HiFi Preview: Year of 2011

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Posted December 31, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

What’s right around the corner in 2011? New album releases from pop, R&B and rock favorites and some stunning comebacks are also in the works.

As the New Year toils along, people are looking to their Old Farmer’s Almanacs to get a clue as to what’s planned in the horizion. Well, after gathering up our resources from Rolling Stone, Billboard, Twitter (yeah, that’s a good resource now) and from other entertainment-related blogs, we’ve got a decent list of 2011’s album releases. This is our list of Nostradamus prophecies for the music world; accompanied with  a few lead singles, for your listening pleasure.

Britney Spears
Untitled

Release Date: March 2011

Blame it on Glee. After appearing on a ratings’ winning episode of FOX’s hit sitcom, the world seems to be ready for more Britney. She could be facing the comeback of her career, since word dropped that Spears will be collaborating (once again) with hitmakers Dr. Luke and Max Martin (the brains behind Ke$ha and Gaga’s hit singles). Spears’ last record, 2008’s Circus,  went to #1 but only sold 1.7 million copies  in the U.S. to date; a far-cry from the 10-million sells of 2000’s Oops!…I Did It Again.

Duran Duran
All You Need Is Now

Release Date: December 21, 2010 (digital); February 2011 (CD)

Duran Duran teams up with DJ/producer Mark Ronson for All You Need Is Now. The album, released in late December 2010 digitally on iTunes, is being anchored by the release of its lead single, the album’s title track. The album features guest vocals/rap from longtime Duran Duran collaborator Ana Matronic of the Scissor Sisters, a guest appearance from Kelis, and Owen Pallett of Arcade Fire contributes the album’s string arrangements. The popular Eighties band with hits like “Hungry Like a Wolf,” “I Don’t Want Your Love” and “Save a Prayer,” plan to support the new album with a North American tour next Spring. A physical product of the disc is planned for February 2011.

LISTEN TO:
DURAN DURAN – ALL YOU NEED IS NOW

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U2
Songs of Ascent

Release Date: Early 2011

Certainly Bono’s injury was a bummer on the touring business in 2010, but Bono, The Edge and the rest that makes up one of the biggest, best-selling touring acts in the world are making up for lost times with their 2010-planned new album. The new album is their return to the dance-pop arena and will feature productions from 2010’s dance sensation Danger Mouse and dance hitmakers David Guetta and will.i.am. U2’s next bag of tricks also include an album featuring material culled from their 2008 LP No Line on the Horizon; expected to hit shelves in late 2011.

Kanye West & Jay-Z
Watch the Throne

Release Date: TBA

Two heavyweight rappers gearing up for an exclusive EP. Although they’ve worked together a number of times, the powers should be raging on this collaborative effort. This could very well be the most-anticipated hip-hop project of the year.

Lady Gaga
Born This Way

Release Date: February 2011

Not including last year’s EP The Fame Monster and the companion dance-oriented remix disc, Lady Gaga hasn’t released a full-length album since The Fame. Gaga posted a message on her website for those anxiously awaiting new material from her, saying that the new album is like “bad kids going to church, having fun on a high level.” A new single is planned to drop sometime in February, although a Elton John-sounding rock ‘n roll anthem “You and I” was performed on The Today Show in June 2010.

LISTEN TO:
LADY GAGA – YOU AND I (LIVE)

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Coldplay
Untitled

Release Date: TBA

Warming our hearts with 2008’s critically-acclaimed Viva La Vidaalbum and teasing us with their first holiday single “Christmas Lights” in late December 2010, Chris Martin and the band members of Coldplay are readying for their next full-length album. Jay-Z mentioned to NME that he dreams of working with the group once again. No word on who or what the band will muster up on their upcoming project.

Deitrick Haddon
Church on the Moon

Release Date: January 25, 2010

On Church on the Moon, urban gospel singer Deitrick Haddon is expanding the dimensions of his music with fantasy-like storylines, synth-pop experiments and heavier ambitions into crossover gospel. The album is also heavy with tracks: Nineteen tracks in total.

LISTEN TO:
DEITRICK HADDON – POWER

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Red Hot Chili Peppers
Untitled

Release Date: May/June 2011

It’s been almost five years since Stadium Arcadium dropped, now the Red Hot Chili Peppers are hoping to end their recording silence with a new album for 2011. The funk-rock band plans to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Blood Sugar Sex Magik (the first album to earn the group worldwide acclaim) at Rock in Rio in September 2011.

Beyoncé
Untitled

Release Date: TBA

Queen B proved to be “fierce” with her last album I Am…Sasha Fierce. Now withthe pop market overloaded with acts influenced by her musical contributions, Beyoncé plans to step things up some on her upcoming 2011 release. She told ET, while working on a VIZIO commercial, that she’s in the studio now writing songs and producing. “I have a lot of live instruments that I’m putting into the tracks to try to change the sound and make my own genre of music,” Beyoncé added. Only details leaked out at the present moment is that she is working with Sean Garrett (“Upgrade U,” “Got Me Bodied”).

Lenny Kravitz
Black and White America

Release Date: Spring 2011

Lenny Kravitz has been hard at work on his ninth album Black and White America.  Announced via his Twitter page for a release in Spring, Kravitzis expected to blend his rock with the style of funk on a double-disc, 21-track project containing unreleased material recorded before his 2004 LP Baptismand new music. Sounds like it’s gonna be a parrrty that Prince could relate to.

Raheem DeVaughn
A Place Called Loveland

Release Date: TBA

DeVaughn is proving to be the mighty busy bee of R&B. With 2010’s Love & War MasterPeace, a double-disc expanded version and a couple of free mixtapes floating on the Web, Radio Rah is gearing up for his next disc. Although he doesn’t plan to elevate from his familiar musical style,  he tells Billboard.com that he wants the next album to be a journey into his world. I feel like every artist has a place in their mind where they exist artistically,” DeVaughn stated. “I just want to take people to mine, and my place is called ‘Loveland’.” Hip-hop rapper Common is expected to make an appearance, along with other special guests.

Ledisi
TBA

Release Date: TBA

Soul singer Ledisi, signed to Verve Forecast, is preparing for her follow-up to Turn Me Loose. Despite rave reviews and two Grammy album nods, her last album didn’t match the success of Lost & Found, which contained the R&B hit, “Alright.” The radio singles from Turn Me Loose weren’t smouldering at radio either. Still, her career is blossoming with new opportunities and career openings, after performing on BET’s ‘Black Girls Rock’ celebration, touring most of the fall and performing at UNCF charities for Chaka Khan. Maybe next round things will look brighter for her.

Mary Mary
Something Big

Release Date: February 1, 2011

The gospel duo, known for  their crossover smash hits “Shackles (“Praise You”) and “The God In Me,” plans to drop their fifth Columbia Records’ album Something Big. The first single from the album, “Walking,” is already climbing Billboard’s Top Gospel Songs (peaking at #11), Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs (peaking #54) and Adult R&B (peaking at #16).

LISTEN TO:
MARY MARY – I’M WALKING

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Owl City
All Things Bright and Beautiful

Release Date: TBA

After releasing a new holiday tune (“Peppermint Winter”), Adam Young announced on Twitter that he’s working on the next album. His debut album, Ocean Eyes, went platnium due to the success of the hit single “Fireflies”- sending him into orbit.

LISTEN TO:
OWL CITY – TO THE SKY

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R.E.M.
Collapse Into Now

Release Date: March 8, 2011

A new twelve-track project from the hit rock trio R.E.M. will feature a number of special guest appearances from Patti Smith, Peaches, Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder and guitarist Lenny Kaye and will be produced by entirely by Jacknife Lee. “It Happened Today” is the second single to be launched from the upcoming album. The first, “Discoverer” was released in November.

LISTEN TO:
R.E.M. – DISCOVERER

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Green Day
Awesome as Fuck

Release Date: March 15, 2011

A bold live album from alternative rock band Green Day is expected to hit the streets in March. The events on the album are recorded performances taken from shows during the 21st Century Breakdown tour. A live DVD will be tucked into the package featuring shows filmed in Tokyo.

Drake
Take Care

Release Date: TBA

Named ‘Man of the Year’ by GQ, Drake proved to be the the reigning prince of rap in 2010 and expects to keep the momentum going with Take Care, the follow-up to the successful, best-selling Thank Me Later. “Don’t think for a second I can’t do better,” he told the magazine. “For Take Care, I’m trying to find a way to make my raps shorter but catchier. I’m trying to condense my thoughts down to 16 bars. And it’s coming out more potent.” The album is slated for release in the spring.

Chris Brown
Fame

Release Date: TBA

After the success of the R&B /Hip-Hop single “Deuces,” posting teary apologizies on Twitter and wowing audiences with an emotional performance on BET’s Music Awards, Brown expects to jump back into the recording world in 2011 with a new album he’s entitling Fame. According to some reports, the suggested album title references a “Fame” tattoo the singer sports on his arm. A bundle of singles are out now that will be heard on the new LP, including the high-energy dance track “Yeah 3X” and the recently-released single “”Up in the Sky.”

LISTEN TO:
CHRIS BROWN – YEAH 3X

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Amy Winehouse
Untitled

Release Date: TBA

Troubled diva is hoping to get back to black – referencing her critically-acclaimed album Back to Black. A new album from Winehouse is expected to surface in January and she’s predicting something “very much the same” as her best-selling album. “It’s going to be very much the same as my second album,” Winehouse stated at a July 2010 film premiere. “There’s a lot of jukebox stuff and songs that are – just jukebox, really.” Her last musical contribution, a remake of Lesley Gore’s “It’s My Party” released in 2010 surfaced on Quincy Jones’ Soul Bostra Nova album.

Adam Lambert
Untitled

Release Date: TBA

2010 was a good year for Adam Lambert – the popular runner-up in American Idol against Kris Allen. The single, “Whataya Want From Me,” is up for a Grammy nod and his glammed-up  international tour continues to draw thousands. Reports in early December coming from USA Today stated that the album sales for his debut LP For Your Entertainment went up 34% from its previous week. Adam Lambert released an intimate acoustic EP (Acoustic Live) that’s only available at his website, but the singer is more anxious to put out a sophomore album in 2011. Gotta keep the iron hot.

Foo Fighters
Untitled

Release Date: TBA

Drummer Taylor Hawkins spoke with Spinner back in April 2010 and told them that a new album is to expected from them in 2011. At the time, they were still in the album’s fetal stages. In all honesty, Dave’s got 15 or so song ideas that are awesome and we’ve already demoed some of them twice even,” Hawkins adds of Foo frontman Dave Grohl.  Fifteen tracks are prepared and they are currently wrapping up the production of the album, which may drop in stores in the summer. Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic will also be working with the popular grunge band.

((HIFI)) WANTS TO KNOW:

  • What new albums are you expecting to hear in 2011?
  • Who would you like to hear recording a new album in 2011?
  • What artists/albums did we miss in our 2011 preview that should’ve been featured?
  • Who do you think should retire in 2011?
  • Comeback album? Most-anticipated tour?

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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