The 10 Most Anticipated Albums of ‘09
Alright, alright, we all know that 2008 was a bad year – so bad that even the music biz wasn’t spared.
But 2009 is a year of change – and we’re not just talking about President-elect Barack Obama change– there’s actually music worth looking forward to.
We at THE POP FIX have got a list to start you and 2009 off on the right foot, because face it, what’s a new year without new music to anticipate? And mind you, most of these albums are all set to be released in these early months of the year, so this is only a mere taste of what’s really to come…Yeah, we’re excited too.
1. Animal Collective- Merriweather Post Pavillion
Forget those Fleet Foxes and Vampire Weekends – the real animals come out for 2009, as Animal Collective releases their highly, highly-anticipated album “Merriweather Post Pavillion.” The indie rock stars pull out all the stops for this one, never allowing even one quiet moment amidst the lush quirks and complexities they’ve become so well-known for. And trust us, “My Girls” will be the song you’ll be bopping your merry head to all year long.
2. Clipse – Till The Casket Drops (TBA)
It’s no doubt that 2008 was the year for Lil Wayne, and thanks to his alien and guitar-synching ways, a different side of hip-hop has been exposed to the mainstream. But what do you do when you just don’t want to be mainstream? So is the question of Clipse, with the arrival of the follow-up to their “Hell Hath No Fury,” an angry, scornful attack on the industry and the public. But even with their rage, the critics and fans still love them and will surely hold on as Clipse, judging from their recent internet-leaked mixtape, goes back to pure and straight rap and hip-hop.
3. Dan Deacon – Bromst (March 24)
For all the blips and beats Dan Deacon has become known for, we’ve all learned to expect…well, the unexpected. One example? Instead of relying on his laptop like most of his comrade digital musicians might, he brought on a full band for a concert in NYC last month. Another example? He’s calling this new album “dark.” Well, sort of. “Clearly i wasn’t trying to say i’m writing the next KMFDM album or something, i was just trying to illustrate that it’s not as top heavy for partying and slightly more proportioned towards a wider set of emotions,” Deacon writes. “i hope when you hear it you enjoy it. but if not, thats ok, i’ll still know its awesome. i love you.” We love you too, Dan.
4. Eminem – Relapse (TBA)
Sometimes it’s just hard to stay away from the spotlight. Music’s latest culprit? Slim Shady, “the undisputed, most diabolical villain in the world” according to Marshall Mathers’ latest single, “Crack a Bottle.” Judging from that song, which features Eminem’s trustworthy sidekicks Dr. Dre and 50 Cent, Em hasn’t lost his mocking tongue, the witty cracks flowing easily as he takes apart everyone and everything. But there’s something off about it all…something like a smirk that has seemed to replaced that anger and angst that used to audibly growl beneath the surface. Could Eminem actually be…happy?
5. Grizzly Bear (TBA)
Once that Animal Collective album burns right through your stereo system and has reached an almost embarrassing amount of listens on your iTunes, hopefully their good friends GB will have finally put together their also hotly-anticipated album. From what we’ve already heard…well let’s just say the hype is completely called for. Can’t you already imagine this as your summer love anthem?
6. Lily Allen – It’s Not Me, It’s You (Jan. 27)
Britain’s playful pop princess has gone through a lot since their debut a couple years ago, but that doesn’t mean her spunk is gone. Her hair’s dark again and those biting lyrics are back, as evidenced by that single you can’t help but sing along to, “The Fear,” which takes jabs right at her own life and industry. As usual, Lily’s got the anthems for that cute girl in the party dress with a wink and a smirk, and a big middle finger in your face.
7. The Lonely Island – Incredibad (Feb. 10)
Tina Fey may have saved SNL this season, but who’s still there picking up the slack and doing a hilariously good job of it? Andy Samberg. Don’t act like you didn’t spend hours trying to transcribe the lyrics to “Lazy Sunday” or thinking of a way to spoof the spoof of “Dick in a Box.” Now the guys behind it all are making their own album – think Flight of the Conchords with a bit more ridiculousness. It’ll probably be a hit or miss album, as most comedy albums are, but with duets with T. Pain, Norah Jones and Julian Casablancas, and that gem, “Jizz in My Pants,” you’ll have enough material to last you through the year.
8. Morrissey – Years of Refusal (Feb. 17)
Come on, you’re not curious about this?
9. N.A.S.A – The Spirit of Apollo (Feb. 17)
N.A.S.A. (North America/South America) are two guys (Squeak E. Clean and DJ Zegon) who, quite simply, have lots of friends, as they admit on “Whachadoin?,” a song featuring Santogold, M.I.A., Nick Zinner (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and Spank Rock. And though their debut album will feature work from many of their exceptionally talented friends (watch out Kanye and 2008 fave Lykke Li), that doesn’t say these guys don’t have a great amount of talent themselves. It’s the opposite. N.A.S.A. merges zingy beats on top of funk, pop and hip hop so organically and fluidly that the term “mashup” seems much too harsh. Close your laptop already and listen to the real masters.
10. Yeah Yeah Yeahs (TBA)
Between their debut “Fever to Tell” and their sophomore album (which I actually really, really loved) “Show Your Bones,” along with their latest EP “Is Is,” the Yeah Yeah Yeahs have shown they’re not afraid of change. And judging from those efforts, we shouldn’t be either, as they get set to roll out their next album. Nothing has yet to be announced, but here’s what Karen O. and co. have to say for themselves: “WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE?? Not much like anything you’ve heard from us before — DOES IT SOUND LIKE THE YEAH YEAH YEAHS??? YOU BET YOUR SWEET ASS IT DOES.”
Other ’09 albums to note:
Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Jan. 20): For many folk-rock enthusiasts, there’s little that Bird can do wrong. He’s created a new batch of soothing melodies to spend your rainy days listening to, in addition to an instrumental bonus disc entitled “Useless Creatures.”
Antony and the Johnsons – The Crying Light (Jan. 20): Alright, Antony and the Johnsons are pretty weird, with Antony being all ambiguous and gosh, that haunting voice! But did you listen to that Hercules and Love Affair single, “Blind”? Antony let loose on that album, and it’ll surely be interesting to hear how it influences this new effort from his main project.
Franz Ferdinand – Tonight: Franz Ferdinand (Jan. 27): Will they ever be able to top the indie pop rock perfection of “Take Me Out”? Probably not, but their continuing perseverance to make decent, danceable rock shouldn’t be ignored.
Little Boots (TBA): Obviously, the British know their music. So we’re trusting them yet again, with Miss Little Boots picked as their honoree for best artist of 2009. A little bit of Kylie Minogue and David Bowie, with a love for Joni Mitchell, you say? How could we resist?
Patrick Wolf – Battles (TBA spring): The musician-turned-Burberry model once spoke of ‘final shows’, but it was only all a misunderstanding, thankfully. How could we live without those irresistible dance numbers, after all?