Rolling Stone has published their annual Spring Music Preview, giving its readers a sneak peek at new albums coming out through the summer. Here’s what I think.
1. Erykah Badu – New Ameryikah Part Two: Return of the Ankh (3/30)
Weirdest title ever. What is the deal with Erykah Badu? Do I like her or do I not? It’s a tough one. Sometimes she’s like a female D’Angelo, sometimes her music is just a tish too freaky for me. But I’ll probably get my hands on this album eventually. She seems like one of a few truly creative and free-thinking minds in R&B today, and that goes a ways with me.
2. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – I Learned The Hard Way (4/06)
This one actually isn’t profiled by the Rolling Stone article which is weird because it will almost certainly be better than most of the other albums on their list. There are not many groups these days with such an authentic, old-school sound. They are straight soul/funk/R&B. They sound like the JBs have time-warped fifty years and connected with Sharon Jones to make just the purest sounding soul music. I’m sure this album will be no different.
3. Keane – Night Train (5/11)
Another one not profiled by RS. I’m iffy on this album because I haven’t even heard Keane’s last album, Perfect Symmetry, back from late ’08. So I should probably pick that up before getting excited about a new Keane album. That’s sort of how Keane is for me though. I don’t get excited about their albums, I get them months (or years) after they are released and then I have a quiet appreciation for them. It’ll be the same with this album I’m sure.
4. Jack Johnson – To The Sea (6/01)
Considering the change between In Between Dreams and Sleep Through The Static, I can only imagine this is going to be a killer album. And Jack Johnson has long hair now. Weird.
5. Sara Bareilles – Title TBD (Date TBD)
Remember how great Sara’s first album was? Word on the Wikipedia is that ?uestlove and James Poyser (both of The Roots) are helping her out with this one. Enough said. It’s going to be incredible.
6. Maroon 5 – Title TBD (Date TBD)
Oh wow, Maroon 5 is coming out with a new album? Forget it guys, you released a totally phenom first single, a decently good debut album to back it up, and followed it up with kind of crap. It’s going to be hard to redeem yourself after taking like four years between albums. Who do you think you are, Sade?
7. Mark Ronson – Title TBD (Date TBD)
One of the best producers around. Whatever he does with this album is going to be awesome. His second album was great, Amy Winehouse’s Back To Black was great, the stuff he does with Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings is great, Rhymefest’s Blue Collar was great. It doesn’t matter what direction he goes in because he can do great stuff in any genre. Bring it Mark.
So those are the albums that stood out. None of my favorite artists have stuff coming out, but man is this year already looking miles better than last year’s spring preview. And so far, this year has been waaaay better than last year. Already, we’ve got new albums from OK Go, Sade, Jamie Cullum, Daniel Merriweather, Corinne Bailey Rae, and in the next month, Broken Bells, Gorillaz, and Jimi Hendrix. While none of these are Top 5 Favs for me, the number of albums I’d like to get is way bigger than normal. Awesome. Cheers to 2010 huh?