Then there are these ones too…

Other Than The Foo Fighters, Several Artists Are Also Hopeful About Their Fall Albums
This fall looks to have plenty of blockbuster releases from some of music’s biggest acts ó on paper, that is.
Whether Whitney Houston, Justin Timberlake or Santana can match their previous multiplatinum efforts is among many question marks hovering over the recording industry.
“It’s hard. Christina Aguilera has a new release ó will that be big?” asks Mark Hogan, vice president of Trans World Entertainment, which owns the FYE! entertainment retail chain. “I don’t know who it will be, but there always seems to be something that will come through that will surprise you.”
Last year was filled with surprises, not all of them good. There were a number of disappointments or out-and-out flops from performers who had seemed surefire winners ó Macy Gray, Mariah Carey, Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney, to name a few.
The industry remains mired in a slump; album sales this summer are down about 10 percent from last summer.
“I think the trend continues to be one of double-digit decreases in the music business,” Hogan said. “It’s still a tough business situation.”
The fourth quarter is the most lucrative for the record industry; it’s when most major releases are doled out and most music buying occurs.
This year, among the albums eagerly anticipated by retailers are a greatest-hits disc from the Rolling Stones, containing four new tracks; Santana’s follow-up to his Grammy-winning “Supernatural”; Faith Hill’s follow-up to her multi-platinum 1999 “Breathe”; and a collection of Elvis Presley hits that some believe could be as successful as the multi-platinum “1” from the Beatles two years ago.
“These are records that will bring people to the record store who maybe haven’t been to the record store in a long time,” said Bill Willson, vice president and general manager of AOL Music.
Other watched-for albums include ones from Jay-Z, India.Arie, Beck, Missy Elliott, Steve Earle and Craig David.
With seven Grammy nominations this year and a platinum-selling debut album, India.Arie has become one of the proven sellers on whom retailers are pinning their hopes. The singer says she’s not nervous about sales expectations for her Sept. 24 release, “Voyage to India.”
“That’s cool, because then they give a little bit more attention to it,” she said.
Alex Pappademas, an associate editor at Spin, says the fact that India.Arie is releasing her sophomore album just months after garnering so much attention at the Grammys can only help her.
“I don’t think it’s ever too soon. Frankly I think most people wait too long,” he says.
One artist who has waited a long time between album releases is Houston, whose last full studio album was 1998’s “My Love is Your Love.” It sold more than 1 million copies but was not as successful as her previous albums.
Since then, Arista Records has resigned Houston to a $100 million contract, but she has been criticized for erratic behavior and has had to combat rumors of drug use. She took aim at her critics on the new disc’s first single, “Whatchulookinat,” but the uptempo song was panned and poorly received on radio. The as-yet-untitled album, originally scheduled for September release, is now set for November.
“She’s in danger of just becoming a tabloid figure, where what’s going on with her life is eclipsing the music,” says Pappademas.
Another Arista Records act, TLC, will also be tested when their disc is released in November. Their most dynamic member, Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes, was killed in a car crash in Honduras. The two remaining members, Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins and Rozanda “Chilli” Thomas, have decided to go on as a duo. While some songs were recorded before Lopes died, the group is also working on new material.
“It’s sad, really, but in a way, they’re probably going to have to market that as a memorial tribute album to her, and I don’t know if that’s necessarily going to fly,” says Pappademas.
Aguilera’s new disc follows her enormously successful, self-titled debut in 1999. Since then, she has transformed herself from a wholesome teen-pop powerhouse to a sexier, edgier diva. Whether that will win new fans ó or keep old ones ó remains to be seen.
The as-yet untitled disc is set for release Oct. 29. The first single, described as a funky R&B song featuring rapper Redman, is titled “Dirrty.”
“There’s always a sense with these teen-pop people that they are very micromanaged,” says Pappademas. “She seems like she’s breaking out and doing controversial things … (but) there’s always the possibility of a backlash against her, like, she’s trying to be something she’s not.”
Two other veterans of the fading teen-pop genre also are coming out with albums. Timberlake of ‘N Sync and Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys are to release solo debuts by Thanksgiving.
Pappademas believes that Timberlake’s may be the season’s hottest seller.
“There’s going to be a lot of attention paid to this, because of all the boy-band types he seems to be the who will break out.”