10 Upcoming Albums to Look Forward to Now That We’re No Longer Waiting on ‘ANTI’
Now that we can no longer pass the time bitching about Rihanna’s long-awaited, oft-delayed, and ultimately baffling eighth album, we will have to change gears and start bitching about waiting for these 10 other 2016 (we hope) releases to drop.
After all, it’s nice to have something to look forward to. So look forward to these 10 albums.
Last Release: 2013’s Yeezus
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: 100%. It drops Feb. 11 and is one of only two albums on this list to have a definite release date.
What to Expect: We don’t even know what the title will be, though, most recently, it was Waves. We know (?) it will feature many, many collaborations. We know what a few of the songs sound like. We know it’s a gospel album with a lot of swearing. We know that Yeezy originally claimed it would be the greatest album of all time, only to backtrack.
Will It Be Good? Some people are predicting that West is due to drop a brick, and the material he released last year was underwhelming and seemed to confirm that a brick was indeed imminent. But! Plot twist! None of the songs West released last year are (as of this moment) on the album’s track list. The singles he’s dropped in 2016 — “No More Parties in L.A.” (Feat. Kendrick Lamar) and “Real Friends” — have been more warmly welcomed, a good sign. Regardless, it’s hard to imagine that the album won’t win over critics even if it doesn’t find much love on the charts after its sure-to-be-high debut.
Anticipation Rating: 9/10
Last Release: 2013’s ARTPOP. (She released a jazz album in 2014, but that is not relevant to our purposes here today.)
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: Basically 100%. Mother Monster confirmed that #LG5 would be out in 2016, though she declined to say when. If her incredible lineup of appearances and performances in February alone is any indication, expect an announcement to come somewhat soon.
What to Expect: We know she has been in the studio with producer RedOne, who helped craft some of her biggest hits (“Just Dance,” “Poker Face,” and “Bad Romance,” to name a few). We know she recorded with Mark Ronson, the man behind “Uptown Funk.” We know she wrote with Diane Warren, with whom she collaborated on the Grammy- and Oscar-nominated “Til It Happens to You.” Disco legend Nile Rogers may be involved as a producer. Lastly, we know Elton John has written with her and has heard a few songs from the record, which he described as “killer” and like “the early stuff of hers.” In short, expect something more cohesive (and less abrasive) than ARTPOP.
Will It Be Good? All signs point to
yes yaaasss. The list of known collaborators is impressive, and Gaga has done a wondrous job at building her image back up following the disastrous ARTPOP campaign. That Gaga has remained atypically quiet about the project — no proclamations that it will be “the album of the decade,” thank god(ga) — also bodes well, expectations-wise.
Anticipation Rating: 10/10
Last Release: 2013’s Beyoncé
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: It’s very likely, but technically unconfirmed.
What to Expect: We know next to nothing about Bey’s sixth studio album, which is just the way she wants it. A handful of artists and producers including Future, D.R.A.M., and Deputy have recently claimed to have worked with Bey, though she has confirmed nothing. (And even if those collaborations exist, who’s to say they’re for her album?) There was also a rumor that she and her husband Jay Z were planning to release a joint album together.
Be Bey Good? Beyoncé seems to have entered a phase in her career in which her vision is clearer than ever, her confidence unshakeable. Bet your bottom dollar that it will be good, though high expectations set after Beyoncé (and its game-changing surprise release) could prove hard to live up to. But if anyone can meet them, it’s Bey. (However, to be honest, we could do without a joint Jay Z album.)
Anticipation Rating: 10/10
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: 100%. It’s out sometime in April.
What to Expect: Perhaps more than any other artist on this list, Drake has his finger on the pulse of what’s hip and happening and hip-hop-happening. Expect a massive album with at least a few massive singles and a massive amount of shade to be thrown. But other than that, nothing
was the same is concrete. But here is what we know for sure: It is called Views From the 6. Drake dropped the first taste of the album, “Summer Sixteen,” last week. The song features a dig at Barack Obama and Kanye West’s pool size.
Will It Be Good? Drake’s prolificness — he released two mixtapes in 2015 and had one of the biggest singles of the year — dulls excitement for a new LP, if only slightly. The album will certainly sell well, and it will likely be, at least, decent. But most would argue that Drake has yet to deliver a truly top-to-bottom classic album, which leads one to wonder if we’re in for a handful of smashes mixed in with some typical Drake filler.
Anticipation Rating: 8/10
Last Release: 2013’s Britney Jean
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: It seems likely, but it honestly could go either way. Between her Las Vegas residency, spending time with her sons, and running the world’s most endearingly bizarre Instagram account, she has her hands full and seems in no huge rush.
What to Expect: Not much is known about the project. Britney has worked with Justin Tranter and Julia Michaels, who recently wrote some big hits for Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez. She has also reportedly been in the studio with DJ Mustard and Danja (who worked on fan-favorite Blackout). And that’s basically it.
Will It Be Good? Britney’s output for the last decade has been, to put it mildly, mixed. Britney Jean is widely considered to be her worst album, and it followed 2011’s Femme Fatale, which was not much better. Just last year, she released what might be the worst single of her career, “Pretty Girls” (Feat. Iggy Azalea). One sincerely hopes she’ll get it together and put out a decent album, but I wouldn’t recommend holding your breath in anticipation of a classic.
Anticipation Rating: 6.5/10
Last Release: 2013’s Prism
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: Rumor has it Ms. Perry is eyeing a Q4 release, but nothing has been confirmed. This one could go either way, but it’s probably more likely than not.
What to Expect: Next to nothing is known about the project. Perry once expressed an interest in going full singer-songwriter, but something tells me she won’t do that just yet. (After all, she promised darkness before asking everyone to let the light in.) Expect more expertly-crafted pop hits and a lot of filler. In other words: business as usual.
Will It Be Good? Prism was a step down, quality-wise, from Teenage Dream, though that did not stop it from spawning two No. 1 singles and going platinum. Chances are that it will simply be a continuation of the winning Katy Perry Brand and Formula. It simply remains to be seen whether that formula will translate to the same sort of success in 2016.
Anticipation Rating: 7/10
Last Release: 2012’s Lotus
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: Likely, but nothing has been confirmed. Last year, she claimed she hoped to have the new album out around the time live episodes of The Voice began airing. That seems unlikely given that those episodes begin airing next month. Then again, she recently shared a photo of herself in the studio, leading people to believe she’s gearing up for a new era.
What to Expect: We know so little, so it’s hard to say. Early last year, a producer working with Aguilera described her new record’s sound as “caviar ratchet,” a phrase that does not exactly paint a clear picture. Even still, those remarks were made more than a year ago; who knows if they are still valid.
Will It Be Good? Despite Aguilera’s many talents, she hasn’t put out a solid hit album (or a particularly good one) in a decade. She has had slightly better luck as a featured guest on singles, though not with singles taken off of her own albums. 2010’s Bionic is considered one of the most notorious flops of the modern era, and Lotus actually fared worse. Maybe she’s gotten it together? I remain hopeful but not expectant.
Anticipation Rating: 5/10
Last Release: 2006’s The Dutchess
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: Word is it will be out in March, but nothing is official.
What to Expect: Who knows? We could assume “L.A. Love (La La)” is a taste of what’s to come, but the album could easily take a different track, especially given the lukewarm reception to that song.
Will It Be Good? A lot of time has passed since Fergie stormed the charts with her debut album. Since its release 10 years ago, a lot has changed, and we have no indication that Fergie has been able to upgrade her sound to fit with the times. (I hope she’s not so 2000 and late.) It seems unlikely Fergie will manage to be as successful as she was in 2006, but it’s not totally out of the realm of possibility that her new material will hit the mark.
Anticipation Rating: 4/10
Will It Be Good? Probably not. It will, however, be an event. For a minute, anyway. People are curious to hear it, considering Zayn’s history. But once the novelty wears off, it’s hard to imagine people caring as much as he’s hoping they will.
Anticipation Rating: 5.5/10
Last Release: 2012’s Channel Orange
Odds It Will Be Out This Year: We were all pretty sure it would be out in 2015, and look at us now. Still, it would be quite shocking of Ocean waited another year. Nothing is for certain, but expect it sometime in 2016.
Will It Be Good: After this wait, one certainly hopes it will.
Anticipation Rating: 10/10