2. Van Halen – Rolling Stone has confirmed that the Van Halens and David Lee Roth are in the studio working on their first album in 26 years. In related news, Hell has frozen over and the Cubs have won the World Series.
3. The Naked and Famous – New Zealand has successfully crossbred MGMT with Passion Pit and the results are much better than anyone could have predicted. Though I predict they will not be huge in the states, the buzz should be enough to keep everyone busy until MGMT delivers a proper MGMT record. http://www.myspace.com/thenakedandfamous
4. Middle Brother – (featuring the lead singers of Deer Tick, Dawes and Delta Spirit) An indie rock supergroup of sorts that sounds like Cheap Trick crossed with Wilco. If the full album is anything like the lead single “Me Me Me”, we should all be in for a real treat treat treat. http://www.myspace.com/middlebrothermusic
5. Beady Eye – An offshoot of Oasis led by Liam Gallagher, Beady Eye is a necessary project. The constant, and very public, bickering of the Gallagher brothers has taken a toll on one of the greatest British bands of our time. The first single “The Roller” is exactly what you would expect from the misunderstood frontman. It’s just like Oasis, but it’s not. www.beadyeyemusic.com
6. Aerosmith– All of the members of Aerosmith, except for one, are hard at work on their first new album of new material since 2001’s Just Push Play. The missing member? They can’t seem to track down Joe Perry. While Steven’s American Idol duties are surely not helping matters, word is that Joe will be back to finish the album for a release this year.
7. Beastie Boys – The hip hop trio’s long awaited new record, Hot Sauce Committee Part 2, is on track for a comeback this spring after Adam Yauch’s cancer battle rendered the group inactive for much of 2010. Word is that Adam is not cancer free, but is doing well and on the road to recovery.
8. Nicole Atkins – Arguably the finest voice in music today, Nicole Atkins returns with her sophomore effort Mondo Amore. This is going to be 2011’s dark horse, literally. Layer upon layer of stunning vocals crooning over the top of haunting yet enthralling musicianship. www.NicoleAtkins.com
9. Foo Fighters – Dave Grohl is promising the biggest rock album of the year with a résumé to back up his bold statement. The Foo’s have teamed up with super-producer Butch Vig (Nirvana’s Nevermind) and former Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic to make an album to kick the ass of all other rock albums this year. “There’s 11 songs and, front to back, there’s not one sleepy ballad,” says Grohl. “The fact that we did it without any computers, it was just really simple. It just sounds massive.” From the sound of the 10 second clip that was recently Tweeted out from the studio ( http://yfrog.com/5xabgz), the term massive is an understatement. Also check out the new Foo radio app for more snippets.
10. Jane’s Addiction – Changing bass players three times during recording is not a good starting point for a band trying to make a comeback. Still, reports are coming in that spirits are high as Jane’s Addiction continues recording for its fourth album. The album will be their first set of new material since Strays in 2003. “It’s a completely different direction for Jane’s Addiction…However, it still sounds very much like Jane’s Addiction, “says Guitarist and Hollywood scenester Dave Navarro. Let’s hope they don’t “Stray” too far from the sound that made them great in the first place.
11. Ray Davies – See My Friends – Who doesn’t love The Kinks, right? This is turning out to be a killer project from the legendary Kink’s songwriter and frontman. It’s basically a greatest hits album re-imagined along with some fantastic special guests. A few highlights: Gary Lightbody (Snow Patrol) lending his pipes to “Tired of Waiting”, Metallica grinding out “You Really Got Me”, and Bruce Springsteen breathing life back into “Better Things”. http://www.myspace.com/raydavies
Which albums are you most looking forward to in 2011?