728x90 DART richIframeInline(S). pagename: bands

 Bands Main

Page 1

What '05 will hold for Christina, Mariah, J. Lo and Jessica Simpson ...

Page 2

Predictions on 50 Cent, Kanye West, Outkast, Fat Joe and the Game ...

Page 3

The scoop on Audioslave, System of a Down, Coldplay and the White Stripes ...

Browse Bands by Name

Or enter a band name below to search:

— by Gil Kaufman

Late 2004 brought a flood of major albums from the likes of Eminem, a re-formed Destiny's Child, U2 and Gwen Stefani, not to mention strong efforts from Nas and Ludacris. It's a tough roster to beat, but 2005 is knocking at the door with fresh albums from Fat Joe, J. Lo, Coldplay, 50 Cent and Audioslave, double shots from Outkast and System of a Down as well as the Game's debut.

The year in music is already posing some interesting questions: Will Justin Timberlake forever split with 'NSYNC and release his second solo album, or will he pull a Beyoncé and give the group one more shot? Will the world care about the final Ol' Dirty Bastard album? More importantly, can J. Lo come back from a string of movie flops and have another hit album, and can Jessica Simpson continue to parlay her TV stardom into multiplatinum sales?

Plus, as we said last year, a few artists we haven't heard from in several years are also prepping comeback albums that have been in the works for a while. Will Nine Inch Nails and Dr. Dre actually release new albums, and will they be able to recapture past glory?

We asked a panel of experts to give their predictions on the year's most anticipated albums.

Christina Aguilera
Can the 'Dirrty' girl get her mojo back?

Aguilera is working on an album and recently spent time in India searching for her muse, saying, "India has always captured my imagination with its myriad cultures and spiritualism." Whether or not she finds any answers, X-Tina is better equipped for adult stardom than most singers who break through as teenagers, said Geoff Mayfield, director of charts for Billboard magazine. "Her last album had five radio hits, which is deeper than most artists go. Most teen-pop artists hit that wall faster, and I think the period between Stripped and her first album helped her audience grow with her. A song like 'Beautiful' spoke to teenage girls ... but even on her first album she was already drawing adult listeners."

Prediction: A new generation of teen queens has taken over, so X-Tina will probably go more mature.

Mariah Carey
Can Mariah get her groove back by emancipating her inner Mimi?

Carey has adopted a pseudonym for her upcoming album, The Emancipation of Mimi (March 22), an inside reference to one of her nicknames. In an online post, the singer said the disc will give fans get a peek at her private life. The first single is slated to be "Say Something" (featuring Snoop Dogg and Pharrell Williams), which DJ Envy of New York's Hot 97 said is not a good sign. "I think she's gonna do the same thing she did last year and go more hip-hop and less mainstream. She should keep it mainstream and just do a remix or something or this won't work." At the very least, she should stop telling people about her hard-knock life, Mayfield suggested. "She will always have that core audience that will support her, but her relevance to the general public hinges on whether she makes music that has to be heard," he said. "It's like a pitcher who had a 20-win season. It might not be this one where he does it again, but you wouldn't want to bet against her just on principle, because this might be the year."

Prediction: Carey's been gone so long she's due for a comeback ... as long as her fans are still be there to hear it.

J. Lo
Can an album compete with a string of high-profile movie flops and a secret wedding?

"People may be tired of her, but if she comes up with a song that you have to hear and a video that you have to watch, they'll get over it," Mayfield predicted. "If it's just average, you'll hear the same kind of comments made after 'Gigli.' She's at a point where it has to be great, and if it is, people will forgive her for all the ink she's gotten." In the video for the first single, "Get Right," Lopez plays herself in multiple roles, and she co-produced Rebirth (March 1) with collaborator Cory Rooney. Fabolous guests on an alternative version of "Get Right," and Fat Joe and Lopez's new husband, crooner Marc Anthony, also make cameos.

Prediction: Bad movies never stopped Madonna, but Lopez needs to keep her music career hot to avoid two strikes. Expect a full-court press.

Can the former B2K singer break out on his own?

Omarion will try to emerge from the shadow of B2K with O (February 8). It'll likely be a hard road, according to Envy. "He's stuck between the kiddie and grown-up world, which is tough. He needs a smash single to get it going, which I don't think 'O' is." Among the producers lending a hand are Allstar (3LW), the Underdogs (B2K) and Atlanta's Corner Boys (Usher). The 20-year-old singer co-wrote five of the songs, and the album's sole guest is Outkast's Big Boi on "Never Gonna Let You Go (She's a Keepa)."

Prediction: It's hard to break out of the boy-band ghetto, but triple threat (dancer/singer/actor) Omarion just might have what it takes.

Jessica Simpson
Will the queen of all media blow up to Britney status?

The pop diva recently said she's thinking of experimenting with other genres to make her music more timeless for the follow-up to 2003's In This Skin. "I want to still keep it pop," she said, "but steer left a little bit. Maybe I'll put a little bit of country in there, maybe a little bit of jazz." Simpson said she's been listening to Icelandic pop curiosity Björk for inspiration. "The TV show had everything to do with the relaunch and success of her last album," Mayfield said. "If she comes up with something that will satisfy the people who bought her records so far, it will do really well at the beginning. If not, it will fizzle fast."

Prediction: Expect a good first week at the very least.

NEXT: Predictions on 50 Cent, Kanye West, Outkast, Fat Joe and the Game ...
Photo: MTV News

160x600 DART richIframeInline(S). pagename: bands

  Christina Aguilera
"The Voice Within"


  Mariah Carey
"Dreamlover - (Def Club mix)"
The Remixes

  J. Lo
"Baby I Love You"
From The Motion Picture Gigli


  Jessica Simpson
"Take My Breath Away"
In This Skin

  Fat Joe
"All I Need"
(Terror Squad/Atlantic)

  50 Cent
"P.I.M.P. (remix)"
Get Rich Or Die Tryin

  The Game
"How We Do"
The Documentary

Speakerboxxx/The Love Below

  Kanye West
"The New Workout Plan"
The College Dropout

"I Am The Highway"

Coldplay Live 2003 DVD

"Everybody's Fool"

  System of a Down
Steal This Album

  White Stripes
"Jolene" (live)
The White Stripes Under Blackpool Lights