With the decade fast approaching it’s musical climax, 2006 proved to be a big winner for an industry hit by piracy. The live music scene proved to be the biggest release for most acts, with top grossing tours for some of the world’s biggest bands, and an explosion in music festivals across the globe.
Firstly, let’s recap on albums were still waiting on from last year; OutKast’s first studio album since 2004’s “Speakerboxxx/The Love Below” (which was one of the year’s biggest releases) is rumoured now for the spring, and Guns N’ Roses failed to deliver on their promise of a winter release for the long-awaited “Chinese Democracy” – which is now scheduled for release in March. Surely it’s got to drop this year?
A new Metallica set will definitely come out this summer, we’re told, along with the Who’s first studio album in nearly 30 years. And carrying on from 2006, all eyes are on the UK’s biggest and brightest rock hope Radiohead to deliver a new studio album, with a spring release looking likely.
Speaking of biggest and brightest in the UK, 2006’s runaway indie stars Arctic Monkeys are keeping themselves busy, with a new album also speculated for release in the spring, which bodes well for Easter. Also coming around the same time are anticipated album releases from Bright Eyes with “Cassadaga”, Avril Lavigne’s “Best Damn Thing”, Arcade Fire’s “Neon Bible” as well as massive releases by Tori Amos and Nine Inch Nails.
In the world of pop, Stacie Orrico is one of the year’s early releases in January, with the following months likely to be dominated by releases from Linkin Park , Kaiser Chiefs , Jennifer Lopez’s first Spanish language album “Como Ama Una Mujer” and the return of French lovers Air with “Pocket Symphony” on March 5th.
Good Charlotte are back on March 5th with “Good Morning Revival”, following a new album by Joss Stone two weeks prior, and there’ll also be new albums from Dido, Usher, Hilary Duff and Aly & AJ.
Later in the year, expect artists including Lindsay Lohan, Celine Dion, The Pussycat Dolls, Britney Spears and even – we’re hearing – the queen of pop Madonna .
In the hip-hop world, the year is set for several very high profile hit records. Alongside the aforementioned OutKast set, there’s Sisqo’s return with “The Last Dragon”, Ghostface Killah and MF Doom’s massively anticipated “Swift & Changeable”. “Todd Smith Pt. 2: Back to Cool” from LL Cool J will likely be one of March’s biggest records, alongside the return of 50 Cent with “Before I Self Destruct”.
But it’s Dr Dre’s “Detox” in September and Eminem’s as-yet-untitled album which could be the year’s most acclaimed. Capping that, Kanye West’s “Graduation” has been earmarked for a winter release as well.
Finally, looking at the best of the alternative and rock releases, we have The Shins returning this month with “Wincing The night Away”, The Good The Bad and The Queen’s debut coming also, urban guitar star Jamie T’s debut “Panic Prevention” and The Thrills new album expected before spring.
In March and April, Fall Out Boy, Bloc Party, Ozzy Osbourne, Courtney Love and Machine Head will all return, as the summer build up continues at pace.
One of the year’s most hyped releases is likely to be Interpol’s “Moderation” in June, which comes after releases by the Stereophonics, Ash, Feeder, Wilco and the return of the 1990’s most mighty rockers – the Smashing Pumpkins.