Monday, January 03, 2005

Fun for 2005!

Here are some albums expected in 2005 that I am looking forward to immensely…

Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy and Matt Sweeney – Superwolf: This collaboration between Will Oldham and the former Chavez and Zwan member should be an absolute gem.

Magnolia Electric Co. – Trials and Errors: This is a live recording featuring previously released material alongside new songs. There will also be a new Steve Albini-produced studio set later in the year.

Shivaree – Who’s Got Trouble?: The third album from the tragically underrated Shivaree looks set to slip out with no fanfare whatsoever in mid-January. Not even the patronage of Quentin Tarantino seems to have helped the publicity machine.

Rufus Wainwright – Want Two: This should finally be released in the UK in March. There are lavish extras with the US edition, including a full concert DVD. Will the record company pull out the stops for the UK fans who have been waiting months for this?

Lou Barlow – Emoh – The first Lou Barlow album released without an alias, this promises to be a collection of sweet, sad pop songs with minimal self-indulgence.

Laurent Garnier – The Cloud Making Machine: The techno legend has taken five years to record the follow-up to ‘Unreasonable Behaviour’. It had better be good!

Doves – Some Cities: The word, once again, will no doubt be ‘epic’.

Patrick Wolf – Wind In The Wires: Will this suffer second album syndrome, or will it take the best bits from ‘Lycanthropy’ to new heights?

Broken Social Scene – Windsurfing Nation: One of the big ones. A top 10 contender if it fulfils the promise of ‘You Forgot It In People’.

Kate Bush! No title yet – but 12 years after ‘The Red Shoes’, Kate Bush will return with a new album in 2005. There is really no predicting what this will sound like, although I’m confident that, like everything else she has recorded, it will be completely divorced from all current fads and trends.

AC/DC – Strap It On: Well, if this doesn’t sound exactly the same as the last one, I’ll eat my hat. If there’s another world tour – I’ll be there!

Depeche Mode – No title or song details as yet, but news has been posted on their website stating that they are recording a new album. So much for splitting up then! There had supposedly been a big dispute in the Mode camp about songwriting – will this be resolved in Dave Gahan’s favour or will all the songs still be Martin Gore compositions?

Bruce Springsteen – He’s been at work in Brendan O’Brien’s studio sporadically over the past four or five months. No clues as to whether it’s a solo record or another E Street Band affair though, or indeed whether it will actually see light of day in 2005.

Bob Dylan – The second volume of his autobiography is rumoured to coincide with his first studio album since 2001’s ‘Love and Theft’, although with all the writing and the incessant touring, it’s hard to see how he’s managed to record anything.

Hot Chip – Working on new material already to keep the momentum going.

Low – The Great Destroyer: Coming in January so not long to wait – supposedly heavier and more melodic than the usual slowcore stuff.

Mercury Rev – The Secret Migration: Can Mercury Rev stall the decline following the stodgy and disappointing ‘All Is Dream’?

Teenage Fanclub – The TFC camp have been relatively quiet on this of late. They recorded the songs last spring and summer with John McEntire from Tortoise producing, and it initially looked like the new album would emerge in the Autumn. Needless to say, it didn’t appear – and it doesn’t even seem to be clear now which record label, if any, plans to put this record out. This band are too good to be left floundering yet again by a cynical record industry that neglects its greatest songwriters. It’s also been two years since the greatest hits collection now, and five years since ‘Howdy!’. The cognoscenti have been waiting patiently, but we’re starting to get a little frustrated now!

Television – Have recorded a brand new album!

Elbow – Station Approach: I’m not sure that title is final but I’ve seen it on a number of different sources. Promises to be another step forward from a band moving towards greatness.

Boards of Canada – They are notoriously elusive, so there’s not much info on this one, but it’s certainly about time they followed up Geogaddi.

Scott Walker – Now signed to 4AD. Will it be as challenging as ‘Tilt’?

Pat Metheney – The Way Up: Breaks with Metheney’s established formula by virtue of being one extended composition. Promises to be fascinating.

Esbjorn Svensson Trio – Viaticum: New album from Europe’s premier jazz group.

Flaming Lips – At War With The Mystics: Promises less bleeps and trickery, more emphasis on melody. Yay!

Daft Punk – Human After All: Great title – but can their kitsch disco revivalism stand up to a third album?

Cannibal Ox – Despite announcing their own split on stage in London a couple of years ago, the astounding rap duo appear to have been working on new material. If El-P is back in the production seat, it’s a guaranteed must-have album.

The Magic Numbers – There’s a big buzz building around this band. I saw them live at The Birthday Party club with Hot Chip a few months ago and they sounded gorgeously melodic.

Roots Manuva – Awfully Deep: Quite simply, the most significant figure in UK hip-hop right now. I’ve heard this and it’s thrilling.

British Sea Power – I really hope this exciting band realise their potential on this second album.

The Tears – The reunion of Brett Anderson and Bernard Butler could be brilliant, or it could be painfully embarrassing. I’m hoping that Butler has reinvigorated Anderson’s inspiration, which has been sorely lacking over the past couple of Suede albums.

Mu – More Japanese beats and screeching. This should be great – especially if the wonderful ‘Paris Hilton’ is on it.

M83 – Before The Dawn Heels Us – More My Bloody Valentine-inspired electronica. One of the key releases of the first half of the year for me.

Grandaddy – but they have to veer away from the chugachugachuga sound this time!

Jamie Lidell – Warp signing, maverick electronic genius and occasional vocalist for Matthew Herbert plans his second solo LP.

M. Ward – Transistor Radio: Another collection from this outstanding American songsmith.

Prefuse 73 – Surrounded By Silence: We can usually rely on Mike Herren to deliver the goods, and this should be one of Warp’s key releases for 2005. Expect more stuttering beats and plenty of guest rappers.

Solomon Burke – Make Do With What You’ve Got: Not sure what to make of this. Following up his brilliant Joe Henry produced mainstream comeback from a couple of years ago, Solomon Burke has gone into the studio with Don Was. I don’t think anyone, least of all Burke himself, was really expecting another album so soon, and Was’ involvement could be a blessing or a curse. Was made a muddy job of Dylan’s already underwhelming ‘Under The Red Sky’ in 1990 (probably the last time he produced a major legend), but has produced engaging and infectious pop music of his own for Was (Not Was). Will it mean a more ‘modern’ sound? Who has written the material?

Al Green – Everything’s OK: Another Willie Mitchell produced set to follow the surprisingly good ‘I Can’t Stop’. Expect more classic soul nostalgia.

Bright Eyes – Digital Ash In A Digital Urn and I’m Wide Awake It’s Morning: Two new albums from the billboard chart topping and Vote for Change star Conor Oberst. He started to veer away from grandiose oversinging and heavy emoting on ‘Lifted…’ – let’s hope he continues to follow this trajectory.

Erin McKeown – Expected to return with new material in the summer!

Sleater Kinney – Working on new album with Mercury Rev, Flaming Lips, Mogwai and Delgados producer Dave Fridmann!

Chemical Brothers – Push the Button: Apparently the best thing they’ve done in ages. To be honest, that wouldn’t be hard, would it?

REM? – There were plenty of songs left over from the ‘Around The Sun’ sessions (all the upbeat ones for a start) – will they be released?
Bjork – There are rumours of another new album to quickly follow Medulla

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