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2012′s Most Anticipated Albums – Hip-Hop, Pop & Rock
The past 12 months have seen the release of monster albums from Adele, Lady Gaga, Drake, Taylor Swift, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
But the next 12 are promising to bring even more music from several of those artists, plus new albums from Mumford & Sons, Rick Ross, Jay-Z, Linkin Park, Paramore, Madonna, Miley Cyrus, Maroon 5 and Green Day.
It’s a bumper crop of major albums from some of rock, pop and hip-hop’s biggest stars, who are returning from long breaks, hoping to follow up smash debuts or just trying to keep their momentum going.
While release dates are always subject to change, here are some of the most anticipated releases of 2012.
Ironically, the status of new albums from the artists whose next moves everyone is most curious about are the ones most in the air. Rihanna tends to deliver a new album every 12 or 13 months, which means that she may have another disc in stores at the end of next year once the just-released Talk That Talk has run its course.
On the other hand, Lady Gaga has already begun talking about her follow-up to this year’s Born This Way. Gaga recently told MTV News that she’s already started writing songs and “all the concepts are beginning to flourish and take place.” She didn’t give a potential release date, only promising, “I’ll put it out when it’s done.”
Katy Perry hasn’t publicly spoken about what will come after 2010′s smash Teenage Dream, but it’s possible she could start work on new material in 2012 as well. We know for sure that Justin Bieber is planning to show his more mature side next time around, possibly even incorporating some EDM sounds into the mix.
It’s been confirmed that Madonna hooked up with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj for the single “Gimme All Your Luvin’ ” from her untitled forthcoming album, which will feature production from Ray of Light producer William Orbit.
Other artists who could release fresh material in 2012: No Doubt, Maroon 5, Avril Lavigne, Miley Cyrus, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha and Nicole Scherzinger.
Two titans of rap are cueing up fresh tracks for early 2012, with Nicki Minaj likely to get out of the gate first with her sophomore album, Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, due out on Valentine’s Day. The disc will include first single “Roman in Moscow,” which sees the Best New Artist Grammy nominee getting into the character of her alter ego, Roman Zolanski.
After the delay of God Forgives, I Don’t due to a pair of seizures he suffered in October, Rick Ross is expected to come back strong as well. The Bawse has taken his convalescent time to work on a new track with Jay-Z.
Speaking of Jay-Z, fans may get a new record from him as well, considering he told MTV News he was cooking up fresh tracks way back when he first played us songs from his Kanye West collaborative album, Watch the Throne. In fact, Jay-Z said you might get solo albums from both men as well as the second Throne release.
Other artists that should have albums hitting stores in 2012: Nas, Frank Ocean, Slaughterhouse, Wiz Khalifa, G.O.O.D. Music, T.I., Big Sean, 50 Cent, Ludacris, Big K.R.I.T., Meek Mill and potentially two discs from Lil Wayne, I Am Not a Human Being II and Rebirth II.
Some of rock’s biggest guns are reloading for 2012, among them Green Day, who debuted some new tracks at a benefit show in August. The title of the follow-up to 2009′s 21st Century Breakdown hasn’t been announced yet, but some of the early songs slated for possible inclusion are “Nuclear Family,” “Carpe Diem” and “Sweet 16.”
U2 have reportedly been cooking up a number of potential new albums, logging sessions with Danger Mouse and working with French producer/DJ David Guetta, RedOne and will.i.am on a disc of dance-oriented tunes.
Prog rock revivalists Muse should also have some new material for us, with bassist Chris Wolstenholme promising in a recent interview that the sound on their sixth album will be “radically different” from 2009′s The Resistance.
We may get something from Linkin Park, who are prepping the follow-up to 2010′s A Thousand Suns, and Mumford & Sons. It’s been two years since the British folk rock revivalists dropped their still strong-selling debut, Sigh No More, and they began giving fans a taste of some new material in the fall when they unveiled the majestic song “Ghosts.”
After a rough year, Paramore have finally put the drama behind them and they’re super-psyched to record an album free of tension and inter-band awkwardness. So far, they’ve already unwrapped the bouncy “Renegade” and “Hello Cold World,” which bode well for their fourth full-length studio album.
Other rock acts slated to release new albums: the reunited Soundgarden, Foster the People, Neon Trees, Sleigh Bells, Silversun Pickups, Bruce Springsteen and All-American Reject
Eve Plans Her 2012 Return & Speaks On Other Female MCs
Eve is getting ready to hop back in the scene with her new album Lip Lock, and in an interview with The Women of Hip Hop she evaluates the current wave of femcees; some she likes, some she doesn’t.
On her new music: “I’m gonna throw out a viral single at the end of this month before the official single. I’m probably gonna throw out a couple records before the radio single. My whole goal for this record, since it’s been so long, I wanted to make sure that my core audience didn’t feel like Eve completely forgot about us and went to another side. I feel like this record is well rounded. It has enough of the hard street stuff, it has some radio stuff, but it also has some stuff that people can listen to when they’re feeling down.”
On new female rappers: “I like Azealia Banks. I think her style is dope. If you listen to her lyrics, she knows how to wordplay and I think that’s cute. I’m not really into the Iggy Azalea chick. I can’t really fuck with her music, but her look is crazy. I just can’t believe it.”
On her dream collaboration: “Lauryn Hill has always been my one dream collaboration. She to me is so dope lyrically. Unfortunately, she’s just in a place right now mentally, but that would be a dream come true.”
On which five female MCs she would put on a record: “I would definitely have to get Missy [Elliott]. I would definitely have to do Kim ’cause I never got to do a record with Kim. Azealia Banks, I like her. A lot of people want me to hate on Nicki and say crazy things about her. I ain’t got nothing to say about her. Until somebody names me by name, then I don’t feel like nobody [is talking] about me. I wouldn’t have a problem putting her on a record.”
On the Lil’ Kim vs. Nicki Minaj feud: “It’s not about publicity. It’s about wanting that respect. I think maybe that’s where Kim is coming from, like, you’re doing your thing right now and no one can take that away from you, Nicki—we all see it—but at the end of the day, if it wasn’t for Kim, she wouldn’t be here and that shit is real.”