Saturday, January 01, 2011
New Albums, January 2011
Album of the Month: Adele - 21 (1/24). Expect the pop music year to get off to a grand start with the hotly anticipated second album from British singer Adele. The album, 21, follows her 2008 debut, 19, which produced the international hit single "Chasing Pavements" and last year's X Factor favorite, a cover of "Make Me Feel My Love." For this second outing, Adele has collaborated with a handful of producers, most notably Rick Rubin, who's worked with just about everybody, producing recent albums for Dixie Chicks and Linkin Park, among others. Also in the mix is Ryan Tedder, producing one song; Jim Abbiss, who worked with Adele on 19; and Paul Epworth, who produced the album's soulful, upbeat first single, "Rolling in the Deep," which is already out in some areas.
Although it seems like the album should be an easy success, consider the recent and rather dramatic flop of Duffy's second album, Endlessly, and it's clear that Adele will have to prove herself for this to be a hit. Duffy and Adele were frequently uttered in the same breath--two British pop singers doing soul-tinged classic pop that appeared at the same time at the beginning of 2008 and tipped as the year's big new thing (Adele won Sounds of BBC, Duffy was second). The buzz is strong though, and if "Rolling in the Deep" can take off, she should be set up for a good launch for this.
White Lies - Ritual (1/18). Speaking of former Sounds Of artists, 2009's runner-up, British alternative band White Lies, is set to release their second album. If their first, To Lose My Life..., failed to live up to the hype, it at least offered up some decent '80s-leaning synth jams. The first single from this second album, "Bigger than Us," is darker, more insistent than they sounded before.
Anna Calvi - Anna Calvi (1/17). Anna Calvi is among the set of "those to watch in 2011." With a bold, dark, Flamenco-influenced sound, she's drawing comparisons to PJ Harvey via Ennio Morricone.
The Cold War Kids - Mine Is Yours (1/25). Indie band Cold War Kids release their third album.
Cage the Elephant - Thank You Happy Birthday (1/11). Second album from the American punk rock band.
The Decemberists - The King Is Dead (1/18). Indie folk rockers release their sixth album, apparently recorded in a barn near Portland, Oregon.
British Sea Power - Valhalla Dancehall (1/11). British alternative band releases its fifth album.
Looking ahead to the rest of the first quarter:
Clare Maguire - Light After Dark. Newcomer's debut.
James Blake - Another newcomer's hotly tipped debut.
R.E.M. - Collapse Into Now. Exciting new release from them.
Avril Lavigne - Goodbye Lullaby. Her fourth album, finally.
The Naked & The Famous - Passive Me, Aggressive You. Hot New Zealand band's debut.
Possibly new albums from The Strokes and Britney Spears