2009 In Music – A Look Ahead January 21, 2009Posted by Matt in Best of 2009.
Tags: 2009, album releases, Andrew Bird, Bon Iver, Bruce Springsteen, Dan Auerbach, Dave Matthew Band, Justin Townes Earle, M. Ward, music, neko case, The Decemberists, U2
Over the past two weeks I’ve taken a look at the best (In my opinion, at least) music releases of 2008. Now, though, it is time to look to the future, to gaze into that proverbial crystal ball and try to glean from it the upcoming releases that I most look forward to. I used the upcoming releases listed on Metacritic as my source, so if anything is incorrect you can lay the blame on them. Below you will find my top ten announced releases as well as five more taken from the “anticipated releases” tab that I certainly hope come to fruition.
10. Justin Townes Earle – Midnight at the Movies (expected release date: March 3)
Last year’s release from Steve Earle’s son proved to be an excellent collection with that classic country sound that is so rarely heard anymore, so I am greatly looking forward to what else he has in store for us.
9. Bon Iver – Blood Bank (Jan. 20)
This would probably be much higher on the list if it were more than a 4 song EP, but for now it will suffice from Justin Vernon. His For Emma, Long Ago was one of my favorites of 2008 and I see a great future ahead for this young singer-songwriter.
8. Andrew Bird – Noble Beast (Jan. 20)
Bird’s 2007 album, Armchair Apocrypha, quickly became a favorite of mine and has been a staple on my Ipod. I heard some of his latest release on NPR and was again greatly impressed. Though it has already been released, I have not yet downloaded this. But, mark my words, it will soon be on my Ipod.
7. Dave Matthews Band – Title TBA (Apr 14)
DMB is one of the few artists classified as a “jam band” who have released studio albums in the past that almost rival their incredible live shows. Though I have been a bit disappointed with their releases in recent years, I will still most likely pick this up.
6. M. Ward – Hold Time (Feb. 17)
I’ve been a big fan of M. Ward’s retro singer-songwriter style for the past few years and greatly enjoyed his 2008 collaboration with Zooey Deschanel. He has proven himself to be one of the best young artists working today and I expect this album to again show off his bourgeoning greatness.
5. Dan Auerbach – Keep it Hid (Feb. 10)
Auerbach is the guitar/vocals half of one of my favorite acts working today, The Black Keys. Their incredible blues-rock sound is in a world of its own compared to their contemporaries. I expect their down-and-dirty blues sound to be no less apparent on this solo debut.
4. The Decemberists – Hazards of Love (March 24)
I first became a fan of this hyper-literate band from Portland, Oregon, after listening to their 2005 release Picaresque. Their storytelling style, employment of a vast arrangement of instruments, and strange sound (at least compared to other popular acts) caught my ear and has not let go since.
3. Neko Case – Middle Cyclone (March 3)
It only took one listen to Case’s 2007 opus Fox Confessor Brings the Flood for me to fall completely head over heels in love with her. I listened to it over and over and never grew tired of her enchanting wail. She is one of those few people who could sing the phone book and I would listen attentively.
2. U2 – No Line on the Horizon (March 3)
Every release of Bono’s crew is greatly anticipated by fans and this one is definitely not an exception to the rule. Give me their signature, stadium-ready style any day.
1. Bruce Springsteen – Working on a Dream (Jan 27)
It’s hard to beat the Boss, so this follow-up to 2007′s excellent Magic is without a doubt my most anticipated upcoming release. He is an American icon who must be present in the music collection of anyone that calls themselves a lover of music.
As promised, there are also 5 “anticipated releases” that also have me greatly intriqued.
The New Pornographers
This collaborative effort, which includes the aforementioned Neko Case, has consistently put out stellar albums and I expect this one to follow along in that mold as well.
If she would just clean herself up and stop doing crack, I would be totally in love with her.
Seriously, this guy just keeps plugging along with mind-blowing releases.
Jeff Tweedy’s group is one of the best working today, so every release deserves several honest listens.
They are without a doubt one of my favorite bands of all time so I always look forward to their releases and hope that they will perhaps stop here for a show.