Monday, 24 January 2011

Upcoming music in 2011

A few days ago, when reviewing Brian Transeau's most recent long player I ended the review with a slightly pessimistic note, wondering where his future will take him.  However never mind that, it's 2011 now and a new year is at hand.  As it's taken me until now to talk about 2010's output I don't intend to fall so far behind, as soon as some decent artists actually shove out something decent that is. So what is this self-indulgent weblog author looking forward to getting his teeth into this year, aside from further gratuitous use of the third person?

Ladytron will be releasing a new album in mid-2011, which should be worth a pop. Everything they've done before has interested me at least for a while, although they don't seem to have the knack of making a full album which can satisfy one for its full length.  Nevertheless they are a band whose sound has obviously had a lot of impact on modern pop and yet haven't fallen for most of the excesses of modern pop production so whatever they do it's going to be important to consider. Their recent song for the new FIFA game, "Ace of Hz", certainly keeps expectations above the horizon.

Our decade's most promising pop singer-songwriter with ridiculous diva pretensions, Lady Gaga, will also be following her one-and-a-half albums with a new one this year.  Now I like Lady Gaga, but so far she seems to be fitting into a lucrative but perhaps limiting singles-artist niche, making some very cool and obscenely catchy songs that no-one can get enough of, but her first album was stuffed with filler and feels like  far too much effort to listen to beyond the hits, with the follow up Fame Monster coming off far better for having fewer songs and even better, fewer fingers in the pie, with RedOne proving that he's probably her best musical collaborator with "Bad Romance" and "Alejandro".  So if more earworms with style are forthcoming, bring them on.  Maybe the whole CD might actually hold the attention better this time?

Finally for the moment, it's that time of the century again.  This blog's favourite d'n'b-come-rock-come-electro-pop three piece, Kosheen, are back again for album number four, apparently called Independence.  I still keep returning to Damage as if discovering its brilliance for the first time so I'm getting a little excited by this one - I'd probably be more excited if it wasn't for the fact that once again it's taken nearly the length of an entire degree for it to turn up!  Previews are few at the moment, although very promising track "Belladonna" is up on their Soundcloud page along with a few other songs.  If this album turns out like "Belladonna", a pretty nifty synth-heavy shuffle track in which singer Sian Evans' vocals are just as apt as ever, and has a few softer bits like "Waste" with an occasional kick into high gear like "Sleep Tonight", the two guys' song with singer Suzie Ledge, then I'm going to be happy with this one.   Don't know when it's coming yet, though.

Want to try racing me to the finish, guys?  I'm due to get my PhD over with this summer, no pressure....

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