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A Look Into the Crystal Ball: New Albums in 2011

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By Owen Milbury on January 10, 2011

2010 was a great year for music, but now it’s time to look forward to 2011. What music will the new year bring? More importantly, if you’re like me you have a couple of shiny Apple gift cards taking up space in your wallet. So where will you be spending those hard-earned gift card dollars in ’11?

Here’s a list of some of the most highly anticipated albums that are expected to see the light of day in the next year. Let the hype begin…

Jay-Z and Kanye West: Not content with his domination of 2010, Kanye West is coming back for more. His full-length collaboration with Jay-Z is tentatively scheduled for March, a whole four months after My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. Is that too much Kanye? Is there such a thing?

Hercules & Love Affair: Blue Songs is the name of the new album from Hercules & Love Affair, a project led by DJ Andy Butler. H&LA’s debut album was one of my favorite releases of 2008. Will they update their nu-disco sound? Or can we expect more of the same? Either way, polish your dancing shoes: a January release is expected.

Queens of the Stone Age / Foo Fighters: These may be my brother’s two favorite bands. I don’t care for either of them. Meanwhile, Dave Grohl promises his new album will be “massive.” Is this the year I’m finally won over?

Lady Gaga: Gaga has always run the risk of being suffocated by her own hype. With all the dresses made of meat, it’s easy to forget she makes actual, real music. She promises to keep shocking us. Can she keep her promise? Look for Born This Way in May.

Dr. Dre: His ex-N.W.A. band mate Ice Cube is now making family-friendly sitcoms for TBS, so I’m left to wonder, is this the year we get a Dre children’s album? Not likely. I’m expecting beats, beats, and more beats. The long-awaited Detox, rumored to be his final album, should be here in February. Unless it’s delayed again. Which it might be.

Fiona Apple: Sometimes Fiona’s lyrics sound like they’ve been stolen from the pages of a teenage girl’s diary. Still, the talent and artistry is there in spades. Expect something weird and… well, unexpected. Release date: the Spring.

U2 / R.E.M.: Talk about heavy hitters. Can these two behemoths still push boundaries at this point? There’s no doubt these new albums will simultaneously be called failures, reinventions, and the best albums of their careers. Stadium tours to follow.

Fleet Foxes: Remember these guys? Their painfully melodic debut album of folk-ish pop tunes was all the rage in 2008. Can they avoid a sophomore slump? The pressure’s on, hippies.

Panda Bear: Animal Collective’s Panda Bear was supposed to put out his new solo album, Tomboy, sometime in 2010. It never happened, although he did leak a few singles. Now we’re supposed to get a full album in 2011. At this point, who knows? Fingers crossed on this one.

Radiohead: Every new Radiohead album has a very real chance of being the best album ever. Not just their best album, but the single best album. Ever. So yeah, we’re excited. The biggest question is, How will Radiohead release the album? Stay tuned.


What are you looking forward to this year? Let us from you in the comments below…

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