—Fall 2005 CD release preview— Gretchen Wilson, Franz Ferdinand among top releases

StoryImage( ‘/Images/Story//Auto-img-11273313332088.jpg’, ‘Photo courtesy of www.kludgemagazine.com’, ‘Liz Phair's new CD 'Somebody's Miracle' is due out in stores this fall.’);

While the sun sets on summer, new music will be on the rise during a busy autumn. New record releases are keeping fans of all genres on their toes. And while it’s impossible to include every album of note, this guide should at least give music fans a direction in which to point their ears.

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

Album: Jacksonville City Nights (Sept. 27 release)

Why should I care?: Ryan Adams is proving to be one of the most eclectic performers in the last decade. With him, no musical style is safe as he seems to have adopted an “I’ll try anything once” attitude.


Album: Dark Light

Why should I care?: To many he comes off as a faux gothic rebel, but to his fans, he is little less than a hero. Easily the darkest-sounding artist on our list.

Panic! At The Disco

Album: A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out

Why should I care?: Easily one of the most hyped debut records of the season. A product of hit-maker Fueled By Ramen Records—home to punks Less Than Jake, Fall Out Boy and The Academy Is…—this could be the latest in a line of recent successes for the label.

Gretchen Wilson

Album: All Jacked Up

Why should I care?: A vocal powerhouse who garnered enormous praise as an upstart country supergirl. She even performed at last year’s Super Bowl. Can she follow up her grand debut?

Neil Young

Album: Prairie Wind

Why should I care?: The follow-up to 2003’s critically-acclaimed concept album Greendale, Young continues to write songs people of all generations connect with.

Franz Ferdinand

Album: You Could Have It So Much Better (Oct. 4 release date)

Why should I care?: Hoping to continue the success of their pop radio staple “Take Me Out,” the Glasgow-based imports hope to snuff the potential for a dance-rock letdown.

Liz Phair

Album: Somebody’s Miracle

Why should I care?: After years as part of Chicago’s rock underground, Phair’s fate as a big-name performer will likely be determined with this release. But with grunge rock long gone, the only question remaining is how pop-driven the record will be.


Album: All The Right Reasons

Why should I care?: The highlight of Nickelback’s last record, The Long Road, was an Elton John cover… Not very impressive. This record will determine whether they’re regarded as pioneers or merely a fluke from north of the border.

Fiona Apple

Album: Extraordinary Machine

Why should I care?: This will be a notable release, even if only because no one seems to know how mentally stable Apple is. After a much-publicized breakdown several years ago, it will be interesting to note how she responds to the adversity.


Album: Before the Blackout

Why should I care?: Chicago-based pop-punkers have toiled just outside of the spotlight for eight years. Expect fast tempo, catchy hooks, and perhaps the first mainstream success for a band that has stuck around through a number of fads and trends.

Story of the Year

Album: In The Wake of Determination

Why should I care?: Once considered too heavy for radio, Story of the Year proved their critics wrong with the help of punk hero John Feldmann’s flawless production. Expect a decent rock record that might be the story of the month, but probably not much longer than that.

Ricky Martin

Album: Life

Why should I care?: Long forgotten by American audiences, Ricky Martin continues living the crazy life—this time by inviting virtually every rapper you’ve ever heard of to make cameo performances on Life. No one knows exactly what to expect with this one.


Album: Next

Why should I care?: Sevendust has been a Rockford concert favorite for nearly a decade. However, the band hasn’t enjoyed the success it once did in recent years, leaving a major question about the new album: Could Next be Sevendust’s last?

Depeche Mode

Album: Playing the Angel (Oct. 18 release date)

Why should I care?: Though a long time removed from peak popularity, Depeche Mode still has a loyal following across the globe. Though their smash hits are just a speck in the rearview mirror, Depeche Mode is still always worth a glance.


Album: Photographs

Why should I care?: Once considered among Chicago’s most likely to succeed, Mest has been an afterthought in recent years in a crowded punk-rock scene. Still, loyal fans remain, especially in this area of the country.

Ashlee Simpson

Album: I am Me

Why should I care?: Only because if her popularity continues, it may be a sign of the coming apocalypse. Simpson seeks to prove for a second time that style all too often wins over substance.


Album: All That I Am (Nov. 1 release)

Why should I care?: Put simply, the man plays the guitar with a style unlike anyone else. Often not given the same acclaim as other brilliant ax men of the ’60s and ’70s, Santana has remained more musically active than many of his better-respected peers.

Terri Clark

Album: Life Goes On

Why should I care?: A strong musician and solid vocalist, Clark is proving that women in country music can hang with the big boys without sacrificing toughness or style.


Album: Confession on a Dancefloor (Nov. 15 release date)

Why should I care?: After almost single-handedly giving rise to MTV, it will be interesting to see how many people are still interested in Madonna now that the music television giant has all but given up on playing videos.

Scott Stapp

Album: The Great Divide (Nov. 22 release date)

Why should I care?: After giving up on Creed, Scott Stapp has remained relatively quiet. While his former bandmates have had minor success with Alterbridge, it remains to be seen how closely Stapp will embrace his Christian beliefs in song.

From the Sept. 21-27, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!