A lot of great music slated for this year. It’s going to be pretty hard to beat this past year, but that’s also what I said about 2013. Here are some of the notable releases:
Mark Ronson – Uptown Special (January 13th)
I’v heard this been said multiple times so I’d just like clarify: “Uptown Funk” is not by Bruno Mars. It features Bruno Mars, and he may have contributed to the lyrics, but the song is Ronson’s, Which is why it’s being released on his album. It’s actually coming out tomorrow, and I’m looking forward to it because it’s as funky as any other funk I’ve ever heard. And Ronson is a pretty sweet guitarist.
The Decemberists – What a Terrible World, What a Beautiful World (January 20th)
I enjoy my fair share of indie rock, especially when the band sounds similar to another band that I already like (Death Cab For Cutie). I especially like the inclusion of folk rock into their sound, which I admittedly wasn’t turned on to until I listened to John Mayer’s two folk albums. Lead single “Make You Better” is already painting a good picture for the rest of this album.
Fall Out Boy – American Beauty/American Psycho (January 20th)
I hope no one gets too offended when I rip this album to shreds. I do like Fall Out Boy, I’m a strong proponent of Save Rock And Roll, but the songs they’ve released so far from this album aren’t doing it for me so far. I guess the case could be made that only half of its predecessor was even that good (the collaborations were mediocre at best), but the second half of this album is going to have to be damn good it to gain some street cred.
Bob Dylan – Shadows in the Night (February 3rd)
It was produced by some guy named Jack Frost, and I like that movie and therefore I will like this album. But seriously, Bob Dylan is still going at 73. If his 2012 album Tempest is any indication, Dylan will still be the freestyle folk rapper we’ve always known, and he’ll be on fire, per usual (even though the album is completely composed of songs made famous by Frank Sinatra).
Smallpools – LOVETAP! (February 3rd)
I actually saw these guys live in July. Neon Trees were the main act, whom I also like, but I wouldn’t have gone if Smallpools weren’t there. “Dreaming” and “Over and Over” are two of the best pop songs I’ve ever heard, let alone indie pop songs. To make a short story even shorter, I was blown away. How could a man with that fabulous facial hair sing with that high of a voice? They actually played most of the album, including the recent singles “Killer Whales” and “Karaoke”, so I already know it’s going to be awesome.
Imagine Dragons – Smoke + Mirrors (February 17th)
I’ll give this band another chance. I hated their last album. “Radioactive” was just obnoxious, “Demons” was unoriginal (I could’ve written that”, and “On Top Of The World” was also unoriginal and poorly arranged. I did like “It’s Time” at least, great use of acoustic guitar. Although right off the bat, I don’t like the two…wait, five? They’ve released five singles already? I just don’t like this Dan Reynolds’ voice to be honest.
MisterWives – Our Own House (February 24th)
Another band I stumbled upon completely by accident. I was seeing The Mowgli’s at a vague venue and they were one of the opening acts. They blew me away. I can’t tell if they’re an indie band that acts like an A-list pop act, or a band that’s about to take the top-40 radio scene by storm. I’m going to go with both.
Frank Turner – TBA (February)
No, he’s not related to Alex Turner. I thought so too. But his voice sounds very similar to the Arctic Monkeys’ lead man, but his style of music is very different. Folk punk isn’t a genre you come around often. Not much known about this album yet, but anything this guy has ever released has been fun and catchy, so I expect the same. Check out “Wessex Boy” and “Recovery”.
Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday (March 2rd)
Following the dissolution of Beady Eye (thank God), this is the last band left before Oasis reunite and realize they still hate each other and break up again. But as the one who wrote all their songs and played lead guitar and who’s voice was just as good (if not better) than his stuck-up prick of a brother (Liam Gallagher), This band has actually stayed consistently good. Lead single “In The Heat of the Moment” is a pretty good track.
Modest Mouse – Strangers To Ourselves (March 3rd)
It’s hard to believe these guys haven’t released an album since 2007. “Float On” is still a staple of modern rock radio, and “Dashboard” is still on of my favorite songs. Lead single “Lampshades on Fire” is just as catchy as anything they’ve ever released. It looks like Modest Mouse is in top form.
Death Cab For Cutie – Kintsugi (March 31st)
Love this band. The year ended and I was like, “Wait, wasn’t there supposed to be a new Death Cab album?” Well here it is. The title is a form of Japanese art where they take broken ceramics and put them back together using gold. This is partly symbolism, due to the fact that original guitarist Chris Walla recently departed. This might be my most anticipated album.
There’s also a lot of albums coming out this year that there isn’t a lot of information for right now. I’ll share what I know/could find.
The Mowgli’s – Kids in Love: I can’t really say “Through The Dark” is one of their best songs, but seeing as Waiting For The Dawn is one of my favorite albums ever, I can’t help but be excited for more music from them. If you’re ever mad or upset about something, this band will basically give you the “shut up and be happy” message that you need.
Radiohead: There was news popping up it seemed like every week this past fall that they were in the album recording their ninth studio album, and I have no reason to believe the reports were false. After all, they’re about due for a follow-up to 2011’s The King of Limbs.
John Mayer: 2013’s Paradise Valley wasn’t that long ago, and it’s unclear whether this is a Mayer solo album or a Trio album, but I’m happy with either one. Besides a performance on Seth Meyers earlier this year, the only clues I’m getting are from John Mayer’s Instagram account. Looks like his first blues album in a while.
Blink-182: Again, most of the fuel to this one is through the band members’ social media. Which is a great tool these days. Fans have been waiting way too long for a follow-up to 2011’s Neighborhoods, and it’s looking like it’s finally going to come this summer.
Red Hot Chili Peppers: Flea did say in an interview back in October that he’s promising an introspective, dance-worthy follow-up to 2011’s I’m With You. Why should we not believe him?
Brandon Flowers: The Killers’ frontman is releasing his second solo album sometime early this year, according to a Rolling Stone article from August. Although I’m unsure how credible those are these days.
Rob Thomas: Again, mostly social media. But he has made it clear there’s a new solo album in the works, which is great news for me. As someone who’s favorite band is Matchbox Twenty (who may also be covertly recording), obviously I’m in deep with Rob’s solo works. And there’s no reason to think there won’t be a hit off of here. He’s not only had at least three hit singles from each of his band’s albums, but his solo albums produced “Lonely No More”, “This Is How A Heart Breaks”, “Streetcorner Symphony” and “Her Diamonds”.
Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams: That doesn’t sound exactly like “A Sky Full of Stars” or anything. But I’ve made it clear that besides “Magic”, I think Ghost Stories was a piece of s**t. I’m ready to hear more anthemic stadium rockers like Viva La Vida, on what’s been speculated to be this band’s last album.
The Offspring – This one’s in the early stages, may not even be out until next year. You may scream “OLD!”, but they’ve had at the very least a hit with every album so far.
Angels & Airwaves – Strange Times: There really hasn’t been much official talk of this yet, but Tom Delonge did say it’s coming out around Christmas time in 2015. It’s clearly going to be about aliens, seeing the fonts used on the t-shirts in the merchandise store as well as the fact that Delonge and Ilan Rubin camped out near Area 51 this past fall.
Muse: They’ve been saying since 2013 that they’ll be releasing a follow-up to 2012’s The 2nd Law, which I was a huge fan of, in 2015. Muse is one of the most bombastic acts out there, and it looks they’re on track. I’m excited.
New Politics – Vikings: Another band I discovered completely by accident. This album was announced for an early 2015 release back in October. Hopefully it’s as good as the precedent they set with the tracks “Harlem”, “Berlin”, and “Tonight You’re Perfect”.