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They’re not standing around the watercooler, but Cheryl Sadler, Mark Meszoros, Mark Podolski and Nicole Franz are talking about what they’ve been watching, listening to and playing during their free time.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

2011: Most anticipated albums

As we look forward to the new year, here are some of my most anticipated albums that will be released within the first six months of 2011.

Cake - Showroom of Compassion: Jan. 11
    It’s been seven years since Cake has released an album and lead singer John McRea has promised an overload of piano on the band’s sixth studio album. I’ve been listening to Cake for the past 16 years and am pretty amped up about this release.The band performed a new song called "Long Time" exclusively on (Conan O'Brien's website) and it's pure classic Cake.

Bright Eyes - The People’s Key: Feb. 15
    What would be a Valentine’s Day without Conor Oberst crooning about love and loss. To be fair, the 30-year-old songwriter has grown up and his musical style has changed significantly over the past six years sounding more toward country and folk. However according to wikipedia: "Conor Oberst has stated that the sound of The People's Key will move away from the folk sound that the band had accomplished on previous records. 'We're over the Americana, rootsy, whatever that sound is. People say country but I never thought were very country at all. But whatever that element is or that aesthetic is, I guess it's worn a little thin for me these days. So we very much wanted it to be rocking and, for lack of a better term, contemporary, or modern.'"

Bayside - Killing Time: Feb. 22
    One of the most anticipated releases of the entire year for me is Killing Time. Since 2004, Bayside has easily been one of my top three favorite bands and the first two songs ("Already Gone," "Sick, Sick, Sick") released off the album so far are nothing short of incredible. This will be their first release on a major record label and first release in two and a half years. The band also enlisted Gil Norton as their producer. Lead singer Anthony Raneri said it has been his dream to work with Norton ever since he produced the Foo Fighters' The Colour and the Shape album in 1997.

Dr. Drew - Detox: February or March
    Yes, it’s finally coming out. Nevermind that Dre has been making music since before I was born and by the time this album is released, he’ll be 46-years-old, but this album has been anticipated by the masses for almost a decade.

Lupe Fiasco - LASERS: March 8
    Yes, it’s finally coming out. This album has been completed for almost two years but Universal Records didn’t want to release it due to lack of mainstream material. Not to Universal, Lupe is not a mainstream rapper. The first single, “The Show Goes On,” finds Lupe sampling none other than Modest Mouse.

Panic! At The Disco - Vices and Virtues: March 8
    I’m interested to find out what exactly Panic! At The Disco are going to sound like come 2011. Their last album Pretty. Odd., released in 2008 was absolutely incredible but then the group split in half just leaving vocalist and guitarist Brandon Urie and drummer Spencer Smith. It has been said that Ryan Ross, who quit the band, was the inspiration behind Pretty. Odd. and Urie wanted to go back toward the sound of their first album A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out, which was more geared toward pop rock and Pretty. Odd. was straight from the 1950s and 1960s.

Yellowcard - When You’re Through Thinking, Say Yes: March 22
    Yellowcard broke up following their last release, the disappointing Paper Walls in 2007. The band has regrouped and are set to release their first album on an independent label come March. Not sure what to expect here, but interested nonetheless.

Manchester Orchestra - Simple Math: March
    This will be Manchester Orchestra’s third release and similar to their peers Brand New, their first two releases sound nothing alike. Despite that, they’ve become one of the better true rock bands to emerge from music in the past four years. I expect Simple Math to be another step in the direction of becoming one of rock’s best bands. I thought the band released the best album of 2009, so did ESPN (apparently they have an albums ranking list too.)

Lil Wayne - The Carter IV: February or March  
   Although Lil Wayne served almost a year in prison, he never lost any popularity. He stayed in touch with fans through letters posted on the internet and he shot about a dozen music videos - both solo and as a guest - before he went away to be released during his stint to stay relevant. Now the question is, is everyone sick of him? This will be the fourth installment to The Carter series which have all been very good but I must be honest, I'm not as big on Lil Wayne now as I was two or three years ago. In the past two years, he's released too many mixtapes, too many guest appearances and Rebirth (his dreadful attempt at making a rock album, or so he called it.) Sometimes to truly be appreciated, it's best to go away for a while.

Tentative Spring Releases:

Taking Back Sunday - Taking Back Sunday
    Easily my most anticipated album of the year as the five members who created one of my favorite albums of all-time in 2002, Tell All Your Friends, have reunited to release the band’s fifth studio album. This comes off the heels of the disappointing New Again, released in 2009. Oddly enough, New Again was probably the band’s most critically acclaimed album however all the band members who remain in TBS have been adamant how much of a backward step the release was. And they’re right. However, the band has been cautioning fans not to expect anything that sounds like Tell All Your Friends. The band is in for another big year as they have already been tapped to headline the two-day Bamboozle Festival alongside Lil Wayne and Motley Crue.

Blink 182 - Currently Untitled:
    Continuing with the theme of breaking up and getting back together, Blink, who reformed in early 2009 but were quiet in all of 2010, will release their first album in eight years come this spring. They've been working on the album since the summer of 2009, so I have pretty high expectations for the release.

Sum 41 - Screaming Bloody Murder:
    Once considered a Blink 182 rip-off band, Sum 41 have come into their own over their past three releases and this album should be no different.

Silverstein - Currently Untitled:
    Silverstein released one of their best albums in 2009, A Shipwreck in the Sand, which was a concept album. I was about to give up on them before that release but now I’m pretty excited to see what they have in store next.

Tentative Summer Releases:

I’ll get more into these releases as the dates approach:
    Red Hot Chili Peppers - Tenth studio album
    Nas - Tenth Studio Album
    Nas - The Lost Tapes Vol. 2
    Foo Fighters - Seventh Studio Album
    Joe Budden - The Great Escape

By Nick Carrabine


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