Time to look forward and get excited for some major releases scheduled (or rumored) for 2012. Each artist is incredibly talented and in some cases have let their fans wait way too long for new music. By the end of the year will we be talking about how good these albums are, disappointed, or even worse, still waiting?
#10. Black Star - Aretha
The duo of Yasiin Bey (formerly Mos Def) and Talib Kweli are rumored to release a mixtape inspired by the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin. With production from Madlib and little to no material since their debut over 10 years ago, I'm sure a bunch of people are hyped for this. I posted You Already Knew back in November, here's another single, Fix Up.
#9. Van Halen - A Different Kind of Truth
I still find it unbelievable that there are people on this earth that only know the Sammy Hagar version on Van Halen. Before they sold Pepsi and blanketed the globe with Right Now, they were the definition of Rock and Roll. David Lee Roth has returned and the band is scheduled to release their first album together since 1984! Sadly, the new single Tattoo is a bit uninspired. But, the tour with two stops in Chicago is a gathering momentum.
#8. Ben Kweller - Go Fly A Kite
Ben Kweller has been releasing music since his teens and shows no sign of stopping. His fifth studio album will be released on his brand new label The Noise Company, February 7th. Spin debuted the first single this morning titled Mean to Me, head over there for a free DL. Pre-order the album now for a chance to win a "golden laminate" that will give you free access to any future Ben Kweller show.
#7. Duck Sauce - TBD
It seems the duo of Armand Van Helden and A-Trak are finally set to release a full-length album, following a string of hit singles. I doubt anything will happen before this year's Winter Music Conference, so let's hope for a summer release to soundtrack your next barbeque. Check out their latest video for Big Bad Wolf, easily the video of the year.
#6. Fiona Apple - TBD
This one is purely speculation with the recent news that her album has in fact been complete for over a year. However, given her track record with her label Sony, and the labored released of 2005's Extraordinary Machine, I wouldn't hold my breath.
#5. The Shins - Port of Morrow
Despite James Mercer being the only founding member currently in the band, it seems very little has changed. The first single, Simple Song has been well-received and a slot at this year's Coachella means they should be playing most of the major festivals.
#4. Andrew Bird - Break It Yourself
It's hard to believe that Andrew Bird has released 12 albums. Even more remarkable is that they keep getting better. I thought 2007's Armchair Apocrypha was the best he could do, only to have 2009's Noble Beast blow me away. After catching him at last summer's Hideout Block Party and hearing a bit of the new material, I am counting down the days until March 6th.
#3. Queens of the Stone Age - TBD
Josh Homme has recently went on record saying the album is complete. So until then we just wait, and wait, and wait...
#2. Phoenix - TBD
If you were to go to Phoenix's website, you would see nothing but an image of a studio. No release date, no single, no information at all. Two years since the release of Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, an album that lead to global stardom, should be more than enough time to record a proper follow up. A lot is riding on this one.
#1. Pearl Jam - TBD
Last year was all about celebrating the first 20 years, this year is about moving on. With a UK tour already booked for early summer and a reported 25-30 songs to sharpen and form, it's not if, rather when. I'd expect a late summer release and hopefully a US tour. The boys were kind enough to give a new song away for free a couple months ago. Here comes Ole!