Usher is getting things warmed up. This month-by-month look at more than 180 albums promises to have a summer tune for everyone. Rock comes in heavy with Shinedown, Disturbed, Slipknot and Motley Crue. Hip-hop sees highly anticipated releases from Three 6 Mafia, Missy Elliott, Lil Wayne and the Game. Let's not forget R&B favorites Ne-Yo and Ashanti or country mainstays Randy Travis and Montgomery Gentry. Billboard guides you through the albums sure to bring heat to the marketplace.


"Here I Stand" (Jive, May 27)

After telling all on his juicy 2004 disc "Confessions," Usher is all about settling down. Here, the new husband and father embraces his maturation on cuts like the Dre and Vidal-crafted title track-"You ain't a man until you a man to your woman," he says. "This is the conversation that takes place." Alongside ballads "Moving Mountains" and "Love You Gently" ("the ultimate love-making record") are tracks on the lighter side. The "What's Your Name?" describes "the feeling you get when you run into a woman that makes you speak gibberish," while the Bryan-Michael Cox creation "Before I Met You" revolves around "a modern-day gigolo [who] decides to change."

Al Green
"Lay It Down" (Blue Note, May 27)

This friendly collision of new and old sensibilities is as vintage-sounding as anything Al Green released during his Hi Records heyday of the '70s, but also finds him dueting with John Legend ("Stay With Me [By the Sea]"), Corinne Bailey Rae ("Take Your Time") and Anthony Hamilton, with the Dap-Kings horn section playing behind them. The Roots' Ahmir "?uestlove" Thompson produced in tandem with keyboardist James Poyser. "I've never heard anything quite like it, because I've never had anybody produce me other than Willie Mitchell," Green says. "And when you give these young kids a shot at it, it's interesting to see the art they make. It's beautiful."

Click here for a look at more than 180 previews, including David Banner, Disturbed, Lil Wayne, My Morning Jacket, Alanis Morissette, Busta Rhymes, Marco Antonio Solis, Ne-Yo, Weezer, Nas, Missy Elliott, Staind, Q-Tip and many more.