A quick look at albums due out this summer

The music industry may be melting down, but plenty of great new albums are slated for release this summer. Spanning folk to electronic to rock to hip-hop — with some drawing from multiple genres — here are eight worth a listen.

Neil Young, Neil Young Archives, Vol. 1: 1963-1972 (Reprise): Some two decades in the making, Young's archive is finally here, a mammoth treasure chest of songs, notes, photos and short films that covers his time with Buffalo Springfield and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young along with his solo work. Available in Blu-Ray, DVD and CD, it's a veritable Rosetta Stone for Young fans.

Serengeti & Polyphonic, Terradactyl (Audio 8 Recordings): Terradactyl is art-rap MC Serengeti and hip-hop/ ambient producer Polyphonic's anticon. debut. Serengeti is a prolific rapper best known for his 2006 album Dennehy — an ode to Chicago narrated by an O'Doul's-swilling Bears obsessive — and Polyphonic's sonically dense, down-tempo-electronic compositions mesh well with his partner's esoteric raps.


Summer releases

Sunset Rubdown, Dragonslayer (Jagjaguwar): On the heels of Wolf Parade's 2008 masterpiece, At Mount Zoomer, co-frontman Spencer Krug returns with Dragonslayer, the fourth album from his main side project, Sunset Rubdown. The group has evolved from a Krug vanity project into a fully formed beast, and the proggy Dragonslayer should be its most cohesive album yet.

Regina Spektor, Far (Warner Bros.): A Moscow native who hit it big with her 2006 anti-folk opus Begin to Hope, Spektor is back with Far, which features production from Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne and others. Expect more of what Spektor fans go in for — which is to say, haunting, ethereal piano anthems that alternately evoke laughter and jerk tears.

Cage, Depart From Me (Definitive Jux): Definitive Jux rapper Cage's biography reads like a pulp novel — parental abuse, drug addiction, mental-hospital stay, etc. — and his last full-length, Hell's Winter, channeled his heartache and rage to glorious effect. With production from folks including El-P, F. Sean Martin and Aesop Rock, Depart From Me promises more of the same.

The Donnas, The Donnas Greatest Hits, Vol 16 (Purple Feather): The Donnas have been making cheeky yet substantial rock and punk for sixteen years now, which explains the title of this collection of new, popular, rare and live tracks.

Kid Cudi, Man on the Moon: The End of Day (Universal Motown): Cleveland MC Kid Cudi sprang into the public consciousness last year with his contributions to Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak, and his hit song "Day 'N' Nite" has bumped from clubs and convertibles all spring. Debut Man on the Moon should focus on his playful wordplay and progressive, left-field musicianship.

Raekwon, Only Built 4 Cuban Linx II (EMI): Originally intended to come out on Aftermath Records, the sequel to Raekwon's critically beloved drug narrative Only Built 4 Cuban Linx... is finally scheduled for release and will feature beats from Dr. Dre, J. Dilla, RZA and Pete Rock.


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