six records we’re looking forward to this year
As a long-awaited Dr Dre album drops, who else will get their act together and actually release a new album before the end of 2015?
Ok, so it's not the Detox we've been so patiently waiting for, but Andre 'Dr. Dre' Young is finally releasing a follow-up to 1999's west coast classic 2001. After 16 years of promises, false starts, retractions and the chatting of quite a lot of breeze, the Good Doctor is dropping an album this week that celebrates the release of the forthcoming N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. "I felt myself being so inspired by the movie that I started to record an album," Dre said during his Beats1 show, The Pharmacy, last weekend. "The record is bananas." The man behind Snoop, Dre and Eminem also admitted that we could give up all hope of ever seeing the much-maligned Detox. "I didn't like it. It wasn't good," he said of scrapping the record. "I worked my ass off on it, and I don't think I did a good enough job." Dre called the record his "grand finale", suggesting this album will be his last (but we're ignoring that because it seems too awful to be true). Compton: A Soundtrack by Dre features Kendrick, Snoop, Ice Cube, Eminem and the UK's own Marsha Ambrosius and will drop on iTunes this Friday. But Dr. Dre isn't the only tardy pop star that's been keeping us waiting for new material - Rihanna and Kanye we're really, really side-eyeing you right now. Thankfully with 'the fourth quarter' (aka the Christmas cash-in) soon upon us, here are the six albums we're confident of finally hearing in 2015.
Are we prepared - mentally and physically - for Beyoncé to do us like she did last time? The collective world blood pressure was raised to stroke giving proportions on 13 December 2013 when Queen Bee dropped a flawless album with accompanying 16 videos - 16!!! - with no warning, no fanfare, no consideration for our cholesterol ridden arteries or the fact we had, like, jobs to go to. So what next? Did she release 7/11 just because she's Beyoncé and she bloody well can? Probably. With scant details of a solo album in sight, it seems more plausible that the Carters will drop a joint album this year. Drunk In Love producer Detail told Billboard in February that he was working on a project with the pair, while in April, LA's DJ Skee said the joint album was "finally nearing completion." However the new music drops - joint or solo - lets all remember that Bee-Jay are really, really good at keeping secrets, so put down that mid-afternoon Krispy Kreme and prepare yourself for any eventuality.
Predicted release date: October 4 (Midway between Jay and Bee's birthdays)
Rihanna: R8 [title tbc]
When we dropped our fiery hot Rihanna cover issue back in February we were feeling smug; what great timing we grinned gleefully, as a string of Riri hits hit the internet, leading many to suspect Ri's eighth album, R8 would be unleashed on Valentines Day. And then… silence. From what we can see, our beloved Bajan has spent the last few months in a bikini and dressed as an omelet, totally ruining her previous 'album a year' release record. There are rumours that she scrapped an entire album and so the process has started all over again, but there are encouraging signs that something will be out before Christmas. We've seen the harmonious homage to herb, interlude James Joint, and of course the Kanye and Macca featuring FourFiveSeconds. There's also Oxygen, an arch look at the American dream,and the awe-inspiring #BBHMM with its accompanying 'controversial' video. Rumoured guests include Sam Smith, Nicki Minaj and Drake, and you can bet on appearances from Eminem and Sia. But really, we just want RiRi to RiRelease something and soon please.
Predicted release date: December 23 in the nick of time for those stockings.
Adele: 25, 26, 27
It's been four years since the behemoth that was 21 and we'd given up all hope of ever hearing another Adele album, even though she hinted heavily that something might appear at the end of 2014. It seems the Tottenham born singer was obviously too busy being a mum, dressing up as George Michael, and counting the stacks of cash accumulated from her 30 million selling second album. But then Ed Sheeran was wonderfully indiscreet recently and our hopes have once more risen. Though Sheeran himself hasn't heard the album, his mates have, he told Capital back in July. "They were really complimentary…everyone I know who's worked on it is just like, 'Dude… that record!' Apparently it's really good!" The rumour mill continues apace, with mooted collaborators including Phil Collins, Ryan Tedder, Damon Albarn and Paul Epworth, the Mark Ronson to Adele's Amy. Pharrell also gave a little insight recently while appearing at Cannes Lions. "She is a masterful writer. You listen to her albums and the intention is living and breathing," gushed Skateboard P, who also revealed that sessions with Adele last a maximum of 30 minutes as the singer is keen to be with her son. "She's kinda like, 'OK guys, I'm gonna open my diary for 20 minutes'. So it's like, OK, you have 20 minutes, or 32 minutes really. Then she gives it to you and closes it up and disappears, and she's off with her beautiful boy - and that's what it's all about."
Predicted release date: Not 19 October, Angelo's birthday, she'll be busy doing him and his friends a right lovely party.
Kanye: SWISH [tbc]
Previously known as So Help Me God, the follow-up to Yeezus was touted as far back as April 2014 when the Louis Vuitton Don cancelled the Australian leg of his tour to finish up "his highly anticipated studio album". Since then everyone from Evian Christ to Rick Rubin, Madonna, Theophilus London, Skepta and Ty Dolla $Ign have talked about working with Yeezy, while Seth Rogen was even kidnapped by Kanye and forcefed the album. There have been various album playbacks in Paris, London and New York, yet still.no.record.
Then, earlier this year - on January 1 in fact - Kanye dropped the North dedicated Only One, with a stripped back Spike Jonze video. Wolves, featuring Sia and Vic Mensa premiered at the New York adidas launch in February, while All Day received its debut with a Grime boosting Brits performance. All great tracks, but all somewhat disparate in feel and finish. It's likely that we might not see all, or perhaps any, of these songs on the finished record once it is finally done. Has he scrapped the lot and gone back to the drawing board? Perhaps. "I'm just living my life, man. I'm work[ing] on the next album, work[ing] on it slowly, make it an art project, you know," shrugged Kanye during a recent Hot 97 interview.
Predicted release date: December 24 aka the birthdate of his son #GodComplex
Without doubt Grime's posterboy, when Skepta isn't performing with Kanye at the Brits, he's hanging out with Drake and A$AP Rocky. He's had, arguably, the three biggest Grime tracks of 2015 - Shutdown, That's Not Me and It Ain't Safe - while his gradual infiltration into American culture continues apace thanks to a recent sold-out tour. Though Konnichiwa was originally slated for release around March of this year, a lot has happened in 2015 and Adenuga told Fader that the album will come when it's ready. Given the highs and lows of this year (Skepta lost a close friend, Lukey Maxwell recently), we imagine Skeppy will look to reevaluate the record following recent experiences. To keep fans happy, he's about to release a mixtape with Tim Westwood, yet again suggesting that a new album could be a while off. When Konnichiwa does drop, it will be on his own terms, on his own label and boy better know it has every possibility of being another seminal Skeppy classic.
Predicted release date: Skepta's birthday is 19 September, but this feels too soon. Konnichiwa may miss 2015, with a release date for 1 January sounding very legendary, very historic.
Frank Ocean: Boys Don't Cry [tbc]
He's teased and teased, but it does look like Frank's third album is actually imminent. As well as his own car magazine, the Odd Future affiliate has been working on the record in London and finally some 'concrete' proof that he's ready to roll was spotted on his website yesterday. Tabs for 'audio' and 'text' have appeared and there appears to be new merch on the horizon, including a possible collaboration with Yohji Yamamoto. Of course, no confirmation can be given, and no one will ever trust Ocean's Rick-Rolling-trolling little brother Ryan Breaux again, but expect the follow-up to Channel Orange any day now.
Predicted release date: Soon!