Albums We Hope To Hear In 2011

By Zachary Swickey

Talking with Zane Low on BBC Radio 1, The Killers revealed they have begun work on their fourth album. Asked if they had started writing the follow-up to ‘08’s Day & Age, frontman Brandon Flowers responded, “We have about four or five [songs]. We’ve put them up on a board and they’re sounding good. We think they’re strong.”

The Killers’ last album was ambitious and took the group’s core sound to the next level. We look forward to hearing what the guys have up their sleeve, but it got us thinking about all of the other new albums that we hope to hear before our final year on earth (2012, from what I hear). These albums are “supposed” to come out in 2011, but we’re just going to have to wait and see.

Jay-Z and Kanye West, Watch the Throne

A joint album from the two biggest names in hip-hop is bound to get even the most casual fans excited. The effort was first envisioned as an EP to be released by the end of 2010. Then it graduated to a full-length album with a hopeful release date sometime in March, but as of today, it’s still “TBD.” The single that has seen the light of day, “H.A.M.”, is a solid jam from the two, but it’s not as good as the sum of their parts should be. Perhaps they realized this, and are taking their time making an album that is worthy of their talents.

Blink-182, Untitled Sixth Album

I recall Blink-182 being listed as presenters at the ‘09 Grammys and thinking, “Oh, well they’re getting back together,” which is exactly what they announced at the awards. A reunion tour soon followed that summer and the band mentioned writing a new song that they would play on the road (which they never played). Throughout the second half of 2010, Blink provided updates with hopeful release windows that have all come and gone. They canceled their European tour for this summer, because the album is still incomplete. The group has until July 31 to hand their work over to Geffen Records, and since they’re headlining the Honda Civic Tour with My Chemical Romance later this summer, it better be ready.

Lil Wayne, Tha Carter IV

It hasn’t been all that long since we’ve heard from Lil Wayne – it never is, considering he guest appears on every other rapper’s song (I’m counting 13 so far in ’11). He released two albums in 2010, neither of which were particularly well-received (compared to his past work), but neither of those were bearing the banner Tha Carter either. Weezy’s The Carta IV is sure to wow us and be the best thing we’ve heard in rap since Kanye’s Dark Twisted Fantasy. It will likely feature some other huge names in hip-hop, like Drake, Rick Ross and Yeezy himself. After 3-4 delays, the current “hopeful” release date is August 29. Fingers crossed!

Read on for more.

Dr. Dre, Detox

Ahhh, Detox, the Chinese Democracy of rap music, has seen more delays than any other album on this list. When the Dre released his last album, 2001, back in ’99, fans already found it ridiculous that one of the greatest icons in the rap game took seven years to make a follow-up to the granddaddy of all rap records, The Chronic. It might have something to do with the fact that “Kush” and “I Need a Doctor” were not as critically embraced as one would expect a Dre songs to be – the man is a notorious perfectionist. Basically every human in rap music has been in the studio at some point to work with the Dr.: Eminem, Snoop Dogg, Jay-Z, T.I., Common, Raekwon, Busta Rhymes, 50 Cent and even La Roux and Lady Gaga reportedly. Even Chinese Democracy was eventually released, so we’ll see who took longer eventually.

Tool, Untitled Fifth Album

Tool is known for taking their sweet time on every album they create, which usually run 70 or more minutes. The group’s last three albums all came out five years apart, and with 10,000 Days being released in 2006, we are due for a new one. The teasing began in 2008 when singer Maynard James Keenan told us on the red carpet at the Grammy Awards that Tool would begin writing “right away.” Fans were excited when Tool announced an unexpected tour last summer, but alas no new album surfaced before the trek. The guys have “officially” begun writing the effort, according to the group’s newsletter, but with Maynard away with A Perfect Circle for the time being, we might have longer to wait.

New Music from Nine Inch Nails

Trent Reznor has been busy with his new gig scoring David Fincher films. Reznor and his accomplice Atticus Ross took home the Oscar for Best Original Score for The Social Network, and are currently working on the score to Fincher’s next project, an American adaptation of the Swedish mystery crime novel/film The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Reznor retired from touring behind the NIN moniker in ‘09, but updating fans via the group’s message boards, the singer revealed, “Nine Inch Nails is not dead and I plan to focus on that next.” Well, when is “next,” Trent? When is next?!

Santogold, Untitled Second Album

Santogold has reportedly been working on the follow-up to her catchy-as-hell ‘08 self-titled debut since 2009. We got a taste of a rad new track, “Go!” featuring Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs, when it was posted on Jay-Z’s lifestyle blog in April. Santo’s signing to Roc Nation Management ensures that we will hear something eventually, but if it wasn’t for the new song and sporadic tweets about being in the studio, we wouldn’t even know she was up to something.

The Ting Tings, Untitled Second Album

The Ting Tings dazzled us with the infectious cheerleader pop found on their ’08 debut, We Started Nothing. They received worldwide success and (just like Santigold above) soon signed with Jay’z Roc Nation, which better explains the Rihanna rumor. The duo already released a single, “Hands” … in October of last year! Last month, they posted on Facebook that they were about to send the album off to be mixed, yet we still have no release date. Singles are slowly becoming the new “promise ring” of eventual albums.

Fiona Apple, Untitled Fourth Album

There is no female singer more elusive than Fiona Apple. The low-profile songstress has been relatively mum about her studio work, and there are few details to even mention. It took a shocking six years to produce her last album, ‘05’s critically acclaimed Extraordinary Machine, which went through label limbo hell. Here we are again, six years later and no new album to pleasure our ears with. In September 2010, Michelle Branch was lucky enough to catch Apple in the studio and described the new songs as “amazing.” Apple’s recent Buddy Holly cover “Everyday” will have to hold us over in the meantime.

Any albums you’re dying to hear? Let us know in the comments and on Twitter!