September 8, 2011 at 4:31 pm EDT | by David Placher
Studio revival

Original Blondie members (from left) Chris Stein, Debbie Harry and Clem Burke have reunited and have a new album ready, one of fall’s most anticipated U.S. releases. (Photo courtesy EMI)

Several singers and bands that have been out of the studio for eons have albums slated for fall. Buzz is highest for new releases from long-absent acts Blondie, the Bangles and Gloria Estefan. A few openly gay acts also have projects on the horizon.

Lesbian folk rocker Catie Curtis just released her 11th album, “Stretch Limousine on Fire.” Curtis made headlines in 1997 when she won the Best Album Award from the Gay and Lesbian American Music Awards for “Catie Curtis CD.” Curtis is married to Liz Marshall and has two daughters. Curtis became ordained to officiate weddings in 2010, inspired by her commitment to marriage equality.  Some of her songs are written to reflect this commitment.

On Sept. 13, Blondie will release “Panic of Girls,” the band’s first album since 2003 and ninth album overall, but only the second album to be recorded outside of Manhattan. A whopping 35 songs were recorded during the sessions, but only 12 will make it onto the album. Front woman Debbie Harry is a long-time gay fave whose pop culture cred was cemented with her own Barbie doll a couple years ago.

Grammy-winning Lady Antebellum will release a third album “Own the Night.” One song, “Just a Kiss,” was released from this 12-track album on May 2, and quickly shot to the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100.  This hit helped build fans’ anticipation for the release.

Tori Amos is set to release “Night of Hunters,” on Sept. 20. The album is sure to break music barriers with its genre blending. Amos calls the album a “21st century song cycle inspired by classical music themes spanning over 400 years. I have used the structure of a song cycle to tell an ongoing, modern story. The protagonist is a woman who finds herself in the dying embers of a relationship. In the course of one night she goes through an initiation of sorts that leads her to reinvent herself allowing the listener to follow her on a journey to explore complex musical and emotional subject matter. One of the main themes explored on this album is the hunter and the hunted and how both exist within us.”

The Bangles, an all female American band, are set to release “Sweetheart of the Sun” on Sept. 27, a 12-track album. They’ve been working on their highly anticipated album since spring of 2009. When The Bangles started out, they were opening for Cyndi Lauper on her “Fun Tour.” Their performance caught the attention of Prince, who later wrote their famous song “Manic Monday,” which catapulted them into superstar status.

Also out Sept. 27 is LeAnn Rimes’s 13th album, “Lady & Gentlemen,” a 12-track album with two bonus cuts.

Also out that day is “Miss Little Havana” from long-dormant Gloria Estefan. First single “Wepa” premiered in May.

Grammy-winning Mary J. Blige is scheduled to release “My Life II: The Journey Continues” on Oct. 4, her 10th studio album.  It’s a sequel to Blige’s 1994 classic album “My Life.” The album is designed to be a reflection of the time and lives of the people around her.

Monica is scheduled to release her seventh album “New Life” on Oct. 18. She’s getting buzz for “Anything (To Find You),” the first single, which is on the Hot 100 now.

On Oct. 25, Kelly Clarkson releases “Stronger.” Anticipation is high as she’s taken some artistic detours, not always successfully, on her last few albums.

Also on Oct. 25, Coldplay will release its fifth album “Mylo Xyloto.” Oddly enough, the album was influenced by HBO’s “The Wire.” Lyrically, this album will have more acoustics and more intimate feel than their previous album.  “Every Teardrop is a Waterfall,” the first single, dropped in June. “Paradise,” the second, goes to radio this weekend.

Bi neo-soul goddess Meshell Ndegeocello releases “Weather” on Nov. 8. Listen for sparse, orchestral melodies and her usual thoughtful lyrics. She plays the highly intimate Birchmere in Alexandria on Nov. 15.

Adam Lambert has an as-yet-untitled set ready for November.



  • Please stop categorizing Meshell as neo-soul. There isn’t a single artist (Meshell included) that appreciates that categorization. Also, she’s married now, so what does bi have to do with her releasing a new album? Why wasn’t Monica mentioned as being a heterosexual (assuming)?

    Just saying.

  • Yeah Cold Play and Lady Antebellum. And it seems like forever I’ve been waiting for Adam Lambert’s. Happy these three are coming out this fall.

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