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Fall 2011 R&B/Soul Music Preview

What's New?

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As this is being written, we're officially into early autumn, so it's time to look at the noteworthy R&B and Soul albums expected out during the fall season. Autumn, which lasts from Sept. 23 through Dec. 22, is expected to bring us new releases by superstars Mary J. Blige and Rihanna (on the same day in November, even), well-respected veteran Monica, and ladies men Joe, Robin Thicke and Tyrese. A couple of British artists, Estelle and Jay Sean, are also on the list, as are a few singers whose projects don't have release dates yet, but are expected out before winter, like Melanie Fiona. Check below for more details.

My Life II ... The Journey Continues (Part I), Mary J. Blige

Release date: Nov. 21.

Mary J. Blige says her 10th studio album will be a sequel to her second studio album, My Life, which came out in 1994. The first song released from the album was a buzz single called "Someone to Love Me (Naked)," featuring Diddy and Lil Wayne. The track is actually a remix of a song on the debut album of hip-hop group Diddy-Dirty Money. The first official single, "25/8," dropped in early September.

 

Talk That Talk, Rihanna

Release date: Nov. 21.

Rihanna's sixth album will be released just a year after her fifth studio album, Loud, which dropped in November 2010. She recently shot the video for the first single, "We Found Love;" the dance-pop song, which features Scottish singer Calvin Harris, was released Sept. 22.

The Good, the Bad, the Sexy, Joe

Release date: Oct. 18.

Joe's ninth studio album is his first release since 2009's Signature. The official first single, "Losing," was released during the summer, followed by the leaked song "Slow Kisses."

New Life, Monica

Release date: Nov. 29.

Monica's seventh studio album, which follows her March 2010 release, Still Standing, was led by the single "Anything (To Find You)." The song, which features the rapper Rick Ross, was written by Jazmine Sullivan and produced by Missy Elliott. The second single, "Until It's Gone," dropped in early October.

Love After War, Robin Thicke

Release date: Nov. 21.

Blue-eyed Soul singer Robin Thicke's fifth studio album is the follow up to his 2009 release, Sex Therapy. The first single is the title track, "Love After War."

Open Invitation, Tyrese

Release date: Nov. 1.

Actor-singer Tyrese Gibson's return to R&B music is led by the single "Stay." It'll be his first album since the 2006 double album Alter Ego, which featured an R&B CD and a rap CD credited to his hip-hop alter ego, Black-Ty.

Conquer, Carl Thomas

Release date: Dec. 6.

Carl Thomas' fourth album of smooth, sensual R&B will be his first release since 2007's So Much Better. The latest single, "Don't Kiss Me," was released in early October.

Mr. Nice Guy?, Eric Roberson

Release date: Nov. 1.

The seventh studio album by Eric Roberson, aka Erro, is his first since his critically-acclaimed 2009 release, Music Fan First. Mr. Nice Guy? is led by the laid-back, starry-eyed single "Picture Perfect."

The MF Life, Melanie Fiona

Scheduled release date: Dec. 6.

Melanie Fiona's second album, which is the follow up to her 2009 debut, The Bridge, has been pushed back throughout 2011, but may finally come out this fall (or early winter). Part of the reason for the delay is that two of the album's singles, "4 AM" and "Like I Love You" have failed to catch on in the U.S.

Freeze Time, Jay Sean

Release date Nov. 22.

The fourth studio album by this pop-R&B singer from the UK is expected to feature a number of big-name guest artists. Jay dropped a free mixtape called The Mistress in September to whet people's appetites for what's to come.

All of Me, Estelle

Scheduled release date: none.

The third album by British R&B singer Estelle is her first since her 2008 U.S. breakthrough album, Shine. The album's been pushed back through the second half of 2011, partially due to a couple of failed singles, "Freak," feat. Kardinal Offishall and "Fall in Love," feat. Nas. But All of Me finally found a successful single with "Break My Heart," which features the current hip-hop cameo king, Rick Ross.

The Love, IV (Diary of a Mad Man), The-Dream

Scheduled release date: none.

The-Dream says that his fourth official studio album is due out this fall. But since he released a free digital album called 1977 under his real name, Terius Nash, in August and since he's been feuding with his record label, it's possible The Love IV might be pushed back indefinitely.

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