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Spring Preview

Spring Album Preview 2016: The 25 Most Anticipated Releases

The must-know LPs coming this season from A-list acts, along with the up-and-coming artists you need to be ready to hear. Don't miss this music!

1 / 25

Zayn Malik, 'Mind of Mine'

Release Date: March 25

Why We're Excited: When Zayn Malik left One Direction on March 25, 2015, we weren't sure we'd ever recover. The guy was partially the heart and soul of the world's big boy band, reaching notes the other four could never. He left for his own sanity, though, and it's something we had to come to terms with. His solo endeavor is nothing like his teen pop past, and we're finally ready for it. Listen to "PillowTalk" and see what we mean. —Maria Sherman

Read the Complete Guide to Zayn Malik's Mind of Mine right here.

2 / 25

K. Michelle, 'More Issues Than Vogue'

Release Date: March 25

Why We’re Excited: The bold singer wants to branch out of the R&B box with her third album, More Issues Than Vogue, which could very well make it her best project to date. From the hooking-up-in-the-back-of-the-club “Ain’t You” single to the semi-ratchet booty bumper “Mindful” (she shows off her rap skills!), K. Michelle’s genre-bending music is proving that 2016’s ladies of soul can do so much more. —Bianca Gracie

3 / 25

Weezer, 'The White Album'

Release Date: April 1

Why We’re Excited: Although Weezer is releasing its album on the prankster’s holiday, the nerd-rock band’s 10th is not a joke. The guys have a light side, and their lead single “Thank God For Girls,” shows it off, with Rivers Cuomo’s very specific lyrics about a hike in the woods and cannoli (if you want even more WTF, watch the lyric video). The rest of the tunes dig up their signature sound, while scaling back their corny 21st century approach only slightly. It is Weezer after all. Weezer fans won’t be let down, but they’ll still name Pinkerton as their fave album… unless you’re the blue album type. —Emilee Lindner

4 / 25

​Explosions in the Sky, 'The Wilderness'

Release Date: April 1

Why We're Excited: The vocalist-less Texas post-rock torch-bearers only do albums that feel like they took forever to make. It's been five full years since Take Care, Take Care, Take Care; we've been ready for more for a verrry long time, and now, relief is imminent. The band has stayed active, making three feature film soundtracks in 2013 and '14, and the first two cuts we've heard from The Wilderness cemented our certainty that EITS remains an essential force in epiphany-inducing scores for your everyday life. —Zach Dionne

5 / 25

The Summer Set, 'Stories For Mondays'

Release Date: April 1

Why We're Excited: The Summer Set are too pop for the punk kids and too punk for the pop kids. The result is perfect punk-leaning pop music, the kind we see heading to radio very, very soon. If you love bands like 5 Seconds of Summer and going to Warped Tour, these are your dudes (and one lady!). —Maria Sherman

6 / 25

​Gallant, 'Ology'

Release Date: April 6

Why We're Excited: It's time to stop sleeping on Christopher Gallant. R&B's best-kept secret is set to unleash his debut LP next month, complete with soaring vocals, airy synths, and his signature jaw-dropping falsetto. The L.A.-based NYU graduate, who effortlessly blends classic blues-funk with electrosoul beats, boasts a knack for penning refreshingly introspective lyrics that'll be on full display come April. The 16-track Ology includes singles "Bourbon" and "Weight in Gold," as well as one guest feature—a dreamy duet with Jhené Aiko titled "Skipping Stones." Much like Gallant's 2014 EP ZebraOlogy will most likely have you feeling nostalgic at 3 a.m. while staring at your ceiling pondering deep, deep thoughts. —Tina Xu

7 / 25

​M83, 'Junk'

Release Date: April 8

Why We’re Excited: The French electronic band may be trolling us with the title of their first album in five years, but the music they’ve been dropping prior to the LP’s release is far from junk. The sweeping, orchestral sounds of “Solitude” and the danceable “Do It, Try It” take M83’s dream pop vibes even further into the outer galaxy. If the singles don’t suck you in, the totally weird album cover (which may be inspired by The Muppets) and special guests like Beck and Susanne Sundfør will do the trick! —Bianca Gracie

8 / 25

All Saints, 'Red Flag'

Release Date: April 8

Why We’re Excited: The ‘90s revival has been inescapable lately, with Fuller House ruling Netflix to Meghan Trainor’s Britney Spears-inspired “No” single. But one major highlight that shouldn’t be tossed away is the return of everyone’s favorite English-Canadian girl group—All Saints! The pop act have laid low for a decade, but they kicked off 2016 with a new album announcement. Tracks like the lush synth-pop groove “One Strike” and the stomping “One Woman Man” ballad will take you back to the days when you belted out songs in your hairbrush in front of the mirror. —Bianca Gracie

9 / 25

Deftones, 'Gore'

Release Date: April 8

Why We're Excited: Alt-metal icons Deftones are getting ready to release their eighth studio album, their first in four years, and the world is ready. The band are in a very unique place where they're both influential and still changing the game...it's an impressive space to operate in. If you like a mix of ugly, harsh clamoring and beautiful soundscapes, get ready for this one. —Maria Sherman

10 / 25

​Royce Da 5'9'', 'Layers'

Release Date: April 15

Why we’re excited: It’s been five years since the Detroit lyricist released a solo record; over that time, we’ve seen Royce gain more notoriety via his collaborative efforts with Eminem (Bad Meets Evil) and Slaughterhouse. His recent release with legendary DJ Premier under the alias “PRhryme” served as a reminder for any who may have forgotten, Nickle 9 is not to be played with. His first single “Tabernacle” not only gives us a peak into the life of Ryan Daniel Montgomery, but also set the stage for an album of epic proportions. Be ready. —Malikah Shabazz

11 / 25

​Rob Zombie, 'The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser'

Release Date: April 29 

Why We're Excited: This really shouldn't require an explanation...it's Rob fucking Zombie. The Electric Warlock Acid Witch Satanic Orgy Celebration Dispenser is Zombie's sixth studio album and his first in three years. The guy never seems to stop working, and whenever he returns to music, it's always great. —Maria Sherman

12 / 25

​Aesop Rock, 'The Impossible Kid'

Release Date: April 29

Why we’re excited: It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything from the Portland rapper. This self-produced comeback is slightly different from his 2012 release Skeleton as he found inspiration in a much darker source, as evident in the video for the lead single “Rings”. We’re looking forward to hearing Aesop’s growth and evolution over the past 4 years. —Malikah Shabazz

13 / 25

​Drake, 'Views From the 6'

Release date: April TBD

Why We're Excited: "I'm out here lookin' for reveeee-eeeee-enge / All summer ’16, all summer ‘16," Aubrey Drake Graham sings on "Summer Sixteen,” this year’s only Views from the 6 single (buzz track?) so far. The Boy's über-long-awaited fourth album was preceded by two mixtape projects totaling 30 songs last year, but that's beside the point. Drake's in the discography business; he both discusses and approaches Views as the true, expectation-weighted sequel to Nothing Was the Same, which has been The Last Drake Record since September 2013.

Mysterious billboards, Meek Mill beef, well-timed magazine interview teases and Soundcloud singles have keep us unendingly aware that this thing is on the near horizon...and we still might not have heard a single song from it. Word (mostly from Drake himself) is that Views from the 6 drops in April, and we can only guess it’ll be a surprise. —Zach Dionne

Read the Complete Guide to Drake's Views From the 6 here.

14 / 25

Taeyeon, 'TBD'

Release Date: April TBD

Why We're Excited: The Girls' Generation leader absolutely slayed us with her debut solo single "I" last year, and the 27-year-old isn't slowing down from there. She announced plans to release her first full-length album in April that will likely coincide with her upcoming solo concerts planned on April 23 and 24th in Korea. We hope she continues to experiment with new sounds as the lush and uplifting "I" was indication Taeyeon has a ton to offer as a solo star, in addition to leading her girl group. —Jeff Benjamin

15 / 25

BTS, 'The Most Beautiful Moment in Life: Young Forever'

Release Date: May 2

Why We're Excited: Korea's latest boy band sensation released two of the best K-pop albums last year with both Part 1 and Part 2 of their The Beautiful Moment in Life EP series. The third and final installment comes this May with Young Forever, which is sure to end with a bang, and likely to explore more topic about youth, identity, dreams, and more topics that BTS approach in honest ways that are a breath of fresh air in the K-pop scene. —Jeff Benjamin

16 / 25

Kygo, 'Cloud Nine'

Release date: May 13

Why We're Excited: This spring, we'll finally get an album from the king of pop...er, the king of trop-pop. The DJ/producer has become famous for his breezy, tropical productions and his first full-length comes at the perfect time as his signature sound has just began penetrating the mainstream thanks to the likes of Justin Bieber—Jeff Benjamin

17 / 25

​Meghan Trainor, 'Thank You'

Release Date: May 13

Why We're Excited: On last year’s TitleMeghan Trainor pulled from doo-wop and offered a fresh spin on body positivity while collecting four Top 20 hits. “Nø,” the lead single from the forthcoming follow-up, updates her sound, but finds the singer-songwriter as confident and charismatic as ever. —Jason Lipshutz

18 / 25

Corinne Bailey Rae, 'The Heart Speaks in Whispers'

Release Date: May 13

Why We’re Excited: It’s been six years since Corinne Bailey Rae graced us with her sophomore album, a project about grief and celebration after her husband’s death. Now, CBR has taken the time to explore the darkness… and the light. With pre-release tracks like “Green Aphrodisiac” and “Been to the Moon,” we hear that Rae is back to her old magic on her third LP, weaving in happiness with jazzy guitar and effortless, meandering vocals, giving her music a twist of cosmic spark along the way. —Emilee Lindner

19 / 25

​DevilDriver, 'Trust No One'

Release date: May 13

Why We're Excited: Dez Fafara's post–Coal Chamber project became his real life's work quite awhile ago, and it became one of the most consistent pummel-groove-shred outfits in American metal not long after. Every DevilDriver record since the band’s ’03 debut has been a must-hear event, and the nearly three-year wait for Trust No One been the longest gap in a seven-album career. The record, with its badass wolf-and-sheep cover art, is also the first without co-founders John Boecklin (drums) and Jeff Kendrick (guitar), but a dimmer DevilDriver is hard to imagine at this point. —Zach Dionne

20 / 25

Ariana Grande, 'Dangerous Woman'

Release Date: May 20

Why We're Excited: We admit it felt like Ariana wasn't coming as hard as her past albums when "Focus" (a.k.a. a not-so-subtle "Problem" rehash) kicked off the campaign for a record then called Moonlight. But now with a new title, new lead single and totally refreshed attitude (hello, bondage gear!), Dangerous Woman seems keen on showing Ari's artistic evolution, along with new musical sides with its rock-leaning title track and "Be Alright," a total house gem. —Jeff Benjamin

Read the Complete Guide to Ariana Grande's Dangerous Woman here.

21 / 25

​Fifth Harmony, '7/27'

Release Date: May 20

Why We're Excited: With “Worth It,” Fifth Harmony finally scored a mainstream hit that helped define the summer of 2015 and deliver the girl group to a larger audience. 5H’s sophomore effort has sky-high expectations to go along with super-producer Max Martin’s involvement, and with “Work From Home” already a Top 20 hit, things are looking promising so far. - Jason Lipshutz

22 / 25

​Robert Glasper, 'Everything’s Beautiful'

Release Date: May 27

Why We’re Excited: Robert Glasper has been trailblazing the jazz scene for some time now. His projects Black Radio and Black Radio 2 help strengthen the bond between jazz, R&B and hip-hop by including artists from all genres within the projects. Robert ups the ante by recording his interpretations of 11 Miles Davis tracks. To re-record the music of a jazz icon is one thing, but to reinterpret music and give it a new life and possible new meaning while still staying true to the essence of the original takes skill. Robert’s classical training, as well his ability to understand the artistic current that flows through jazz, give him the honor of being one of the few jazz artists of our generation who can truly achieve a feat such as this. —Malikah Shabazz

23 / 25

Tegan and Sara, 'Love You To Death'

Release Date: June 3

Why We're Excited: Tegan and Sara’s 2013 album Heartthrob was a game-changer, with a slicker pop sound, crossover single (“Closer”) and an avalanche of critical praise. Expect more hook-filled gooeyness on its long-awaited follow-up, as well as a lot of live shows from these road warriors. —Jason Lipshutz

24 / 25

The Kills, 'Ash & Ice'

Release Date: June 3

Why We’re Excited: The follow-up to 2011’s Blood Pressures is nigh! The rock duo is back after a busy few years. Jamie Hince took a trip across Russia on the Trans-Siberian Express to get inspiration for new music—all while rehabilitating from five hand surgeries. As he learned how to play guitar again, Alison Mosshart recorded with The Dead Weather and worked on candid lyrics. When they came back together, they rented a house in L.A. to record. Their lead single, “Doing It to Death,” is sinister and pulsating, as Mosshart passes judgments on an overworked relationship. We’ll see how the rest plays out at the end of Spring when they give us their fifth album. —Emilee Lindner

25 / 25

​Nick Jonas, 'Last Year Was Complicated'

Release Date: June 10

Why We're Excited: The youngest Jonas Brother has promised a more revealing affair for his latest solo effort, following the success of songs like “Jealous” and “Chains” from his self-titled last LP. Tove Lo, Big Sean and Ty Dolla $ign are all involved this time, and Jonas will showcase the highly anticipated new material on tour this summer with Demi Lovato. —Jason Lipshutz


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Apr 2: Basket-Bros

Currently on his 'The Man of the Woods' tourJustin Timberlake brought out a special guest for his Cleveland show. LeBron James surprised concertgoers by showing up alongside Timberlake and taking a shot on stage. On Friday, the singer was also seen cheering on LeBron during the Pelicans and Cavaliers game. James gave a shout out on Instagram, "My brother @justintimberlake showed up and showed out last night at the Q! One of the greatest to ever do it in my lifetime and still going strong."