Tag Archives: New album

TOP TEN + 1: Adam’s Most Anticipated Albums of 2014

2014 is almost upon us, and so, it’s only fitting to get excited about the new music that’s coming in the new year. Before I reveal my top 20 albums of 2013 on Thursday and Friday, I thought it would be cool to give you a list of some of the acts I’m definitely looking forward to hearing from next year. Now, there are endless options when it comes to forthcoming albums in the works by pop divas like Gwen Stefani and Lea Michele, groups like Karmin and One Direction, newcomers like Betty Who and Sam Smith, etc. However, as far as my pop/rock tastes go, these are who I am craving…

Some close calls to start…
15. Olly Murs – TBA (Summer)
14. Colbie CaillatTBA (Spring)
13. American AuthorsTBA (March)
12. Christina PerriHead Or Heart (March)
11. SheppardTBA (Spring)

…and now, on with the countdown.

"Here" for this new album.

“Here” for this new album.

10. Lily Allen – TBA (unknown)
Can you believe it’s been nearly five years since the release of It’s Not Me, It’s You? After a feature on Pink‘s single “True Love” earlier this year, Allen hit the studio once again, and is preparing a new album under Warner Bros. Records, her first with them. Lead single “Hard Out Here” recently went top ten in the United Kingdom. She’s just as saucy and biting as ever.

Number "One" on the list.

U need 2 check this one out.

9. U2 – 10 Reasons To Exist (April)
If you’re planning to watch the Super Bowl, you want to watch out for an advertisement from these guys promoting their new material. This will be the band’s first album since 2009’s No Line On The Horizon, which debuted at #1 but didn’t have much longevity. Only one single, “Magnificent” entered my top 40. Three decades after their debut, they are still rocking it.

A girl in "Trouble" is a temporary thing.

A Swift return for her.

8. Taylor Swift – TBA (unknown)
After the tremendous success of her album Red and corresponding tour, Swift’s been back in the studio and was quoted as saying her next album is “way ahead of schedule”, according to publication Rolling Stone. It may end up as another fall release given her past Q4 experiences. The poppy Red polarized her country audience to an extent; will this do the same?

Just press Fray.

Just press Fray.

7. The Fray – Helios (February 25)
Their popularity was waning with me over the past few years; however, the first single from this, “Love Don’t Die”, got me interested in the guys once again. Originally due to be released on January 14, it’s been pushed back to work on a CHR radio run for the single, which is at #11 on Hot AC. While the entire album won’t be full of Mumford-lite songs, it should be solid.

He's a "Beautiful" boy.

Writing up some Rad songs.

6. Andy Grammer – TBA (unknown)
Beginning in the fall of 2010, Grammer and his playful lyrics landed him hits like “Fine By Me” and “Keep Your Head Up”. Over the summer, he released a new EP. It’s unclear whether this will be issued on S-Curve, like his debut, or ThinkSay, a label run by Brad Davidson (S-Curve’s EVP of Promotion) and Ben Singer (his manager.) Regardless, it’ll be great, and if you read my interview with producer and writer Matt Rad, he’s once again teamed with him. We’ll see what makes it on.

Sheer genius.

Sheer genius.

5. Ed Sheeran – TBA (Fall)
2013’s been another great year for Sheeran, with U.S. hits in “Lego House” and a duet with Taylor Swift, “Everything Has Changed”. He’s also up for Best New Artist at this year’s GRAMMY Awards, which he could very well win despite being a peculiar choice on the panel’s part. (He was nominated for Song Of The Year last year for “The A Team”.) Collaborating with superstar producer Rick Rubin, this will be huge. Given the release date, look out for a first single to come in January.

"New" kids in town.

There to stay.

4. A Great Big World – Is There Anybody Out There? (January 14)
Just a year ago, Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino were prepping for “This Is The New Year” to be featured on Glee. Now, they’re all over the place thanks a duet version of their song “Say Something” with Christina Aguilera. The duo’s album is one of the first big releases of the year and should be a big deal for Epic, especially in a slow sales period. If “Say” could rank as the top digital song in the U.S., who says their album can’t? Their pop/rock sound will make for an awesome set.

She sets fire to the reign.

She sets fire to the reign.

3. Adele – TBA (Summer)
The girl who saved the music biz with just her voice and, oh yeah, a Diamond-certified album in the U.S. will be returning to the throne in 2014 with her third studio release. Ryan Tedder of OneRepublic is confirmed to be involved with it, and we’ll likely see Paul Epworth return for the project. Coming off a monumental album in 21, there’s an immense amount of pressure for this to do well. If everything goes as planned, we may be witnessing the biggest first week sales in some time.

It's not easy being green.

Not so Little anymore.

2. Passenger – TBA (April/May)
Arguably the biggest act to hit my chart in some time, the 29-year-old singer and songwriter from Brighton, England managed three consecutive #1’s on my survey in 2013, totaling 19 weeks at the top. His album All The Little Lights was a favorite of mine this year, and I’ll have much more to say about the guy during the revelation of my year-end chart. Needless to say, I’m very excited to hear his next studio album on Nettwerk, due to be released in April or May. Will we see studio versions of some live favorites like “Riding To New York” or “Scare Away The Dark”? We’ll find out in a few months.

"Free" the music.

“Free” the music.

1. Graffiti6 – TBA (unknown) + Jamie Scott & The Town – TBA (unknown)
This one isn’t a surprise, but man, I am waiting on these two albums. 2014 will hopefully see the release of the duo’s next album (all mastered, but has yet to see a release on Capitol) but there will also be another effort by lead singer Scott and his old band. You may remember that they released Park Bench Theories in the U.K. in 2007. Overall, it’s going to be a big year full of some BiGLuV, or at least I hope it is. They didn’t get a chance to pull a repeat on my year-end chart, where “Free” was my #1 song last year, so keep checking on the status of these two projects; nothing means nothing at all without your love.

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ON THE REBOUND: Bands On The Comeback Trail

Bring on the bands! Here are two groups that ended their last eras on a sour note, but are ready to bring it back hard with their latest singles. Will they rise up the charts or stall out in the midst of heavy competition? Only time will tell, but I enjoy them both. They’re two more releases to add to what has already been a very diverse first quarter in the music biz. Let’s start this thing with a little twang…

Treat her like a Lady.

Treat her like a Lady.

Lady A’s been hitting the charts for about five years now, but their last ballad-heavy effort wasn’t as successful as their previous albums. Own The Night produced two number-one singles on the Country Chart, “Just A Kiss” and “We Owned The Night”, but it also gave them their lowest-peaking commercial release ever on the survey, “Wanted You More”, which only went as high as #20. Again, this might have been due to the adult contemporary trending sound of the record; country radio just didn’t want to embrace the more middle-of-the-road and not very, well, “country” material from the band after all the soft singles. Their latest single, the leadoff from their forthcoming album, is a song called “Downtown”, which is pretty much the most country-sounding thing from them in a while. (Although, watch me say that and then weeks down the line, the label remixes it for crossover airplay. Just an assumption, not a fact.) This is a bit of a new side to the group, originally recorded in demo form by Natalie Hemby. The lead vocal is done by Hillary Scott, with the background provided by Charles Kelley, and there’s a newfound spunk and attitude in them with lyrics like “knew the band, so we never paid our cover / Wrote our names on the bathroom tile,” while Scott appeals to her boyfriend or close friend, “I don’t know why you don’t take me downtown anymore.” Look at them being angst-ridden teenagers once again. Lady A, we hardly knew ye. She isn’t the most persuading gal in the world when she urges her significant other to “talk it up and give me the go ’round-round like a good time tease”, but the song overall is definitely a step in the right direction for the band after some misfires. I just sort of wish we had a Kelley lead vocal for the first single, but I’m sure there will be plenty of those on the new album. Look for it to become their next #1 record on the Country survey when it gets a digital release on February 5. (Listen) (Lyric Video)

Turn the "Beat" around.

Turn the “Beat” around.

THE GOO GOO DOLLS – “Rebel Beat”
It’s been almost eighteen years since this band out of Buffalo released their first hit single, “Name”, a #1 song on mainstream radio at a time when alternative rock dominated the charts. Obviously, things have changed a lot since then, but the trio continues on long after their biggest commercial peak. Their last album, 2010’s Something For The Rest Of Us, provided some uninspired and bland singles in “Home” and “Notbroken”, the former of which barely hit the top ten and the latter of which struggled to make the top 30 at the Hot AC format. Two years ago, their theme from Transformers: Dark Of The Moon, “All That You Are”, made the top 15 on the same chart, and that was a vast improvement. Still, it was bound to have a short chart life being from a film. Fast forward to 2013 and the band is back with a new track, “Rebel Beat”. It’s the first single from the band’s forthcoming album, Magnetic, out on May 7. “Whoa! Did Ryan Tedder produce this?” is probably the first thought out of the listener’s head when hearing the song for the first time. As far as I know, he didn’t, but yes, it does sound like OneRepublic‘s sound influence this particular song, specifically their 2011 hit “Good Life”. Hey, they’re going to need to do whatever they need to do to get a hit, and if that means shedding their edgier side once again to appeal to soccer moms, they’ll get at least one more chart hit. I’m sure there will be rockier stuff on the album to appease those long-time fans who still desire it. Anyways, the song itself is pretty good. The lyrics are nothing special, though they seem to explode in a well-engineered chorus: “Hey, you, look around / Can you hear that noise? It’s the rebel sound / We got nowhere else to go / And when the sun goes down and we fill the streets / We’re gonna dance ’til the morning to the rebel’s beat / You can take everything from me, ’cause this is all I need.” Yes, it’s ironic that the song is called “Rebel Beat” when the beat isn’t rebellious and more on the generic side, but give the guys credit for heading in a new direction. It’s a cool tune. It’ll probably take them into at least the top 30 again at Hot AC, though I’m not sure at this time how any followup singles are going to fare. At least we have this for now. (Listen)

Also look out for these new singles coming in the next few weeks:
* NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK – “Remix (I Like The)”: the new single from one of the biggest boy bands of all-time goes to radio on January 25 and to iTunes on January 28. Their new album, 10, is released on April 2. They’ll be touring with 98 Degrees and Boyz II Men this summer. Will the potential success of the band’s new single spur the other two bands to try out new material at mainstream radio? Those rumors will be swirling… (Listen)
* VAMPIRE WEEKEND – “[title TBA]”: the band led by Ezra Koenig returns with their third album on May 7. A single should be at Alternative radio by March.

As always, find out all the information you need right here at POP! Goes The Charts — don’t forget to follow the blog and my personal Twitter handle, @AdamFSoybel.

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week (Jan. 22)

A little more Country than that.

A little more Country than that.

Ready for a busier week of new albums hitting the shelves? Here are the new releases out in stores on Tuesday, January 22:

  • Country veteran Gary Allan returns with Set You Free, his ninth studio album. Leadoff single “Every Storm (Runs Out Of Rain)” is currently a top 5 record on Country radio, his biggest hit in five years. Expect that to give this newest release of his a big boost. Allan has yet to score a #1 album, but he’s made the top 5 with his last three consecutive albums. (iTunes)
  • Also pulling into the Release Ranch this week is the third album from Randy Houser, How Country Feels. The title track is currently #1 at Country radio. His only other top ten record was “Boots On”, a #2 hit in 2009. (iTunes)
  • The GRAMMY Awards are almost here! This 22-track compilation features songs by big nominees like fun., Gotye, Kelly Clarkson and more. (iTunes)
  • Popular Christian group Casting Crowns release their first acoustic-based compilation, The Acoustic Sessions: Volume One. It also features two new songs. (iTunes)
  • Punk Rockers Bad Religion returns with True North, their first album since 2010. (iTunes)
  • His first single was released way back in 1960 and he’s still singing today. Aaron Neville‘s latest album, out today, is My True Story, another album of cover songs. (iTunes)
  • My personal pick of the week belongs to Luke McMaster‘s All Roads. His debut album features his recent adult contemporary hit with Jim Brickman, “Good Morning Beautiful”, as well as remakes of tunes by Al Jarreau and Hall & Oates. (iTunes)
  • Just in time for award season, Mumford & Sons release a deluxe edition of their album Babel, the Gentlemen Of The Road Edition. It’s also available in a box set version. (Amazon)
  • Two albums get a released today that are Valentine’s Day themed: Billy Joel‘s She’s Got A Way: Love Songs, a collection of eighteen of his classic hits (Amazon) and Now! That’s What I Call Love Songs, a collection of titles by various artists. (Amazon)

New digital-only singles that you can buy this week include:

  • “Now”, the first single from Paramore‘s self-titled forthcoming album. (AmazonMP3)
  • “Love Me”, the latest from Lil Wayne, featuring additional rappers Drake and Future. (iTunes)

See you on Tuesday, the 29th, for the next edition!

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TURN IT UP TUESDAY: What’s New In Stores This Week

This chart's about to blow.

This chart’s about to blow.

Looking for some last-minute stocking stuffers? Here’s your roundup of some of the new music releases for this week, in stores on December 4.

  • Warrior is the new album from Ke$ha, her third release, and sadly, it doesn’t contain a hot and glittery remake of the Scandal hit from 1984. What a shame. However, if you’re looking for a solid pop and dance CD from your favorite Animal, then you’ve come to the right place. Highlights are “Crazy Kids” and “Supernatural”, plus, the album contains huge hit “Die Young” and second single “C’mon”. Iggy Pop is also featured on a track. Go figure. Warrior is a favorite for the #1 album in the land next week, unless Rod Stewart‘s Merry Christmas, Baby makes some significant gains.
  • O.N.I.F.C. is the latest release from rapper Wiz Khalifa, his second studio album. “Work Hard, Play Hard” led off the set, which also contains second single, “Remember You”, featuring The Weeknd. It should be top 5 on the album chart. Khalifa’s Rolling Papers debuted at #2 on the chart last year.
  • If you dig a little Country music, you’re probably familiar with the band Florida-Georgia Line. They recently hit #1 on the Country airplay chart with “Cruise” from their EP It’z Just What We Do. Well, now, their full-length album, Here’s To The Good Times, is released this week, featuring half a dozen new songs. You’ll probably find this album debuting somewhere in the top 15.
  • Gavin DeGraw is slowly rising up the Hot Adult Contemporary chart with his new single, “Soldier”. It’s one of the tracks performed on DeGraw’s new concert release, Sweeter Live. The CD/DVD set contains an eleven track audio CD, plus a concert filmed in Lancaster, CA in full.
  • Paloma Faith, who just performed on The Today Show, releases the Stateside version of her album Fall To Grace. “Picking Up The Pieces” is currently receiving Hot Adult Contemporary airplay. The album peaked at #2 in the United Kingdom.
  • Other audio releases this week include Blur‘s Parklife and Hinder‘s Welcome To The Freakshow. The former release is also available on DVD.

Other assorted music DVDs and books out this week include:

  • Live At Knebworth, 1979 by rock group Led Zeppelin. You’ll be seeing them in a few weeks being awarded at The Kennedy Center Honors.
  • Own The Night: World Tour, a live release from top-selling Country group Lady Antebellum. The concert was recorded live in Little Rock, AK, and this DVD contains several bonus features with the band.
  • Pearl Jam Twenty by Pearl Jam, a film directed by Cameron Crowe, plus a full performance from the band’s anniversary concert.
  • This book is often cited by a lot of musicians and industry types alike, but the eighth edition of All You Need To Know About The Music Business by Donald S. Passman is out this week. Could be an interesting read.

Lastly, the new digital-only singles that you can buy this week:

  • “I Feel It In My Bones”, this year’s annual Christmas single as put out by The Killers.
  • The U.S. release of “Troublemaker” by Olly Murs featuring Flo Rida. It’s already been a #1 hit in the United Kingdom and it’s currently at #9 on my personal chart. Highly recommend it.
  • “When I Was Your Man”, another digital single from the forthcoming Bruno Mars album, Unorthodox Jukebox.

Enjoy all the new music out this week!

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