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Pitch, Please!: Musical outlook for 2013

30 January 2013 By Kristopher Jones, Columnist One Comment

2012 was a lackluster year for album releases.

The people who were already established somewhat in the industry failed to make much, if any, standout material, while the majority of the most-talked about albums came from rookie acts.

2013 is already shaping up to be an incredible year in music, if you don’t count record giant HMV folding earlier this month. Here are some of the albums that I am personally looking forward to in the coming months.

Justin Timberlake – The former N’Sync member has released two solo albums within an 11-year time span, leaving fans tearing at their scalps for anything with JT’s name attached to it. After teasing that he was ready to do music via social media, the “SexyBack” singer released his comeback single “Suit & Tie” and will follow up with his third studio effort, “The 20/20 Experience” in March.

Paramore – “Brand New Eyes” spawned some of Paramore’s most successful charting material to date, however tensions within the band caused founding members Josh and Zac Farro to leave. The band, now a trio, has finished their self-titled fourth studio album and will be preceded with the Blink-182-inspired single “Now.”

Beyoncé  –  While “4” garnered much critical success, it was also her lowest selling album and one didn’t spawn any top ten hits. She seems to be gearing for a major comeback, signing a multi-million dollar deal with Pepsi, a large-scale performance at the Super Bowl, reforming Destiny’s Child for a new song and working with the likes of The Cataracs and Miguel.

Rihanna – We all know this is bound to happen. Just expect sometime during the fall that she is going to release the final single from “Unapologetic,” announce she is working on her eighth studio album, and cut off promotions of said single to release the lead single from said album. Let’s hope that she doesn’t give us another parrot-like delivery of the demo version of the songs. (“Diamonds”).

Haim – The band made up of three sisters from California topped BBC’s Sound of 2013 poll, a major accomplishment since the last American band that did it was The Bravery back in 2005. With their ‘80s inspired indie rock sound, the girls have been heralded as a group who could usher guitar-driven music back into the mainstream (not the synthetic Dr. Luke kind either).

With cuts like the new wave ditty “Don’t Save Me,” it’s a major possibility.

Alice in Chains – The grunge band who won’t give up came back with a new lead singer for 2009’s “Black Gives Way to Blue,” which heralded a mixed bag of tunes. This time around, they have seemed to tap into what made their past records so memorable and released the much-appreciated lead single “Hollow,” which sounds as if singer Layne Staley never died. Their fifth studio album is expected later this year.

Cartel – Cartel announced that they had finished recording their fourth full-length album “Collider” earlier this month, which follows 2009’s “Cycles” and 2011’s EP “In Stereo.” The band has consistently been able to maintain the power-pop/punk sound since their earlier days, but I’m anticipating a bit more variety with this one.

King Krule – The artist formerly known as Zoo Kid and Archy Marshall has been making soul-wrenching rock music since the tender age of 15 when he was attending the prestigious BRIT School. The ‘50s style crooner is expected to release his debut album sometime in the spring, which will include cuts like the jazz fusion piece “Rock Bottom” and the more minimalist “Octopus.”

One Comment »

  • James Bishop said:

    Saying 2012 was “lackluster” for music doesn’t make much sense. There was a ton of great albums released. The problem is no year is going to seem good for music if you brush off new artists as “rookies.” While some mainstream music may be good it is not a very good category to base a years merit off of. I would recommend looking at the indie scene more. Acts like XXYYXX, A$AP Rocky, Local Natives, This Town Needs Guns, Das Racist, and This or The Apocolypse have been absolutely killing it!

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