Year End Wrap Up: Keven's Top 10 Most Anticipated Music Albums of 2012
Published: December 30, 2011 - 7:46am
From the mythical 'Detox' that Dr. Dre continues to keep on the backburner to the revolutionary rock of UK's Muse, check out my most anticipated albums of 2012. The list includes a reunited Black Sabbath, grunge icons Pearl Jam, metal kings Lamb of God and more.
10. Dr. Dre 'Detox' – TBA
The fabled album that has taken Rap's master producer and legend of the hip hop industry years upon years to perfect, looks like it probably won't 'drop' next year. Dre just announced not long ago that he's taking another break to spend time with his family, meaning the follow up to 1999's '2001' may not actually be released in 2012.
However, other reports hint that 'Detox' will maybe (might, almost, possibly) see the light of day next year as two singles "Kush" and "I Need a Doctor" are already available online. Here's hoping 'Detox' doesn't end up being Dre's 'Chinese Democracy' because if his track record is any indication, rap fans should remain excited for what will no doubt be a masterpiece….if it actually comes out.
9. Pearl Jam 'TBA' – TBA
After Eddie Vedder's dreaded 'Ukulele Songs' solo offering, I'm dying to hear some new Pearl Jam to cleanse my pallet from that creepy hippie crap. There's always the danger that new Pearl Jam can come off as being too politically charged and lacking that same grunge vigor from the oldschool days, but I try to stay positive.
Their last studio album was absolutely fantastic and felt as though the guys had a newfound jolt of rock zapping them off their depressed asses. I've been a fan of Pearl Jam for years and any year that looks as though we'll see another one of their albums is a good one in my book. Just keep that ukulele the hell away from the studio Vedder – you crazy bastard.
8. Marilyn Manson 'Born Villain' - February
Manson has been hit or miss the past few years. After going through a nasty break-up with famous burlesque dancer and model Dita Von Teese a while back, he released 'Eat Me, Drink Me' -- what was no doubt his worst album. It seems that when the shock rock icon spends more time getting laid and drinking Absinthe that things begin to spiral out of control. In 2009 he bounced back with the criminally overlooked 'The High End of Low', a fiery industrial laced hard rock effort that hearkened back to the good ol' days.
If Manson can stick to what he does best (read: sleazy, industrial hard rock) then I have no doubts 'Born Villain' will be great. There's a certain formula that needs to be executed and Manson can sometimes self destruct, so here's hoping he's on point in 2012.
7. Nicki Minaj 'Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded' - February 14th
With the first single entitled 'Stupid Hoe' rumored to be inspired by fellow female rapper Lil' Kim, it looks like Minaj is going to fire on all cylinders for her sophomore effort. The problem with following up 'Pink Friday' is this: how do you follow up one of the most impressive rap debuts ever?
Nicki Minaj is by far the best female rapper on the planet; scratch that, one of the best rappers out there period. She may be a polarizing figure because of her Lady Gaga inspired outfits, but pay attention to this chick's rhymes because they're outstanding. If Minaj can even come close to the greatness of her 2010 album, 2012 will be a swell year for her. This is definitely my most anticipated hip hop release of next year by a mile.
6. The Darkness 'TBA' - TBA
The glam rock throwback band has reunited with plans to unleash their first offering since 2005's epic record 'One Way Ticket to Hell…and Back'. After front man Justin Hawkins departed the group shortly after the release of their second album, I was left feeling dirty, alone and heartbroken, shaking in the corner and forced to listen to the perversity of Steel Panther to get my new old school fix.
But now that Hawkins has seen the light (and hopefully stopped doing heroin) it looks like The Darkness is ready to transport us back in time once more. I can't wait to hear Hawkins' high-pitched wail one more time and embrace the best damn 80's glam rock band from the year 2000 ever. They're an acquired listen for sure, but I've always been a sucker for male vocalists who can ascend to the near heights of Freddie Mercury.
5. Muse 'TBA' – Fall
UK rock wizards Muse have the brutal task of following up two amazing records. Their last effort, 'The Resistance', won a Grammy for best Rock Album. The one before, 'Black Holes and Revelations', contained some of the most amazing guitar work of the past 20 some-odd years.
I lean more towards the fans that consider Muse to be like an electric alternative rock band that was cloned using fragments of Nirvana with various synthesizers and instruments I don't understand. Then you have the Radiohead fans that dig Muse because it's cool to listen to stuff that has beeps and moaning in it. I'm all about the rock and I'm pretty sure Muse is too. Be prepared for what will likely be an album of the year contender if the guys manage to nail three brilliant strikes in a row.
4. Lamb of God 'Resolution' - January 24th
Lamb of God is my favorite metal band and without a doubt this is the group that is carrying the torch after Pantera left us in 2000. Every album has seen vocalist Randy Blythe become somewhat more coherent but each offering has in no way suffered because of this, if anything the band has remained heavy as hell when they could've taken the easy way out on plenty of occasions and gone mainstream.
Their previous album 'Wrath' let me down a little. Following up the slower and moodier but absolutely amazing record 'Sacrament' with a blistering speed metal offering probably seemed like a good idea at the time, but it felt rushed to some degree so I'm excited to see 'Resolution'. From what I've heard so far with the single 'Ghost Walking', it sounds like Lamb of God is ready to devastate my ears once more and retake their throne as the best American metal band in 2012.
3. Insane Clown Posse 'The Mighty Death Pop' - May 29th
Some may refer to my status of being a Juggalo as a musical Achilles heel -- or more recently, and hilariously, a gang connection. Why can't a guy just listen to some profoundly dark, funny, terrifying and catchy-to-the core hip hop music? This is the second album in ICP's second round of Joker's Cards. Following up 'Bang Pow Boom' won't be easy, but Shaggy told me earlier this year in an interview that the duo are working at a whole new level.
The sound that ICP have perfected over the years manages to fuse hip hop with rock seamlessly when so many other bands can't get the formula down. Their undying dedication to their fanbase is unrivalled and their music has improved with each release over their 20 plus year career. 'The Mighty Death Pop' probably isn't on your most anticipated list but it's on this Juggalo's. Deal with it.
2. Black Sabbath 'TBA' - TBA
The first Sabbath album with Ozzy on vocals since 1978's 'Never Say Die' is upon us. It still doesn't seem real that this reunion is happening, let alone a new studio album. But with super producer Rick Rubin at the helm, one would have to assume it actually is happening. I'd be more pessimistic of a new Ozzy w/ Sabbath record but with Rubin's production this one immediately gains potential.
It's hard to say it's even possible for the first and greatest heavy metal band of all time to retain its glory from the old days. It seems like an impossible task that anything the band manages to produce will live up to the hype, but there's always that chance… Although realistically unlikely, I'm still hoping that Black Sabbath can knock it out of the park and show Led Zeppelin that you CAN get back into the studio and not just live off overpriced reunion concerts.
1. Soundgarden 'TBA' - TBA
Singer Chris Cornell has this thing where he leaves amazing bands. First it was Soundgarden, and mind you Cornell left the group during their prime in the mid-nineties. Then he forms Audioslave with the Rage Against The Machine guys and produces three amazing hard rock records, only to leave once more. He's punishing us for some reason.
But when it was announced Cornell was reuniting with his Soundgarden bandmates for a tour, I was blown away. When it was revealed Soundgarden were writing new music together and, even more exciting, it was CONFIRMED that THE Soundgarden were in the goddamn studio together I began to horrifically explode from the inside out in a joyous, unfathomable way. Then it hit me – there was a new album coming in 2012. Best. News. Ever. Much like some of the other choices on this 'most anticipated' list - the hype may prove too high to live up to, especially in many of these cases of older bands trying to retain past glory. Either way, it's a new Soundgarden album and if you don't think that’s cool, then you can get the hell out.