Music to Sample

Beyoncé, 'B'Day' Every day is a "B'Day" for the diva (far right), whose new CD celebrates young womanhood and all its drama. The single "Deja Vu" reruns her unshakable bootyliciousformula. Sept. 5

Audioslave, 'Revelations' On the new single, "Original Fire," the dark, hard-charging rock outfit sounds conspicuously funky and upbeat, though frontman Chris Cornell still seems to be talkin' about a revolution. Sept. 5

Bob Seger, 'Face the Promise' Seger rides again with "Face the Promise," his first studio album in 11 years. Judging from titles like "Real Mean Bottle" (featuring Kid Rock) and "The Long Goodbye," the roots rocker is still haunted by an open road and a broken heart. Sept. 12

Justin Timberlake, 'FutureSex/ LoveSounds' His mission to bring sexy back is no small undertaking, so JT (making the pouty face above) reunites with Timbaland for synthesized funk that comes in two varieties: chunky, for the dance floor, and smooth, should you decide to make some love sounds of your own. Sept. 12

Madeleine Peyroux, 'Half the Perfect World' This time, the jazz-folk singer wraps her rustic, plaintive voice around songs by world-class iconoclasts Joni Mitchell, Tom Waits and Leonard Cohen. Sept. 12

Elton John, 'The Captain & the Kid' The singer and his longtime lyricist, Bernie Taupin, daydream about the old days in a sequel to "Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy." Sept. 19

Janet Jackson, '20 Y.O.' Jackson commemorates the 20th anniversary of "Control" with "20 Y.O." Good, bad or indifferent, she's still the only Janet wanna-be who's actually Janet. Sept. 26

Alan Jackson, 'Like Red on a Rose' The country superstar dials down the honky-tonk on a set of mellow ballads. Tracks like "Had It Not Been You" may not "rock the jukebox," but will still get you weak in the knees. Sept. 26

Ludacris, 'Release Therapy' Georgia's own offers up his fifth album of hip-churning tracks produced by the reliable, if overexposed, Kanye West and the Neptunes. Sept. 26

The Hold Steady, 'Boys & Girls in America' This Brooklyn-based, Minneapolis-bred garage-rock quintet has earned a near-religious following thanks to frontman Craig Finn's shattering stories about lost souls in teenage wasteland. His band's third CD, "Boys & Girls," is its magnum opus. Oct. 3

The Killers, 'Sam's Town' Lead singer Brandon Flowers (top left, with band) has discovered his inner Bruce Springsteen and put him to good use. Already a sure hand at grandiose pop, Flowers adds American rock to his résumé. Sophomore curse be damned. Oct. 3

Tom Waits, 'Orphans' Music's brilliant mad scientist delivers a 54-song, three-CD set filled with originals, as well as rare and never-released songs. Hallelujah. Nov. 21