As you fire up the grill, convertible, or mp3 player and prepare to enjoy the long Fourth of July weekend, here’s some new music to accompany your 2014 backyard bashes.
Coming out are new albums from classic rockers (Tom Petty, Chicago), dance chanteuses (La Roux, Sia) pop divas (Ariana Grande), alt legends (Sinead O’Connor, Morrissey) rappers (Common, Wiz Khalifa) and, of course, country cuties (Brad Paisley).
Kenny Chesney’s “American Kids,” Little Big Town’s “Day Drinking” and Tim McGraw and Faith Hill’s “Meanwhile Back at Mama’s” are just a few of the new summer singles to add to your Fourth of July country music playlist, while Ariana’s new EDM song “Break Free,” recorded with powerhouse Zedd, just came out, along with Busta Rhymes’ and Eminem’s hilarious and profane rant “Calm Down.” So have anything but a calm summer with these new must-have downloads…
Trey Songz (Trigga) Nicki Minaj and The Beebs join Trey on his sexy new R&B album, aimed like a bullet at No. 1.
Robin Thicke (Paula) The handsome, wandering-eyed crooner behind “Blurred Lines” is already getting flack for trying to win over his estranged honey with singles like “Get Her Back.”
Seether (Isolate and Medicate) New melodic post-grunge from the ’90s super-trio.
Tricky D (Equanimity) Bliss out to waves of dubstep, soul and more electronic beats from the famed producer.
Chicago (Now: XXXVI) Groove to a funky Earth, Wind & Fire vibe from the classic rockers, now fronted by Jason Scheff, Robert Lamm and Lou Pardini.
Ministry (Last Tangle in Paris) Live music from the 2012 Defibrila tour.
Sia (1000 Forms of Fear) After an early summer pushback, the talented but gun-shy songwriter and dance maven Sia (“Titanium”) finally shows off her pop chops in singles like “Chandelier.”
Morrissey (World Peace Is None of Your Business) The ironic vegetarian is up to his old tricks with wickedly named songs like “Smiler With Knife” and “Kick the Bride Down the Aisle.”
Jason Mraz (Yes!) The sweet pop crooner teams with folk group Raining Jane for more upbeat tunes.
5 Seconds of Summer (Title = Same) Hide your daughters — the Australian teen dreams will be promoting this album with 1D this summer.
Common (Nobody’s Smilin’) The rapper samples gospel choirs, street rappers, and the late Notorious B.I.G. on his new album urging peace for recent Chicago violence.
La Roux (Trouble in Paradise) More sexy synth pop from the Brit dance sensation behind “Bulletproof.”
Eric Clapton & Friends (The Breeze, An Appreciation of JJ Cale) Performances of 16 J.J. Cale songs by Clapton, Mark Knopfler, John Mayer, Willie Nelson, Tom Petty, Derek Trucks and Don White.
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (Hypnotic Eye) Petty returns to “straight rock” with singles like “U Get Me High” and “Red River.”
Sinead O’Connor (I’m Not Bossy I’m the Boss) Yes, she’s still rebelling. “I don’t wanna sing from where I sang before,” the Irish icon snarls in “Take Me to Church,” and her sexy new black-leather image proves it.
Steve Aoki (Neon Future) Part 1 of this double album (Part 2 comes out in 2015) features Fall Out Boy, Empire of the Sun and Waka Flocka Flame.
Wiz Khalifa (Blacc Hollywood) Bounce to “We Dem Boyz,” “KK,” and new twerk anthems from the young and still hungry Pittsburgh rapper.
Ariana Grande (My Everything) On the heels of her megahit “Problem,” Ariana finally announced the title and release date for this new album in late June. The second single, “Break Free,” which she recorded with Zedd, is available now.
Brad Paisley (Moonshine in the Trunk) The country cut-up promises this will be a fun party album with singles like the new “Riverbank.”
Nick & Knight (Nick & Knight) Nick Carter from Backstreet Boys and Jordan Knight from New Kids On The Block team up for a boy-band-alicious album.
See what you missed earlier this summer in Part 1 of our Summer Album story, “New Pop, Dance and Country Summer Music with 2014 Release Dates.” Play your favorite summer music on the beach, tailgating or before the fireworks with our MyMusicCloud smartphone app – anywhere on any device.