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Arts and Entertainment

Twenty-one Albums to Look Forward to

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Summer has passed and acts such as Suzanne Vega, Tegan and Sara, M.I.A., Spoon, and Rilo Kiley have reclaimed the spotlight after significant hiatuses, but the year is far from over. It’s now time to look forward to albums on the horizon that look like winners already:

21. In Our Bedroom After the War – Stars: The popular Canadian indie outfit is poised to take America by storm. (Release date: September 25)

20. As I Am – Alicia Keys: With contributions from John Mayer, John Legend, Linda Perry, and Timabland, As I Am is shaping up to be the album of Keys’ career. (Release date: November 6)

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19. Strawberry Jam – Animal Collective: Experimental rock’s superheroes are back and, with an album named after a breakfast condiment, things are looking bright. (Release date: September 11)

18. The Real Thing – Jill Scott: Since 2004’s breakthrough, Beautifully Human, Jill Scott is back and looking better than ever. (Release date: September 25)

17. TBA – Rachael Yamagata: After a promising debut and numerous collaborations (we’ll forgive the Mandy Moore thing), she looks ready to throw another sucker punch of an album. (Release date: 2007)

16. TBA – No Doubt: Now that Gwen Stefani has scratched that solo career itch with two albums, a glorious return to those days of ska/punk/pop/reggae seems imminent. (Release date: 2008)

15. TBA – Gnarls Barkley: Who is not looking forward to another Gnarls Barkley album? (Release date: November 2007)

14. TBA – The Avalanches: Since I Left You was a groundbreaking album and we still haven’t forgotten it, six years later. The time is now. (Release date: 2007)

13. Frank – Amy Winehouse: Although it was her first album, it will allow for U.S. fans to catch a glimpse of the jazzy songbird that the Brits have grown to love (and lament). (Release date: November 13)

12.In Our Nature – José González: With only one album under his belt, José González is about to make another great contribution to music and hopefully he’ll steal your heart at the same time. (Release date: September 25)

11. Our Ill Wills – Shout Out Louds: Another great album from Swedish pop darlings Shout Out Louds looks inevitable. (Release date: September 11)

10. Graduation - Kanye West: As "Stronger" proves, Kanye is ready to move on to a bigger and better sound. (Release date: September 11)

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9. White Chalk - PJ Harvey: Now that Liz Phair has jumped ship into the security of radio-friendly pop, PJ Harvey is set to become the new queen of confession with her first album in three years. (Release date: September 25)

8. TBA - Coldplay: After two and half years, we're ready for another one. (Release date: Early 2008)

7. Open Field - Taken by Trees: The Concretes may have lost their lead singer but Victoria Bergsman's solo project may allow her to finally gain the recognition she deserves (Cough, Jenny Lewis, cough). (Release date: September 11)

6. Asleep at Heaven's Gate - Rogue Wave: California's golden indie band is returning with another great album. (Release date: September 18)

5. TBA - The Fugees: Nas's calling Lauryn Hill "mentally ill" probably didn't help the band's already fractured morale. Despite their differences, it's impossible to deny the power that is generated when the Fugees reunite. (Release date: 2007)

4. TBA - The Postal Service: Their infectious brand of indie pop saw a 2003 release; a sophomore album is long overdue. (Release date: 2007-2008)

3. TBA - The Jesus and Mary Chain: Their first album in ten years is said to be just around the corner. (Release date: 2007)

2. Proof of Youth - The Go! Team: Who's ready to dance? Laugh? Cry? Rock out? (Release date: September 11)

1. Shine - Joni Mitchell: Mitchell's first batch of new songs in nearly a decade is said to be inspired by Iraq, family, and politics. That sounds like the Joni we know and love. (Release date: September 25)

And for all those relentlessly unsatisfied folks, I haven't forgotten about upcoming albums from Annie Lennox, Beirut, Ben Lee, Hot Hot Heat, Iron & Wine, KT Tunstall, Madonna, and U2 - there are just too many.

Release dates (subject to change) courtesy of Metacritic.com