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THE SOUNDS OF SUMMER

Gearing up for the season's biggest albums

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From the Dave Matthews Band's sun-kissed jams to Black Eyed Peas' humps-bumpin' beats to the Mom-approved Rob Thomas, most of the albums coming out the next few months are made for lazy days at the beach, driving with the top down and late-night parties. Here's your soundtrack to summer '09.

Dave Matthews Band, Big Whiskey

and the GrooGrux King (June 2)

What It Is: Matthews' first album in four years and the first since sax player LeRoi Moore died last year.

Why You Should Care: Part of the record was recorded in New Orleans, a reference point for its title. But don't expect any second-line marches. It's pretty much DMB doing that DMB thing.

Black Eyed Peas, The E.N.D. (June 9)

What It Is: The follow-up to Monkey Business, which introduced the world to Fergie's lovely lady humps.

Why You Should Care: The first single, "Boom Boom Pow," has been ruling the top of the charts for the past couple of months, officially making it the first summer jam of the year.

Sonic Youth, The Eternal (June 9)

What It Is: The veteran noise-rockers' return to indieville, and their first for indie stalwart Matador Records.

Why You Should Care: The Eternal is indie in spirit too, a frills-free rock album with plenty of hooks, guitar squawks and art-fractured lyrics about beat poets, gas stations and anti-orgasms.

Jonas Brothers, Lines, Vines

and Trying Times (June 16)

What It Is: The same sugary teen-pop the sibs gave us last year on A Little Bit Longer, but with horns and pedal steel guitar.

Why You Should Care: You may not care. But 90 percent of the female population under the age of 15 does, and they're sure to make this and JoBros' tour the tween hit of the summer.

Dinosaur Jr, Farm (June 23)

What It Is: More ear-shattering crunch-rock from the original trio, two years after their better-than-anyone-expected-it-to-be reunion album.

Why You Should Care: J. Mascis, Lou Barlow and Murph have spent a good chunk of time since the 2007 release of Beyond on the road. Several of these songs were worked out there.

Lil Wayne, Rebirth (June 23)

What It Is: Weezy's first rock album, after appearing on about a gazillion hip-hop mixes over the past half-decade.

Why You Should Care: If you know anything about rock 'n' roll, "Prom Queen," the world's intro to rocker Wayne, kinda sucks. Still, it's sure to be a freaky ride.

Regina Spektor, Far (June 23)

What It Is: The follow-up to the Soviet-born singer-songwriter's 2006 breakthrough, Begin to Hope.

Why You Should Care: A quartet of producers — including Jeff Lynne, Mike Elizondo and David Kahne — fine-tune Spektor's breezy piano pop into a summer smorgasbord of sound.

Rob Thomas, Cradlesong (June 30)

What It Is: The Matchbox Twenty frontman's second solo album; his 2005 debut, Something to Be, sold more than a million and a half copies.

Why You Should Care: Suburban cougars across the country are gonna be letting their hair down and getting wild on the beach to Thomas' mix of pop, rock and Latin beats. You may or may not want to be there.

Wilco, Wilco (The Album) (June 30)

What It Is: The seventh album by one of the best bands in America and the follow-up to 2007's contemplative Sky Blue Sky.

Why You Should Care: In their 15 years, Wilco have played alt-rock, alt-country, roots rock, jam-band music and bubblegum pop. There's a little bit of all that here.

Also coming this summer: new CDs by Elvis Costello, the Dead Weather, Incubus, the Mars Volta, 50 Cent, Christina Aguilera and Big Boi.

mgallucci@clevescene.com

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