For some queer music lovers — yes, we acknowledge that Gaga is all the rage (more on her in a minute) — the real reason we’re excited is the May release of the new Stevie Nicks album, her first solo studio album in a staggering 10 years.
The Fleetwood Mac singer’s solo career got rolling with a wallop in the ‘80s when she was putting out an album about every two years on top of her steady release schedule with the Mac. But things ground quickly to a near halt thereafter and, not counting compilations, there was only one album in the ‘90s (the dreadful “Street Angel”) and one in the ‘00s (the solid “Trouble in Shangri-La”). Yes, “Crystal Visions,” a compilation, and her live “Soundstage” release were welcomed — Nicks’ commentary on the video bonus disc on the “Visions” deluxe edition is priceless — but long-time fans are positively salivating at the thought of a new “real” album from the legendary, but in some ways underrated, songstress.
All early signs for “In Your Dreams,” set to drop May 3, are good. Nicks worked mostly with the Eurythmics’ Dave Stewart on the 13-track album. First single “Secret Love” is a demo that’s been widely bootlegged for years so there were few surprises there, but Nicks sounds more excited and energized about this album than she has in years gushing to a California paper about “love songs, hard rock ‘n’ roll songs, really contemplative songs and very Bob Dylan-y songs …”
Even Mac-mate Lindsey Buckingham, who’s never been shy about dissing Nicks’ sub-par work, says the new album is amazing. He contributed a last-minute duet called “Soldier’s Angel.”
The last Mac album, “Say You Will” is masterful — here’s hoping Nicks is in equally fine form here.
The other big news is, of course, the new Lady Gaga record “Born This Way,” slated for a May 23 release. The first single is the title track, released last month. It went to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, despite criticism that it’s a rip-off of Madonna’s “Express Yourself.”
Gaga, an unabashed workaholic, is still touring her last album (she was in town last week for a second D.C. stop on the same tour). Hopes are high for the new project, which will have 14 cuts though a deluxe edition with three extra tracks and five remixes will be available at Target. “Fame Monster” vets Fernando Garibay and RedOne are back in the production booth along with DJ White Shadow, Jeppe Laursen and Gaga herself.
The quirky singer has set the bar absurdly high promising fans “the greatest album of this decade.” Gaga says “it’s fucking really good” and “about what keeps us up at night and what makes us afraid.”
Is there room for more than one pop diva or will Britney Spears, whose “Femme Fatale” drops March 25, face a bomb like Christina Aguilera did last year with the brittle, rigid “Bionic?”
“Fatale,” Spears’ seventh album and first since 2008’s “Circus,” is off to a great start. Like Gaga, Spears’ first single, “Hold It Against Me” zoomed to the top of the Hot 100.
Look for a new R.E.M. album, featuring queer front man Michael Stipe, next week. “Collapse into Now” is the group’s 15th album and was produced by Jacknife Lee and the band.
Also of note, Linda Eder’s “Now,” released this week, Avril Lavigne’s “Goodbye Lullaby” set for next week, Dionne Warwick’s “Only Trust Your Heart” on March 15, Duran Duran’s “All You Need is Love” on March 22 along with Jennifer Hudson’s sophomore album, “I Remember Me.”
Local gay singer/songwriter Tom Goss releases his third album “Turn It Around” April 12 with 11 new cuts though advance copies will be available at release parties slated for next weekend at Go Mama Go. A video for first single “It’s All Over” is in the works while “Lover,” a video from Goss’s last record, debuted on Logo last week.
Details are still sketchy on Beyonce’s new album, her fourth. Look for it sometime before year’s end. Also rumored to be working on 2011 albums are Fiona Apple, Kate Bush, Kelly Clarkson, Culture Club, Renee Fleming and Amy Winehouse.