On The Record


By Carlos Gomez

Big names the likes of the The Strokes and Justin Timberlake will be back on the scene in March. Get ready for a wide range of musical premieres - from garage rock to club-thumping rap. Here’s what’s about to drop.

Youth Lagoon,
Wondrous Bughouse, March 5
Youth Lagoon (the stage name of San Diegan Trevor Powers) explores metaphysicality with a blend of experimental Americana and pop. “Dropla” provides a hazy, out-of-body experience. The song features steadily climbing atmospherics, as Powers refrains/assures, “You will never die,” in a style that feels like John Lennon on codeine.

Devendra Banhart,
Mala, March 12
The Bearded One of avant-freak-folk is back with his eighth studio album. In Mala (Spanish for “bad woman”), Banhart delivers his signature minimal guitar work and dreamy/watery wonderment on the track “Never Seen Such Good Things.” He butters you up then smacks you down with reality: “If we ever make sweet love again / I’m sure it would be quite dis-gus-tin’.”

Justin Timberlake,
The 20/20 Experience, March 15
The guy who brought sexy back returns after a seven-year hiatus with 10 tracks of posh R&B. On “Suit and Tie,” Timberlake and pal Jay-Z reflect on the finer points of haberdashery over a floating, mid-tempo groove laced with horns and xylophone. With fuzzy electronic synths and scat beat boxing, tracks “Mirrors” and “That Girl” are sure to join the “baby-making” playlist.

Wavves, Afraid of Heights, March 26
The local surf-rockers add a tinge of hip-hop to their fifth outing with tracks like “Sail To The Sun.” Opening with what appears to be Baptist sermon samplings, the track then explodes into frenzied drums, garage noise and vocals. Imagine the ideal fight song for kids too strung-out to actually fight.

The Strokes, Comedown Machine, March 26
The New York City garage-rock revivalists stay true to form while venturing down new avenues in their follow-up to 2011’s Angles. On the 1980s video game-sounding “One Way Trigger,” Nick Valensi’s tension-building guitar sets the mood for singer Julian Casablancas’s higher-than-usual crooning: “You asked me to stay / but there’s a million reasons to leave.”

Lil’ Wayne, I Am Not A Human Being II, March 26
The Cash Money alumnus drops his highly anticipated 10th album. Weezy keeps his penchant for making the absurd sound awesome with tracks like “Bitches Love Me” and “My Homies Still.” Over a tripped-out, frantic beat, Wayne proclaims, “Boy, yo’ girl a jump off / I hope she land feet first / She give me brain research / And I prefer reefer.”