Between the presidential buzz and all the bad news coming from all corners of the planet, music is going to have to be more than just mere entertainment next year. In 2016, music is going to have to leave a mark and make us forget the crazy world we live in.
Luckily, there are dozens of albums scheduled to drop within the next 12 months. I am hoping one of them will be Rihanna’s long delayed album, “Anti,” unless she decides to pull a Beyoncé and drop it randomly before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve, and quite frankly, I would be alright with that.
Some of the names on this list have dropped hints that an album will be coming out in 2016 but are not set in stone. Rihanna’s aforementioned album “Anti” was scheduled for a 2015 release, yet nothing happened; same goes for artists like Kanye West and Frank Ocean.
What follows is a list of albums we are most excited for that have a confirmed release date.
David Bowie, “Blackstar” (Jan. 8, 2016)
The album is due to drop on Bowie’s 69th birthday. According to Billboard, which has talked to a source close to the star, Bowie describes the album as “completely bonkers.” Forming an opinion based on the early singles “Lazarus” and “Blackstar,” the album will have a cool art-jazz feel to it.
Panic! At the Disco, “Death of a Bachelor” (Jan. 15, 2016)
In April 2015, founding drummer Spencer Smith decided to leave the band. Leaving singer Brendon Urie to be the last founding member of PATD. According to an interview Urie did with Billboard, he was able to record every instrument on this album, besides the horns, and that was a huge deal for him. If the first single, “Victorious” is any indication of how this album will do, I believe it will be a huge success.
Sia, “This Is Acting” (Jan. 29, 2016)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sgttiTrf9Fs
Believe it or not, this will be Sia’s seventh album. Before her hit single “Chandelier,” Sia mostly wrote for the other leading ladies in pop, such as Rihanna and Adele, but now, she is taking those songs and putting her on spin on them.
The 1975, “I Like it When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of it” (Feb. 26, 2016)
I doubt this record will be anything like the bands self-titled debut album. Based on the bands first single “Love Me,” it seems like The 1975 will be trading in its ambient elements for more post-punk aspects. “Love Me” really heralds a new musical identity for The 1975, leaving me intrigued on what the rest of the album will sound like.
The rest of the albums on the list don’t have release dates and most don’t even have titles for their albums yet.
Drake, “Views From the 6” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZF-ug0MnY9U
Rumored to be arriving on Jan. 6, Drake’s fourth studio LP follows the mixtape “If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late” and the Future collaboration “What a Time To Be Alive,” both of which topped the Billboard 200 in 2015. The Canadian rapper will once again be breaking our hearts while releasing chart-topping singles, like “Hotline Bling,” at the same time.
Kanye West, “Swish”
Now, “Swish” was originally called “So Help Me God” and planned to drop back in 2014. It is about time for West to have a follow-up to “Yeezus.” It is also rumored that Paul McCartney might be featured in multiple songs.
Ariana Grande, “Moonlight”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jDCyaA-X2II
With “Focus” as the first taste of her make-or-break third album, I have to wonder why she would choose that as the single. It sounds just like her other song “Problem,” yet it still has a sturdy hook that gets you every time. This former Nickelodeon star definitely proves that she has the strength and powerhouse vocals to stick around for awhile.
Puff Daddy, “No Way Out 2”
Sean Combs decided to reboot the name Puff Daddy earlier this year with “MMM,” a free mixtape prefacing the proper studio album he says will be his last. Now, all the 90s kids rejoice because its been forever since this hip-hop mogul has released anything, and I am definitely interested to see if he can still be the star he was then.
Iggy Azalea, “Digital Distortion”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET1bUZeiRNE
After supplying everyone with the perfect summer soundtrack back in 2014 with “Fancy,” the Aussie rapper took a breather in 2015. She canceled a tour and took a break from social media. Now Azalea is ready to release her new music and supply everyone with their favorite anthems once again.
Frank Ocean, “Boys Don’t Cry”
After disappointing us all by not releasing this album during its projected time of release in 2015, I am starting to believe this record doesn’t even exist. “Boys Don’t Cry” has been in the works since early 2013, and in April 2015, Ocean said it was going to drop in July. Well, that never happened, and we are all getting impatient here.
Gwen Stefani, TBD
I don’t know about you but a breakup record by Stefani is just what the music industry needs. The No Doubt singer and star of “The Voice” has been saying in recent interviews that her next album will be inspired by her recent divorce to Bush front man Gavin Rossdale. Being that one of Stefani’s best albums is No Doubt’s 1995 ska-pop record “Tragic Kingdom,” inspired by a breakup, fans best believe Stefani turns heartache into pop gold. Unless Stefani decides to make a country album, with dating Blake Shelton and all.
Red Hot Chili Peppers, TBD
It’s been awhile since this band caused any buzz in the music world. Fortunately, RHCP announced there will be a brand new album in 2016 without the help of Rick Rubin, a producer that’s been working with the band since 1989. Instead, the producer Danger Mouse, who has worked with everyone from Beck to Norah Jones will be stepping in. Hopefully, RHCP can release another 1999 “Californication” because the band has just been your typical rock band over the last several years.
Lady Gaga, TBD
Last November, singer Lily Allen accidentally slipped that Gaga was working with Mark Ronson, known for “Uptown Funk,” on a follow-up to her 2013 “ARTPOP.” I am excited for Gaga to go back to her solo work, so we can remember how talented she really is. Not saying her duets disc with Tony Bennett and her acting stint on “American Horror Story: Hotel” weren’t good, I am just ready to have the Gaga we all know and love back.
Katy Perry, TBD
Being that she is still touring the globe for her 2013 release, “Prism,” really shows you something. I have no doubt that album four will have the same amount of success. A brand new selection of grade-A pop songs is exactly what the radio has been missing lately.
Britney Spears, TBD
Last October, Spears mentioned in a tweet that she can’t wait to share a new song accompanied with the hashtag #B9. That can only mean she has been making good progress on album nine. Honestly, it would be nice to have the queen of pop release another album soon, since the last one was “Britney Jean,” which dropped back in 2013.
Christina Aguilera, TBD
Another pop sensation talked about releasing an album in 2016. In an interview with Associated Press, Aguilera said to expect a much mellower album. This record would follow her feisty R&B belter album “Lotus” that was released in 2012.
How is Beck going to be able to follow up 2014’s Grammy award-winning album of the year “Morning Phase”? By doing what he does best, switching it up. Beck compulsively jumps from genre to genre. One minute we are experiencing a complete alt-rock tune, but next thing you know, he switches it to some folky pop song. Hey, maybe even Kanye will be a fan?
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, TBD
After the release of their successful single, “Downtown,” fans are waiting patiently for the release of their sophomore album. It would be great to see the duo top the success of the Grammy-winning, platinum-certified 2012 album “The Heist.”
Zayn Malik, TBD
Former One Direction star is trading in his boy band chops to take on a solo career. In a recent interview with Fader, Malik says he will be straying away from the music his 1D fans have come to expect and instead will be veering into experimental/hip-hop territory. I expect Malik’s album to be a mix of The Weeknd and Justin Timberlake. It will definitely be interesting to hear his solo work.
I suspect there to be a couple of surprise releases throughout the year. I mean, it’s happening almost every month now where an artist randomly drops an album. This list is always bound to change. So, here’s to a creative and music-filled 2016.