ice Baby” and the Beasties’ ”Brass Monkey.” ”It’s a real global album,” says Baltimore. ”There’s something for everybody.” (July 28)

CANIBUS
Untitled
The Wyclef disciple is most famous for feuding with LL Cool J, so he has a lot to prove on this highly anticipated debut. ”I’m under the gun about how genuine I am to the art, about whether I’m doing certain things to get a name,” Canibus acknowledges. ”I think the album’s gonna set the record straight.” (July)