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There's something queer about Fall albums
New releases coming from Justin, Janet and Jake & Co.

by David Stout . Q-Notes staff

Scissor Sisters: (clockwise from left) Babydaddy, Ana Matronic, Paddy Boom, Del Marquis and Jake Shears.
With Summer 2006 winding down, record labels are poised to release an avalanche of new albums to carry us through Fall. The marketing effort, which will pick up in the coming weeks, arguably started in earnest with the release of Nelly Furtado’s smash album “Loose” and its chart-topping first single, “Promiscuous.” (Be sure to read our interview with Furtado on the cover of “Q-Living.”)

Other recently released albums with queer connections include “Reprieve” by bisexual icon Ani Defranco and “Fundamental” from out and proud dance-pop pioneers Pet Shop Boys. (Pay special attention to the PSB track “I’m With Stupid” — a pseudo love song inspired by the relationship between Tony Blair and George W. told from Blair’s point of view.)

Not to be outdone, pioneering ’70s glam band New York Dolls — the gender-bending blueprint for everything from punk to hair metal — have returned from a three-decade hiatus with the rocking “One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This.”

Looking ahead, here’s a peek at selected forthcoming albums that are likely to get attention from the LGBT audience.

Aug. 15: From teen-pop princess to Dirrty Ho to…Jazz-era glamour goddess? Yep, Christina Aguilera is celebrating the music of the ’20s, ’30s and ’40s on her two-disc “Back To Basics.” Hip Hop producer DJ Premier handles production duties on the first disc; out lesbian Linda Perry works the boards on the second…The incomparable Maria Muldaur interprets one of rock’s greatest songwriters on “Heart Of Mine: Love Songs Of Bob Dylan.”

Aug. 22: Outkast finally release the highly anticipated soundtrack to their long-delayed silver screen debut, “Idlewild.” The previous ’Kast album, “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below,” was a commercial and critical coronation for Big Boi and Andre 3000. Will the duo’s success continue, or does this reportedly problem plagued vanity project signal a downturn for Hip Hop’s best combo?…Paris Hilton, the famous for being famous heiress who seems to turn up everywhere (including the 2005 L.A. Pride Parade, where she served as Grand Marshal), releases her debut album, “Paris.”

Aug. 29: “A Public Affair” isn’t just an accurate characterization of Jessica Simpson’s failed marriage to hunky singer Nick Lachey, it’s also the calculating name of her new album. The bouncy title cut, and first single, sounds like a lost track from Madonna’s 1983 debut.

Sept. 5: Beyoncé, pop and R&B’s undeniable It Girl, comes storming back with “B’day,” the follow-up to her Grammy-winning solo debut “Dangerously In Love.” Between this guaranteed blockbuster album and her starring role in December’s film adaptation of “Dreamgirls,” Jay Z’s other half looks set to conquer the world.

Sept. 12: Also returning with a long-awaited second solo album is Justin Timberlake. He co-wrote and co-produced “FutureSex/LoveSounds” with heavy-hitters Timbaland, Rick Rubin and Jawbreakers. Electro-funk lead single “SexyBack” is a provocative departure from his “Justified” sound…John Mayer’s so-far successful trek toward Hall of Fame status looks to continue on “Continuum.” Bluesy single “Waiting On The World To Change” is a winning throwback.

Sept. 19: After a short break, lesbians Amy Ray and Emily Saliers resume their successful rock and roll partnership as Indigo Girls with the release of “Despite Our Differences.” Expect another heaping helping of their signature vocal harmonies and chiming acoustic guitars…”Live Those Songs Again” on is-he-or-isn’t-he country superstar Kenny Chesney’s 14-track live disc of hits and rarities. The cuts were recorded at various concerts over the last five years.

Sept. 26: Will Scissor Sisters’ ass-shaking blend of glam, prog and disco — that made the N.Y. band’s self-titled debut the pop-rock highlight of 2004 — be as potent the second time around? We’ll find out when “Ta-Dah” hits the shelves. If lead single “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” co-written with Sir Elton John, is an accurate indicator, the Sisters (and openly gay vocalist Jake Shears’ falsetto) are returning in peak form…In the wake of her infamous “wardrobe malfunction” and the tepid response to 2004’s “Damita Jo,” Janet Jackson looks to get her career back on track. On the aptly titled “20 Years Old” she celebrates the two-decade anniversary of her superstar-making collection “Control.”

Oct. 3: The Killers forego the synth-pop of their Top 10 debut, “Hot Fuss,” in favor of Bruce Springsteen-inspired arena rock on “Sam’s Town.” Killer frontman Brandon Flowers boasted to MTV News back in May that the new disc would be “one of the best albums of the past 20 years.” Okaaay…Alt-rockers Evanescence come back at last, minus founding guitarist Ben Moody, with “The Open Door.” Count on Amy Lee’s dark vocals to be as arresting as they were on previous hits “Bring Me To Life” and “My Immortal.”

Early Nov.: It’s full steam ahead for country’s studliest male artist, Keith Urban. The Aussie native has a new wife — the ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman — and in the opening weeks of November he’ll have a new studio album in stores. Let’s just hope he doesn’t promote his still-untitled new set with a couch-jumping appearance on Oprah.

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