Thursday, January 22, 2009

HBE's Most Anticipated Albums of 2009

1. Asobi Seksu - Hush (pictured above)

Early word is that this album promises to be heavier on the shoegaze and the lighter sound is comparable to Cocteau Twins. Their albums have yet to disappoint and you can expect at least a few jaw dropping moments, a la "Thursday" or "Walk On The Moon" as on previous albums.

2. Janelle Monae - Metropolis

I know I'm jumping the gun a little bit on this one since there is no official release date or word on when this is going to be released, but I find it hard to believe that a full year would pass between The Chase Suite and her first full-length album considering that she's been getting an insane amount of buzz. The debut album should further the futuristic story of an android who falls in love with a human with more of Monae's patented mixture of sci-fi and cinematic R&B.

3. Annie - Don't Stop

The first single, "I Know Ur Girlfriend Hates Me", already cracked the top 20 of my singles list in 2008 and promises an even more upbeat sound than that of 2004's Anniemal. With Richard X once again behind the boards and contributions from Xenomania (Sugababes, Girls Aloud), it should be the pop album to beat in 2009.

4. Bat For Lashes - Two Suns

Fur and Gold is as strong a debut as anyone can claim this decade with a sound that combines Kate Bush's darker moments with Bjork's eccentricity. And after Portishead's Third, I'll be needing a new soundtrack to creep myself out in the dark with.

5. Erykah Badu - New Amerykah Part Two (Return of The Ankh)

New Amerykah Part One exceeded expectations and now the ante has been upped even higher for Badu's next effort. After Baduizm, Mama's Gun and her last one, it's pretty hard to think that she'll come up with something less than fantastic.

6. Clipse - Till The Casket Drops

The kings of coke rap will release their first album for Columbia and for the first time will work with producers other than The Neptunes for an album. Usually, that might be cause for concern, but their mixtapes have proven they can just be as nimble on other people's productions. Likely contributors are Rick Rubin, The Hitmen and Swizz Beatz.

7. Jay-Z - The Blueprint 3

Jay-Z's last album with Def Jam has even more expectations thrust upon it with the title alone. By making it a sequel to one of hip hop's classic albums (and one not so good one), the comparison will be hard to shake and I'm sure Jay knows what the album will have to live up to. And while American Gangster can be considered a classic, it's less than solid sales will also give Mr. Carter something else to prove.

8. Art Brut - Art Brut Versus Satan

One of rock's most entertaining bands is all set for another batch of what one can only hope are more hilarious and raucous songs. As if the album title alone weren't enough to hook me in.

9. Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You

Allen is already one of pop music's notable personalities, but when paired together with Greg Kurstin of The Bird And The Bee, one can probably expect a more musically rich album. Lead single, "The Fear", sounds unlike anything she's ever done before and is her most mature work.

10. Kid Sister - Dream Date

This Chicago native rapper will finally release her debut album this year and judging from her Lollapalooza set, Dream Date should be full of feel-good songs that are instantly danceable.

11. Pet Shop Boys - Yes

Johnny Marr + Xenomania + Pet Shop Boys = Do you have to say any more? I'm sold.

12. The Bird and The Bee - Ray Guns Are Just Not The Future

I first heard "My Love", a track on the upcoming album, in an episode of Grey's Anatomy. It was during a scene when Erica watched longingly at Callie on the elevator. The heartbreak in Inara George's voice made it so perfect and I replayed that 30 second snippet over and over again to the point where I wanted someone to be infatuated with. The Bird And The Bee provided plenty of moments like that on their debut album, and if they stick with their combination of jazz and indie pop, there will probably be many more.

13. Junior Boys - Begone Dull Care

Over the years, Junior Boys have brought a lot of beauty and soul to the world of electronic music. Their previous albums have been nothing short of amazing and they are quickly becoming one of the most reliable acts in the indie scene.

14. K-Os - Yes!

This Toronto rapper has quietly put together an impressive catalogue filled with socially conscious songs and old school aesthetics. Expect the beats to be just as lively as the content.

15. Heartless Bastards - The Mountain

"All This Time" has to be one of my favorite songs this decade and the album it shares that title with was definitely one of the stronger efforts of 2006. You know these guys are gonna bring bluesy rock like there's no tomorrow, topped off with one of rock's most distinct voices in Erika Wennerstrom.

16. VV Brown - Traveling Like The Light

After doing songwriting work for Pussycat Dolls and Sugababes, this British singer is ready to step out on her own. If the words "Pussycat Dolls" scare you, there's no need to worry since this album promises a colorful throwback to rock n' roll and 50's soul and will sound nothing at all like PCD.

17. Kelly Clarkson - All I Ever Wanted

Our favorite American Idol is done with being moody and back to creating sing-a-long in front of your mirror pop songs, as evidenced by the first single, "My Life Would Suck Without You", created by the same team behind "Since U Been Gone".

18. Say Anything - Say Anything

Emo pop's most creative band aside from My Chemical Romance is back with another album, which should sound more twisted and theatrical than anything you're likely to hear on modern rock radio.

19. Eminem - Relapse

I'll admit that my hopes aren't that high for this album, but I would be lying if I said I didn't want to hear it. Eminem has already proven that he's one of the greatest, but his albums are only as good as his content. If the hunger and desire that he displayed on his first three albums is there, we should be in for a treat.

20. The-Dream - Love vs. Money

Lovehate was one of the biggest surprises in R&B that I came across last year. When writing for himself and not Rihanna, Usher, Mariah or anyone else in the music phone book, The-Dream has proven himself to be even more clever and adventurous. Here's hoping he's saved the most compelling stuff for him once again.

And the rest...

50 Cent - Before I Self Destruct
A Camp - Colonia
The Alchemist - Chemical Warfare
The Asteroid Galaxy Tour - Fruit
The Avalanches - Untitled
Beastie Boys - Untitled
Big Boi - Sir Lucious Leftfoot...Son Of Chico Dusty
The Boy Least Likely To - The Law of the Playground
Neko Case - Middle Cyclone
Ciara - Fantasy Ride
Chris Cornell - Scream
Dan Deacon - Bromst
The Decemberists - Hazards of Love
Dr. Dre - Detox
Missy Elliott - Block Party
Emmy The Great - First Love
Eliot Lipp - Peace Love Weed 3D
Courtney Love - Nobody's Daughter
Franz Ferdinand - Tonight: Franz Ferdinand
Maia Hirasawa - Though, I'm Just Me
Whitney Houston - Untitled
Howling Bells - Radio Wars
Idle Warship - Party Robot
The Juan MacLean - The Future Will Come
Jupiter Rising - The Quiet Hype
Ben Kweller - Changing Horses
Lady Sovereign - Jigsaw
Little Boots - Untitled
The Lonely Island - Incredibad
Malajube - Labyrinthes
MC Lars - This Gigantic Robot Kills
A.C. Newman - Get Guilty
Nina SKy - The Musical
No Doubt - Untitled
Noisettes - Wild Young Hearts
...Nous Non Plus - Menagerie
P.O.S. - Never Better
Rihanna - Untitled
Röyksopp - Junior
Slim Thug - Boss Of All Bosses
U2 - No Line On The Horizon
Bobby Valentino - The Rebirth

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