Now that we’re done with reflecting on 2011, it’s time to start projecting into 2012. With the reign of Adele perhaps taking a brief hiatus, and buzz building around several newcomers, some legendary reunions and highly anticipated sophomore albums, 2012 is already shaping up to be a year filled with some pretty amazing music. We’ve put together a list of 20 of our most anticipated albums for 2012 — what are you looking forward to in 2012?
Lana Del Rey – Born To Die (Expected Release Date: 01/27): Possibly the most hyped artist of 2011, we’re excited for the record to finally come out so we can stop judging the hype and start judging the material! She landed a highly coveted spot as the musical guest on the January 14th episode of Saturday Night Live, so expect the clamor to grow.
Van Halen – A Different Kind Of Truth (Expected Release Date: 02/07): Aside from a couple of songs that made it onto the band’s 1996 Best Of set, the band hasn’t cut any new material in the studio with original lead singer David Lee Roth since 1984, so anticipation for this project is through the roof. After a blistering reunion set at Cafe Wha? in New York City last night, there’s a good chance the boys still have it in ‘em.
Sleigh Bells – Reign Of Terror (Expected Release Date: 02/14): After Sleigh Bells’ killer debut with Treats, we’re biting our nails to find out whether their sophomore effort will be just as good. If the release of the first single off the new album, “Born To Lose”, is anything to go by, we won’t be disappointed.
Nicki Minaj – Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (Expected Release Date: 02/14): Since Nicki Minaj Tweeted that the new album will feature all new material (as opposed to a re-release), we’ve been painting everything pink in anticipation. Barbz at the ready!
God? Are you there? It’s me, Demi! Pop star Demi Lovato has taken to her Twitter to vent her frustration at God. Is she going through some traumatic times? We know Demi’s had some troubles with her health in the past, and after her stint in rehab we hope that she’s making a speedy recovery. Despite calling out God for his/her absence in her Tweets, Demi still has an overall air of positivity — one of the reasons we love her so much — and her final Tweet of the bunch (Frank Ocean “Swim Good” inspired perhaps?) left us with a sense that everything is going to be OK, and even we took some inspiration for ourselves! See the Tweets we’re talking about below.
If you haven’t heard about Kanye West‘s Twitter rant then you’ve obviously been living under a rock for the past 24 hours, which, come to think of it, can’t be good for your posture, so you should just stop living there and live in a proper house instead. The short of it is that Kanye West Tweeted 86 times over 3 hours; you can read the long of it here (i.e. all Kanye’s Tweets in chronological order). Being the smart ass that he is, Jimmy Kimmel went ahead and made a hilarious fake commercial for the company Kanye Tweeted about starting, named DONDA, after his later mother.
Of the company, Kanye Tweeted, “I have started a new company and I’m so excited about the name it’s got the best name ever of all companies of all time!!! The name of the company is DONDA. DONDA is a design company which will galvanize amazing thinkers and put them in a creative space to bounce there dreams and ideas.” Using Tweets like this from Kanye’s rant along with several other Kanye Twitter gems, the faux-advert is particularly hilarious, and will give you the Friday afternoon giggle you’ve been looking for.
The latest rock beef came this week in the form of The Black Keys‘ Patrick Carney spouting completely unprovoked vitriol at Nickelback, including, “Rock & roll is dying because people became OK with Nickelback being the biggest band in the world,” in a rather malicious rant in a Rolling Stone interview. The attack seemed petty at the time, and now seems pettier still given Nickelback’s response.
The band Tweeted yesterday, “Thanks to the drummer in the Black Keys calling us the Biggest Band in the World in Rolling Stone. Hehe,” and it seems like not only are Nickelback taking the insult on the chin, they’re taking a novel approach to beefing — not taking it so seriously. No matter what your opinion of Nickelback, it’s clear the guys have a sense of humor, and we’re giving them a standing ovation for their jokey spin on the comments, and for not engaging in a back and forth slanging match.
The third single from Rihanna‘s album Talk That Talk, is the song by the same name, and it’s set to be a winner, climbing to number 31 on the charts from downloads alone. Featuring vocals by collaborator Jay-Z, the track is already epic enough, but now rumors are circulating that Kanye West could be making an appearance on the release. The rumor began when Australian Chart News Report listed Kanye West along with Jay-Z as a featured artist on the track, and now the Internet is talking the talk. While Kanye West isn’t featured on the album track, there’s still a possibility that there might be an added verse on the single release (much like the added Ye verse on Katy Perry’s “E.T.” release), especially given the trios propensity for working together. With Kanye’s vocal helping to propel “E.T.” to number one position on the charts, if the rumor is indeed true, it could do wonderful things for Rihanna’s already impressive record for hits.
Our You Oughta Know artist, Christina Perri, had a big year in 2011 with her song “A Thousand Years,” which was featured on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 soundtrack. Perri, while on the promotional tour for the movie, chatted with VH1 Top 20 Video Countdown host Jim Shearer for the second installment of our VH1 Tuner podcast, which you can listen to in full here. In it, Perri says “A Thousand Years” was written specifically for Edward and Bella, and that she’s a self-proclaimed “Twi-hard”, getting “Bitten” tattooed to herself “[after] having read the books, and I felt as though I’d been bitten with the series, with the obsession of the love story.”
Aside from her love for Twilight and obvious excitement about being on the soundtrack, Perri revealed that she’ll be releasing one more single from her album lovestrong. According to Perri, the song will be an existing track from the album, re-recorded to include a duet with a male singer/songwriter. While she wont reveal who she’ll be pairing up with for the release, she says the artist is somewhere in the spectrum between Tony Bennett and Justin Bieber. But it doesn’t end there — Perri says she’s ready to start work on a new album and with 32 song ideas already in the vault, she says she just wants to come up with more: “I’m always writing… Writers should never stop writing.” Now 100% recovered from vocal surgery (fun fact: Perri’s doctor is the same doctor Adele used when she also underwent surgery last year), we’re excited to see what 2012 holds for Perri, and who the mystery duet will be with!
Last night Chris Cornell appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno to perform his hit song “The Keeper.” The song has been nominated for a Golden Globe award for the movie Machine Gun Preacher, and it’s not hard to see why. With Cornell’s gravelly vocal and a romantic string section backing him, the song is both revealing and captivating. The dimly lit stage on Leno, with it’s clean beams of light, assortment of gothic candles and Chris’ face surrounded in a halo-esque glow only added to the whimsical appeal of the track.
Back in November, word leaked out that Van Halen was planning on releasing a new album and embarking on a North American tour to support it. Classic rock fans were cautiously optimistic about the news, seeing as how prior reunions had ultimately fizzled out because of the legendarily testy relationship between guitarist Eddie Van Halen and loquacious frontman David Lee Roth. After a rumored reunion performance at the Grammy Nomination Concert Live!!! concert back in November failed to materialize, Van Halen fans were understandably nervous about the band’s current stability. However, during a 70-minute set at Manhattan’s tiny, 280 person capacity club Cafe Wha? tonight, the group looked happier to be in each other’s presence than they have since the early Eighties and, as a result, turned in a performance that David Lee Roth himself proclaimed as one of the best in the group’s storied history.
A Man Is Stabbed For Not Knowing Jay-Z And Beyoncé Are Married
A man was actually stabbed by someone else for his failure to comprehend that Jay-Z and Beyoncé are married. It’s lucky the attacker didn’t quiz him on the baby too… [Prefix]
Jack White To Collaborate With Tom Jones
Veteran crooner Tom Jones is reportedly set to collaborate with contemporary rock star Jack White. Apparently the unlikely couple will be covering Howling Wolf’s “Evil,” and also “Jezebel,” from Jones’ 2002 album, Mr. Jones. [Spin]
There’s no slowing buzz machineLana Del Rey down. From the dark, brooding “Video Games” that got everyone talking in mid-2011 to her equally enigmatic follow-up, “Blue Jeans,” Lana Del Rey managed to capture the imaginations of music aficionados in an almost cult-like fashion. With her debut album, Born To Die, due to drop later this month, the hype is becoming dizzying, as the sultry songstress continues to drop tease after tease, from the racy “Born To Die” video and now two new, previously unheard songs, “National Anthem” and “This Is What Makes Us Girls”.
Amping up the hubbub and controversy, both tracks are decidedly different from anything else we’ve heard from Lana Del Rey up to this point. Upbeat and poppy, both tacks are decidedly sweeter sounding than Lana Del Rey’s previously tortured vocals; her new tracks employ the verbal pacing of lite hip-hop and reminds us somewhat of a young Uffie, with the lyrical subject matter skewing slightly towards Katy Perry territory. Yep, the Lana Del Rey machine has managed to get fanboys sufficiently hot under the collar for the release of Born To Die with an excruciatingly drawn out, but seemingly genius marketing period. The album itself looks to be a concoction of several Lana Del Rey personas, from the self destructive, to the unassumingly sexy, to the romantic, to the girlie hedonist.