A short list of some potentially great albums coming our way.
Jónsi – Go – The Sigur Rós frontman’s first solo effort was actually released a few days ago, and while I only gave it a C+, the first half is a spectacle to behold.
MGMT – Congratulations – I’ve already given the duo’s sophomore album a bunch of listens, and it’s definitely growing on me. Missing are a lot of the catchy hooks that made Oracular Spectacular so, well, spectacular, but Congratulations has a certain confidence that’s infectious. The standout track is definitely “I Found a Whistle.”
Merle Haggard – I Am What I Am – New material from a country legend? What’s not to like?
Kate Nash – My Best Friend Is You – I’m actually not so sure you should be excited about this. A free download from the album, “I Just Love You More,” is an abomination. It’s so far removed from “Foundations” and, even worse, sounds like a terrible Yeah Yeah Yeahs knockoff.
Broken Social Scene – Forgiveness Rock Record – “World Sick,” the first song released from the new album, is a seven-minute mammoth of a tune.
The New Pornographers – Together – Neko Case supposedly sings lead on several songs. Score.
Keane – Night Train (EP) – The lead single, “Stop for a Minute,” features Somali/Canadian rapper K’Naan. This EP promises to be Keane’s most interesting work to date.
The National – High Violet – Returning with their fifth studio album, the Brooklyn indie rockers already appeared on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon last month.
Band of Horses – Infinite Arms – Producer Phil Ek returns for the third outing from this sparkling indie band. They’ll be opening for Pearl Jam in May.
LCD Soundsystem – This Is Happening – The last album James Murphy will release as LCD Soundsystem.
Stone Temple Pilots – Stone Temple Pilots – Early reception for STP’s sixth studio album has been enormously positive. It’s been nine years since the band released Shangri-La Dee Da.
Drake – Thank Me Later – Everyone’s favorite Degrassi paraplegic is all grown up, and this has to be rap’s most hyped album of the year, with Kings of Leon being featured on the song “Fireworks.”
Gaslight Anthem – American Slang – The follow-up to 2008’s brilliant The ’59 Sound.
Oasis – Time Flies… 1994-2009 – Britpop’s best will release a post-breakup collection, containing 25 of the band’s 26 UK singles.
No Set Date (Yet)
Arcade Fire – TBD – New songs will debut at the Reading and Leeds Festival in August, with the new album coming late this summer (hopefully).
Jamey Johnson – The Guitar Song – His breakthrough album, That Lonesome Song, has pushed more than 650,000 sales.
Katy Perry – TBD – FM radio better be ready.
KT Tunstall – TBD – She recorded new material in Berlin before coming back to London to finish things up.
Maroon 5 – Hands All Over – Possibly coming in June, the album was recorded in Switzerland with producer Mutt Lange.
Ra Ra Riot – TBD – Finally! According to Rolling Stone, the band moved to a peach farm in upstate New York to record their sophomore LP.
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – Mojo – The Heartbreakers will provide support for the first time in eight long years.
“Boy Lilikoi,” the standout from Go, is streaming below (just click play).http://stereogum.com/mp3/J%C3%B3nsi%20-%20Boy%20Lilikoi.mp3%20
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