Spring CD preview: Eminem, Greenday and more

Songsters from Prince to Dan Deacon help make up some of the most anticipated releases of Spring ’09

Dan Deacon ALBUM: âÄúBromstâÄù LABEL: Carpark Records RELEASE: Mar. 24 With the release of 2007âÄôs âÄúSpiderman of the Rings,âÄù the masses were let in on a secret that Baltimoreans had known for years: electronic musician Dan Deacon is the real deal. Famous for his manic live shows, sonic dexterity and generally affable nature, DeaconâÄôs forthcoming âÄúBromstâÄù is a departure from the wildness of âÄúSpiderman of the Rings.âÄù As Deacon told Pitchfork, itâÄôs âÄúmuch darker âĦ [more] mature âĦ and organic.âÄù If new fans desire a crash course in all things Deacon prior to the release of his newest LP, the man gives away the MP3s of all his previous efforts on his website. Be that as it may, âÄúBromstâÄù will undoubtedly be worth the sticker price. Prince ALBUM: âÄúLotusflow3râÄù/âÄùMPLSOUNDâÄù/âÄùElixerâÄù LABEL: NPG Records RELEASE: Mar. 29 Prince is three things: talented, prolific and a little bit crazy. In keeping with those three traits, heâÄôs releasing âÄúLotusflow3r,âÄù âÄúMPLSOUND,âÄù and a record by his protégé Bria Valente dubbed âÄúElixerâÄù as one neat, tidy bundle exclusively from Target with a comfortable price tag of $11.98. 2009 marks the 25th anniversary of the seminal âÄúPurple RainâÄù and itâÄôs rumored that this new bundle of records aims to capture a similar sound. Neil Young ALBUM: âÄúFork in the RoadâÄù LABEL: Reprise RELEASE: April 7 Neil YoungâÄôs last release, âÄúLiving with War,âÄù was a concept album about the war in Iraq. So, logically, its follow-up, âÄúFork in the Road,âÄù is a concept album about YoungâÄôs LincVolt electric car. Yeah. The legendary rocker has already released a one-shot video featuring Young wielding an apple and singing an overtly political and thoroughly rocking track off the new record. Expect plenty more exceptional geriatric loopiness on his newest. The Thermals ALBUM: âÄúNow We Can SeeâÄù LABEL: Kill Rock Stars RELEASE: April 7 With âÄúNow We Can See,âÄù the Portland rockers forth full-length, The Thermals made the hop from indie powerhouse label Sub Pop to competitor Washington label Kill Rock Stars. Despite the move from one amazing Northeastern label to another, the nuanced, smart and accessible pop-punk of The Thermals will persevere. The leaked title-track of âÄúNow We Can SeeâÄù features singer Hutch HarrisâÄô plaintive shout, crunchy surf rock swing and plenty of harmonized âÄúoh-ay-oh-ohâÄôsâÄù. They employ a simple formula, but executed in a fashion that makes them one of the most exciting rock bands today. Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band ALBUM: âÄúOuter SouthâÄù LABEL: Merge Records RELEASE: May 5 Watching Conor Oberst grow up has been a real treat. The Dylan comparisons are beyond tired at this juncture, and yes, there are hipster-haters galore. But, the fact remains – OberstâÄôs songwriting destroys almost any contemporary. Last summer, he made official what was already abundantly clear and started recording under his own name rather than the Bright Eyes drape. The result was a self-titled LP that demonstrated Oberst at his most comfortable, matured and effective. After he played the âÄúOuter SouthâÄù track âÄúNikoretteâÄù on Conan last year, one can be led to believe the new record will be the same brand of rootsy rock and folk thatâÄôs driven by superior lyricism. Art Brut ALBUM: âÄúArt Brut vs. SatanâÄù LABEL: Downtown Records RELEASE: May 12 (US) Rock âÄòn rollers take themselves too seriously too often. Lo-fi garage rockers Art Brut know it just like Pixies frontman Frank Black has always known it. As fate would have it, Black is taking the production helm on the EnglandâÄôs own Art BrutâÄôs third LP âÄúArt Brut vs. Satan.âÄù The band has kept the record largely under wraps with the exception of the song âÄúAlcoholics UnanimousâÄù which demonstrates the groupâÄôs already honed style of poppy garage rock, cynically humorous lyrics and energy. With that, expect another stellar âÄì but certainly not overwhelmingly so âÄì entry into the Art Brut canon. Eminem ALBUM: âÄúRelapseâÄù LABEL: Shady/Interscope Records RELEASE: May 19 If current chart-topping single âÄúCrack a BottleâÄù is any indication of what âÄúRelapseâÄù might sound like, the world is going to experience EminemâÄôs first outright dud. âÄúRelapseâÄù is EminemâÄôs first proper LP since 2004âÄôs mediocre âÄúEncore.âÄù Thankfully, itâÄôs been revealed that while âÄúCrack a BottleâÄù is a track off âÄúRelapse,âÄù itâÄôs not the official first single. So, maybe thereâÄôs hope for the worldâÄôs most gifted rapperâÄôs comeback attempt. Still, even if âÄúRelapseâÄù flops, the newly industrious Eminem claims that another record âÄì âÄúRelapse 2âÄù âÄì will also be released this year. One last glimmer of redemptive hope, EmâÄôs lyrically profound quote in last DecemberâÄôs Esquire: âÄúI’m a T-shirt guy now. But wifebeaters won’t go out of style, not as long as bitches keep mouthing off.âÄù HeâÄôs still got it! Green Day ALBUM: âÄú21st Century BreakdownâÄù LABEL: Reprise RELEASE: May 19 Fans desperately yearning for AmericaâÄôs most popular punk band to return to their roots and drop the vaguely political rock-opera stylings of 2004âÄôs âÄúAmerican IdiotâÄù âÄì âÄú21st Century BreakdownâÄù is going to let you down. Described by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong in interviews as âÄúmore religiousâÄù and heavily influenced by Springsteen, The Who and The Beatles , the new record is expected to further skirt earnest punk in favor of epic moralizing. Also, super-producer Butch Vig has signed on to produce.