1. Pretty Wings, Maxwell
He's back. After years and years (and years) of false starts and delays, our man Maxwell will finally drop a new album in 2009. Exhibit A is the official first single, "Pretty Wings," which was released online by Columbia Records in late April. The official release date for BLACKsummers’night, which will be Maxwell's fourth studio album (and first in eight long years), isn't until July 7, 2009. But judging by the first single, it'll be worth the wait.
Melanie's debut album, The Bridge, is expected to drop this summer via Universal Motown. For those who haven't had a chance to check out her music yet, here's a stream of the album's first single, "Give it To Me Right," a highly addictive track about needing a man who knows how to properly handle his business in the bedroom. It's sexy without being too sexual and gets a point across without being crass or vulgar.
Trey is getting ready to drop his third album, Ready, sometime this summer via Atlantic Records and the first single, "I Need A Girl," was released a few weeks back. The song's a ballad about looking for Ms. Right: "I don't even know your name, but I know that I'm your man and you are my girl, if I ever meet you I'm gonna give you the world, Baby please believe me when I tell you that I need a girl," he sings.
You can't really tell by looking at her or listening to her sing, but Laura Izibor is an Irish R&B singer straight outta Dublin. Her debut album, Let the Truth Be Told, is due for release in the U.S. on June 16. The breezy current single, "From My Heart to Yours," has been getting some play on VH1 Soul lately, as well as a few TV shows, including "Grey's Anatomy" and "Ghost Whisperer."
After a few delays, it looks like Pleasure P's debut solo album, The Introduction of Marcus Cooper, will officially drop this summer. Its latest single is "Under," which tries to combine the sexual swagger of Pretty Ricky with the smooth sophistication of a J. Holiday or Ne-Yo.
6. Goodbye, Kristinia DeBarge
Nineteen-year-old Kristinia DeBarge (pronounced kris-ti-NEE-a) is the daughter of James DeBarge (of the legendary DeBarge music family). She has an album coming out sometime this summer via Sodapop Music, Babyface's new record label. The first single, "Goodbye," was co-produced by Babyface and The Pentagon.
Mishon (pronounced MY-shawn), a young R&B singer who's best known not for his singing but his acting: he played the role of Tay on the former ABC Family channel drama Lincoln Heights. "Just A Kiss" is a summertime love jam from his debut album, The Yearbook, which is due out later this summer via Streamline/Interscope Records.
8. What You Do, Chrisette Michele feat. Ne-Yo
"What You Do," which off Chrisette's May 2009 sophomore album, Epiphany, is along the lines of the more jazzy, sophisticated material from her2007 debut album, I Am. "What You Do," which features Ne-Yo, is a flowing, piano-based love song that, although fairly upbeat, is still more mature than you might expect from a 26-year-old like Chrisette, not that that's a bad thing.
9. Never Give You Up, Raphael Saadiq feat. Stevie Wonder & CJ Hilton
Raphael Saadiq's album of vintage Soul and R&B, The Way I See It, may have come out back in September 2008, but it's still going strong thanks to a handful of quality singles that're still on the charts. And the single moving up the charts this summer is "Never Give You Up," a '60s era homage that feature's Saadiq's protege, CJ Hilton, as well as a sweet harmonica solo by the one and only Stevie Wonder.
Technically this isn't actually 'new' summer music, since the song's on Keyshia Cole's latest album, A Different Me, which came out back in December '08. This ballad between her and Monica is pretty strong. That said, I think this might have been better as a male-female duet between Keyshia and someone like Ne-Yo.
11. Superstar, J Melody
J Melody is a Canadian singer signed to E1 Entertainment, the label formerly known as Koch Records. Melody's preparing to introduce himself to the world via a five-song EP that's expected to drop sometime this summer, and here's a little taste of it: a a breezy, radio-friendly track called "Superstar."