When music historians look back on 2013's album releases will likely be defined by a handful of records. Kanye West's mind-boggling opus Yeezus will be long remembered, as will Beyonce's self-titled secret album, perhaps primarily as an exercise in successful subversion of the record industry's traditional means of releasing a record. Jay Z's Magna Carta Holy Grail mostly flattered to deceive, especially in comparison to Yeezus. Arctic Monkeys released the year's best rock album, One Direction shifted the most units and Miley Cyrus, well, shook her ass.
But what treats does 2014 have in store for us? Here are five albums we're looking forward to in 2014.
Johnny Cash - 'Out Among The Stars'
Expected: Late March
Unlike his hip-hop contemporaries Johnny Cash hasn't been particularly productive posthumously, especially compared to the likes of Notorious B.I.G. who seems to have released more records after his death than he did while alive. Cash, though, will be back on record store shelves in March after his son discovered a long-lost album Cash recorded in the early 80's which is supposed to feature collaborations with June Carter Cash and Kris Kristofferson. We await this piece of country music nostalgia with keen ears.
U2 - Not Yet Titled
The follow-up to 2009's 'No Line On The Horizon' sees U2 return to Island Records for the first time in seven years, a label which a 'source' intimated is U2's "spiritual home" (Island Records discovered U2 in the late seventies). Whether or not that return-to-their-roots idea applies to the music remains to be seen but the fact that they're working with ultra hip producer Danger Mouse (Black Keys, etc) and not Daniel Lanois, Flood, or Alan Moulder suggests not.
Adele - Not Yet Titled
Expected: Sometime in 2014
2014 is tipped to be the year that Adele returns to the charts and sells a bajillion records along the way. OneRepublic's Ryan Tedder has let slip that he's working on the record with Adele. Now settled, and with a one-year old kid in tow, it's rumoured that Adele's third album will be about love, fulfilment and all that good stuff therefore presumably jettisoning the heartache which has characterised her previous work. Will the album be called '25'? We'll have to wait and see.
St. Vincent - St. Vincent
The supremely talented Annie Clark will drop a record under her St. Vincent moniker in February, her first release since the incredibly great dalliance with Talking Heads' David Byrne which yielded an outstanding album 'Love This Giant' and one of the most talked-about performances at Electric Picnic '13. Will she borrow and of Byrne's idiosyncrasies for her upcoming self-titled album? One can only hope so.
Azealia Banks - Broke With Expensive Taste
Expected: January (or the year 2021)
Banks' first LP was supposed to be released in 2012. Then it was delayed until 2013. Now we're hearing it'll definitely be a January 2014 release - or so they'd have us believe. There's little denying that if Azealia was able to get her record out in time to overlap with the wave of enthusiasm which surrounded her foul-mouthed yet brilliant single '212'. Azealia Banks euphoria has certainly died down and she's now arguably more well-known her frequent Twitter wars with anyone and everyone than she is for her music. We expect that to stop though when the undeniably talented rapper FINALLY releases an album in early 2014.