It’s a bummer that summer’s over, but MTV News has the cure for those blues: our biggest fall releases list. Stick with us all week as we count down the 25 most massive releases on deck over the next three months from A-Z. From Ariana Grande and Beyoncé to Lady Gaga, One Direction, Rick Ross and Zendaya, we’ve got everything you need to know on the music you’ll need to own.
Today’s list kicks off with the top-secret latest LP from Britney Spears, as well as new titles from Eminem, Drake and Chris Brown. And don’t forget to check out Monday’s fall preview, featuring Ariana Grande, Avicii, 2 Chainz and more.
Release date: TBA
The word: At this point, Beyoncé’s fifth album is turning out to be the most mysterious release of the year. Although it’s been confirmed that artists like Justin Timberlake will be featured on the project, there were rumors that she’d recently scrapped almost 50 songs to start fresh. Her team denied those claims, but still haven’t issued an official title or potential release date for the LP. In the meantime, Queen Bey has been continuing to drop several singles tied to advertising campaigns.
Hear this: On the chopped and screwed, Houston-influenced single “Bow Down/I Been On,” with a beat courtesy of Hit-Boy, Bey asserts her dominance in the game, while paying homage to the city’s legends like UGK. She followed the original track with an all-Houston remix featuring Bun B, Z-Ro, Willie D, Slim Thug, Scarface, Lil Keke.
Key players: Features on the album are set to include stars like Justin Timberlake, who joined Beyoncé and Jay Z in their Hamptons house last summer to record.
Facts: Bey shot in a new music video in Brooklyn this week, leading us to believe that her album is still on track for a 2013 release. (Nadeska Alexis)
Britney Spears: Title TBD
Release date: We have no idea, but we know something is coming September 17
The Word: Spears has promised her eighth will be her “most personal album” ever, and will.i.am told Rolling Stone, “We can’t do another song about going on the dance floor. Really? Didn’t we see a bunch of Britney doing that already? Don’t we want to see something that comes from her heart?”
Hear this:We haven’t gotten any tastes of the mysterious project, “Scream & Shout” gives us an idea of what happens when you put Spears and will.i.am in a studio together.
Key players: Producers William Orbit, Hit-Boy and will, who also worked on 2011’s Femme Fatale. Collaboration with Sia.
Facts: The “recipe” for the project is a mixture of her previous seven albums: the “sweet” “Baby,” “not that innocent” Oops!… I Did It Again, “self-confident” Britney, the “personal” Circus and “powerful” Femme Fatale. Sounds delicious!
Rumors: Hitmaker Sean Garrett hinted that the two have a collaboration together on Miley Cyrus’ BANGERZ. No one’s confirmed it, but it sounds spectacular. (Emily Blake)
— Britney Luvs Asia (@BritsAsianArmy) August 25, 2013
Chris Brown: X
Release date: TBA
The word: Breezy has bumped his album drop date a few times now, but the infectious hit “Fine China,” and an all-star lineup that includes Kendrick Lamar, Nicki Minaj and Rihanna makes this one to look out for. “I wanted to do an R&B record with Rihanna, because I didn’t want it to be the same four-on-the-floor pop,” Brown told MTV News of their collaboration. “At the end of the day, that’s what they expect from us, so I wanted to do more of a record that nobody really heard her sing on as far as that genre.”
Key players: In addition to production from the likes of Timbaland and Diplo, features on the album will include Kelly Rowland, Wiz Khalifa and B.o.B., Kendrick Lamar and Rihanna.
Facts: After being booked and released following a recent hit-and-run accident, Brown took to Twitter to declare that X just might be his final album . (Nadeska Alexis)
Drake: Nothing Was the Same
Release date: September 24
The word: Drake’s third album is focused on making music that will last decades, which he made clear with the single “Hold On We’re Going Home.” “I was like, ’Man, it would be great if we had a record that was played at weddings in 10 years or that people that are away from their families in the army could listen to,” Drake told MTV News . “Something that just [has] timeless writing, timeless melody.”
Hear this: Though often criticized for incorporating “too much” singing into his raps, Drake let it all hang out on “Going Home,” which boats hints of disco pop and vocals from new OVO Sound signees Majid Jordan.
Key players: Longtime collaborator Noah “40” Shebib on production, as well as Mike Zombie (“Started From the Bottom.”) Oh, and don’t be surprised to get another Jay Z feature .
Facts: Drake confirms that his dad, a former musician who has often been mentioned in his music — not always in the most positive light — will appear on the album. (Nadeska Alexis)
Eminem: The Marshall Mathers LP 2
Release date: November 5
The word: “That’s my boss. I DJ for him, and I’m not at liberty to speak on much, but you know his caliber and what he does,” Em’s DJ, Alchemist, told MTV News . “[He’s] clearly going to further territories. I think what you would expect, especially after the last go-round.”
Hear this: Rattling first single “Berzerk” blends the Beastie Boys with Billy Squier, and finds Em in prime form. He’s still jabbing at pop-culture detritus (the Kardashians and Kevin Federline) and dishing out potty-mouth boasts like the baddest fifth-grader on the block (“I’m ’bout to bloody this track up, everybody get back/That’s why my pen needs a pad ’cause my rhymes on the raaag.”) What’s different about this track is its focus on bringing hip hop back to basics.
Key players: Most of MMLP2 remains a mystery, though we do know Rick Rubin and Dr. Dre and both onboard as executive producers.
Facts: It’s the sequel to 2000’s Marshall Mathers LP, which has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and is widely regarded as one of the finest hip-hop albums of all time. No pressure or anything. (James Montgomery)