Happy New Year, everyone!

We’ve been doing a lot of chatting around the Popblerd compound about albums that are scheduled to be released in the coming months, or even albums that don’t have a release date but have just been spoken about for a long time. 2011 was a pretty decent year for music, and we’re hoping that the momentum keeps up.

Actually, we were SO opinionated about music that we wanted to hear in 2012 that the end result of our conversation was too big to fit in one article. So, we’re gonna split this up-this is Part One, and Part Two will go up tomorrow. You’ll of course find an interesting mix of artists and genres. I wonder if, by this time next year, all of our wishes for good music will be granted?


Muse’s Sixth studio album, currently untitled, possibly expected in October.

The band has been working on the album since late 2011 and it is estimated for October 2012. They took a much needed rest before hitting the studio to start on an album that bassist Chris Wolstenholme said in an interview with Kerrang! is going to be “radically different” than their previous sound. The band, known to joke around, posts random pictures of their studio time to their twitter account to document their progress.

As a borderline obsessive Muse fan, I am extremely excited for this release, and once a set date is announced, I will most likely start a countdown. Honestly, I don’t think Muse can do any wrong (aside from maybe “Neutron Star Collision” or “I Belong to You” and all that Twilight bull), and even with an attempt for a new sound, I think they’ll own it. They are all good at what they do, whether it’s recorded or live (especially live), and I’m expecting the album to be even better than their last.

Neon Trees upcoming album titled Picture Show due in March.

Neon Trees were one of those undiscovered gems who suddenly became huge after their single “Animal.” Then, with following singles “1983” and “Your Surrender” people began to realize they weren’t just a one song band. I picked up their first album Habits in May 2010 slightly before they went huge, and I was lucky enough to see the at the MTV 2 Rock N Jocks show in Boston. After both of these events, I knew I loved them.

When they announced they were working on a new album in November 2011, I was so excited. Then they started this Twitter campaign where lead singer Tyler Glenn used #EVERYBODYTALKS to start some kind of movement for the album. On December 7, they released the first single, “Everybody Talks,” which, if it’s any indication of the whole album, is awesome and really catchy! Since Habits is only 8 songs long, I’m really interested in what they’re going to do with Picture Show.


Justin Timberlake, TBD

Dear Justin Timberlake,

It seems that the movie career is moving right along. I don’t think you’re as dynamic on the big screen as you are on the small screen, but you’ve done a handful of films now and while you’re not opening a picture to big dollars anytime soon, you’re not the reason people will stay away from the movies you’re in. Just stop pretending that John Mayer is the douche and you’re not. I kind of think that you and Mayer are pretty similarly douchey. You just hide it much better.

That being said, I think it’s time. It’s time for you to get back in the studio. Whether it’s with the Neptunes or Timbaland, or whoever you’d decide to work with today, one of the key things for you to continue expanding the JT brand is to get back on the radio. You could outdo J. Lo and host Saturday Night Live, have a number 1 movie, and have a number 1 hit album all in the same week. Talk about a trifecta. As good as you are on TV, you’re still that much better on the dance stage with that microphone in your hand. I know you’ve said in that past that you’ll do music when you’re inspired, but make yourself inspired. You waited 5 years to release Future Sex/Love Sounds after Justified. Now it’s time to put more music out. How’s this for inspiration? Justified and Future Sex/Love Soundsare both overrated. People rated them before even listening to them because they wanted to love them and anoint you as the next big star. I think most would say you’re a pretty decent artist, but are you great at one single thing? Shouldn’t it be time to release that classic album that people have expected out of you? You don’t even have to write any more songs about Britney. You’re way over her by now.

Get back in that studio. Make an overall great album. Work that JT brand. Make more money. Bang more movie stars.


Astronautalis & P.O.S.The Four Fists:

Astronautalis released the best hip-hop album I heard in 2011 (hell, it was my runner-up album of the year behind Destroyer’s Kaputt). P.O.S. has been dropping great releases over the past few years and hasn’t shown any sign of slowing down (see Doomtree, No Kings). These guys have talked about doing a project together for a while now (one that’s apparently inspired by the work of F. Scott Fitzgerald), but so far it’s only resulted in a few one-off features and some touring. Hopefully, it’ll finally come to fruition in 2012. I’m not entirely sure how a motor-mouthed punk rapper and a backwoods history nerd will pull off a cohesive album (and I mean both in the nicest possible way), but whatever they do, I’m down.

Lee RanaldoBetween the Times & the Tides:

Lee Ranaldo has penned some of the best material in Sonic Youth’s discography: “Rain King,” “Karen Revisited,” “Mote,” “Rats,” and so on, and so on. So why the hell has it taken him thirty fucking years to release a proper solo album? Granted, Ranaldo’s dropped a few low-key releases over the years—most of them nothing but blast noise and beat poetry—yet nothing that’s demonstrated the songwriting genius of his work with the Youth. That all changes in March, with the release of Between the Times & the Tides. Going for a more song-oriented approach and featuring an all-star cast of musicians (including old band mates Steve Shelley and Jim O’Rourke, Nels Cline of Wilco, Jim Medeski of Medeski, Martin & Wood), it’s the record that fans have been awaiting for years. Keep an eye on it.

Sigur Rós, TBA:

Sigur Rós have been hinting about new material for almost a year now. Hopefully, the positive reception that followed their concert film Inni will give them enough incentive to see it through. Honestly, Jónsi could warble out the phone book at this point and I’d probably listen to it—hell, it would probably sound chilling and majestic too. Here’s hoping for another blast of post-rock euphoria in 2012.


He Is Legend (2012 sometime):
These North Carolinians released their 2009 opus It Hates You and then went on the dreaded “indefinite hiatus”. The album is a modern rock masterpiece to say the least. Somewhere between Sabbath, Kyuss, Motley Crue, Queens of the Stone Age, and Alice In Chains with a more metal vibe in spots, HIL were destined for great things and still could be since vocalist Schuylar Croom announced via his Twitter that a new He Is Legend album would be coming in 2012. If you haven’t checked out this band, then you really need to. It Hates You was easily one of my favorite albums of the ’00’s and is without a doubt one of my top 10 albums of all time. He Is Legend is the prime example of a band that just makes damn good rock music. Don’t miss out when they unleash their next classic in the new year.

Soundgarden: Untitled (Spring/Summer 2012):
Hands down, my most anticipated release of 2012. When they announced their reunion in 2010 and played their first show in April that year consisting of mostly earlier, non-hit songs, I was blown away. They sounded as tight as ever and the release of the 2-disc rarities and retrospective Telephantasm which included the newly re-recorded Badmotorfinger throwaway “Black Rain” solidified that Soundgarden were back in a big way. I have no idea what their upcoming 6th album (And first album of new material in almost 16 years!) is going to sound like, but I have no doubt it will go beyond all expectations.



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