February 27, 2024

Opinion: 5 Most Anticipated Albums of 2016

Music Blogger, David Bradford, selects his top five anticipated albums for 2016 including Kanye West, Arcade Fire and more.

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Sure, 2015 was a fantastic year for music, but 2016 appears to be cooking up some juicy material for our musical palates. This early in the year, there aren’t too many confirmed release dates, but with the combination of a handful of interesting confirmed releases and speculation on artists who are supposed to release music this year, 2016 should be every bit as entertaining as 2015.

So here are my 5 most anticipated albums of 2016. Some are confirmed, some are rumored to be released at a later date and some I am just hoping for.

#5: Kendrick Lamar & J. Cole (TBA)

Latest Release: “To Pimp A Butterfly” (2015)/”2014 Forest Hills Drive” (2014)

Why I’m Excited: Kendrick Lamar released the best album of last year with “To Pimp a Butterfly.” J. Cole, on the other hand, has yet to release a consistent project in my eyes, but has potential and I feel that working with an artist like Kendrick will only make Cole step up his performance.

#4: Arcade Fire (TBA)

Latest Release: “Reflektor” (2013)

Why I’m Excited: Arcade Fire’s latest release was a disappointing experimentation into the world of disco and several other genres. However, the Indie Rock staples still have three sensational albums under their belt that feature emotive songwriting and passionate performances. I’m hoping that the band continues to experiment, but this time around, I hope they touch up their instrumentals and make them more tasteful.

#3: Kanye West (“Waves”/Feb 11)

Latest Release: “Yeezus” (2013)

Why I’m Excited: Even though “Yeezus” scarred me and left me with serious trust issues, Kanye has released two stellar tracks prior to the release of “Waves” that remind me of Kanye’s earlier work. Now Kanye has always been one to move forward and start new trends, but given how hit or miss his music has been since 2011, it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if Kanye reached back a little.

#2: Swans (TBA)

Latest Release: “To Be Kind” (2014)

Why I’m Excited: Swans will be hard pressed to top an album as great as “To Be Kind”, an album that featured masterful production, intense songwriting, and thrilling vocal performances from frontman Michael Gira. Sadly, this upcoming album is rumored to be the band’s last album under the current lineup. If you love groove-heavy music that builds and builds until a triumphant and noisy climax, then Swans is the group for you.

#1: Frank Ocean (“Boys Don’t Cry”/TBA)

Latest Release: “channel ORANGE” (2012)

Why I’m Excited: “channel ORANGE” was by no means a perfect album, but it showed the potential that Frank Ocean had not only as a vocalist, but a lyricist and songwriter. Ocean really has a knack for writing interesting songs from unique perspectives and it really pains me that he has left everyone in the dark since 2012. His follow-up was supposed to drop late July of last year, but nothing ever transpired and Ocean really hasn’t left an explanation. The combination of how fantastic his last album was with the mysterious delay of this album makes the potential Frank Ocean sophomore record my most anticipated album of this year.

Edited by Jessica Carr

The opinion of our writers/bloggers are not a reflection of the opinion of the Tennessee Journalist as a whole.

Featured Image courtesy of creativecommons.org


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Follow me @DavidJBradford1 on Twitter, email me at dbradfo2@vols.utk.edu for any questions.