Futuristically SpeakingNever Be Afraid
(October 7, Domino)
Dropping salty rhymes, shameless sexuality, and slyly inspiring mantras over club-stompin synth beats, Tampa-based lesbian rappers Shunda K and Jwl. B turn the tables on misogynist hip-hop homophobes everywhere with their riotous debut full-length, the follow-up to this summers Kryptonite Pussy EP.
Uh Huh Her
(August 19, Nettwerk)
Copping their nom de rock from PJ Harveys 2004 album title, L Word actress and ex-Murmurs member Leisha Hailey and Camila Grey (whos collaborated with Dr. Dre and Busta Rhymes) cook up a debut album of dreamy, seductive electro.
SoL-AngeL and the Hadley St. Dreams
(August 26, Geffen)
Rather than ride on big sis Beyoncs bombastic R&B coattails, Solange (a.k.a. Solange Knowles) waxes nostalgic, enlisting coveted producers like Mark Ronson and the Neptunes to create sparkling Motown toe-tappers (see the summer hit I Decided) and spacey disco grooves.
Ice Cream Spiritual
(September 2, We Are Free)
With baby-faced lesbian front woman Molly Siegel yelping and ululating over a labyrinth of spastic guitars and ping-ponging percussion, this young Baltimore-based art-rock foursome sound like theyve chugged way too much Kool-Aid -- but their sophomore album is a galvanizing, last-days-of-summer essential.
Knowle West Boy
(September 9, Domino)
Tricky shows he has moved beyond the overcooked trip-hop trend on his latest, an eclectic mix of reggae, blues, post-punk, and hip-hop. Always a sucker for silky-voiced divas, he even includes a snarling cover of Kylie Minogues Slow.
(September 16, Decca)
Stadium-size tracks dominate on the U.K. indie bands first album in seven years. Front man Tim Booth (most famous for his yodeling falsetto on 1993s gender-twisting radio hit Laid) supplies impressive vocals to spiritual and political songs steeped in intricate guitar work, trumpet fanfare, and rousing melodies.
(September 30, Arista)
The Oscar winner and former American Idol powerhouse finally delivers her much-anticipated debut. She teams up with Timbaland, Ne-Yo, Robin Thicke, and the Underdogs for a genre-spanning collection of soulful pop tracks.