Look beyond the choking cloud of year-turn hype, friends, and onto the albums that will truly matter! You can keep your new bands, kids – Clash is gunning for the big hitters.
Kinda, anyway. We’re as excited as you are about the potential of acts like White Lies – their ‘To Lose My Life’ is going to be one of the year’s big debuts and is reviewed HERE – as well as Passion Pit, Chairlift, Amazing Baby, Micachu, Dananananaykroyd, Baddies and more. But there are releases to get excited about, and then there are releases to GET EXCITED ABOUT.
And these twelve (buy one a month, collect them all!), well, they get us all giddy with anticipation. Some we’ve heard, some we will, and some we might not even get in 2009… But for the meantime we’ve fingers crossed and ears open. There just might be a Dre Day in ’09.
Look for content on the below acts both online and in the magazine, as 2009 shapes up to be another cracking twelve months of adventurous sonic experiments, arena-stunning headline sets, headlines-grabbing festival exploits and… us, being drunk, a lot. It happens.
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THE PRODIGY – ‘INVADERS MUST DIE’
Release date: March 2, Cooking Vinyl/Take Me To The Hospital
Clash got ourselves an early listen of this, the fifth studio album from rave titans The Prodigy (pictured), back in November – click HERE to read our initial impressions – and the five-track sampler CD that winged its way to our office has been as good as worn out already. The title track – previously released as a free download – sets a sort of tone for what follows, but it’s really only the tip of the iceberg. Keep your ears out for flashback-inducing efforts like ‘Warrior’s Dance’ – a sharp echo of the band’s ‘Experience’ debut – and expect your temperature to rise when the trio call upon Dave Grohl to deliver extra percussive energy on ‘Run With The Wolves’. Expect ClashMusic.com to be all over this album like a proverbial rash when it drops in March.
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DEFTONES – ‘EROS’
Release date: TBA, Warner Bros.
It’s been on the drawing board for some time now, but 2009 should see the release of ‘Eros’, the sixth studio album from Sacramento-based progressive-rockers Deftones, and it looks likely to further distance them from the horrible nu-metal tag that hung about their 1995 debut, ‘Adrenaline’, quite unnecessarily. With three post-millennium albums – ‘White Pony’, ‘Deftones’ and ‘Saturday Night Wrist’ – the five-piece have explored modern rock territories rarely encountered by their one-time ‘peers’ (err, what happened to Limp Bizkit again?). The sole spanner in the works, serious though it is, is the condition of bassist Chi Cheng. Injured in a car accident in November, it’s believed Cheng is in a coma, with vocalist Chino Moreno commenting at the time: “He is currently in a Northern California hospital in serious, but stable condition. Chi is one of the strongest people I know, and I'm praying that his strength will get him through this. Please say a prayer for him as well.” Fingers crossed for both a recovery and an album to remember.
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DR DRE – ‘DETOX’
Release date: TBA, Interscope/Aftermath
‘Detox’ has been in the works since 2004 – that’s when it was initially scheduled for release – but constant work by its maker on Aftermath artists’ activities have seen the album, Dre’s third and allegedly final solo album, pushed back, and back, and back. In 2007 Dre announced he’d completed some 18 tracks for the album; this figure is open to some debate though, with DJ Quik commenting that he knows of around 400 potential tracks, and he’s heard 60 of them. The final album, says Dre, will probably only feature 12 or 13 songs – that’s some editing. 50 Cent has defended Dre’s perceived tardiness, claiming the producer’s a perfectionist and, with two classic albums already under his belt, this has to be the biggest and the best. So… is ‘Detox’ becoming hip-hop’s ‘Chinese Democracy’? Only time will tell, and Clash doesn’t recommend you hold your breath for the album in 2009. Not until we hear some firmer details, anyway.
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FRANZ FERDINAND – ‘TONIGHT: FRANZ FERDINAND’
Release date: January 26, Domino
Franz’s third – much delayed following various studio difficulties – has already been suitably assessed by the Clash collective. Click HERE to read our web edit of the review, the full version of which you can read in the next issue of Clash magazine, issue 34, in shops January 8. In short: “Refining and transcending their familiar pop formula, ‘Tonight: Franz Ferdinand’ is the band’s most complete work to date. Worth the wait, and in all honesty better than we could ever have hoped for.”
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ANIMAL COLLECTIVE – ‘MERRIWEATHER POST PAVILION’
Release date: January 19, Domino
Domino have a busy January on their hands with the release of two albums that seem certain to rank amongst 2009’s very best long-players. Like the new Franz record, we’ve already absorbed the sublime, otherworldly hum of Animal Collective’s latest, and our initial impressions can be seen HERE. The record builds upon the foundations of May’s between-albums EP ‘Water Curses’ – watch the video for the title track below – by stripping the clatter back to reveal a beauteous stream of immersive soundscapes. We are very, very impressed – look for a full review on ClashMusic.com in the New Year.
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MASSIVE ATTACK – ‘TITLE TBC’
Release date: TBA, Virgin
Details are sketchy on Massive Attack’s new studio album, the Bristol collective’s fifth. Said to have a working title of ‘Weather Underground’ (which probably won’t be the final title), the record will feature vocal turns from the likes of Bella Union-signed songstress Stephanie Dosen, TV On The Radio singer Tunde Adebimpe, Tom Waits and regular collaborator Horace Andy. Oh, and Damon Albarn. And Liz Fraser. And Patti Smith. It’s got quite the guestlist is basically what we’re saying, if reports are to be believed. Rumoured to be a double album given the amount of tracks they’ve recorded, Massive Attack’s new baby could be born as early as February 2009. That’s still a TBA until we hear something solid from the label, though.
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EMINEM – ‘RELAPSE’
Release date: spring 2009, Interscope
Eminem’s fifth album is shrouded in no little secrecy, although the rapper has stated his desire to see it released in the spring of 2009. Its maker told fans in late 2008: "At this point I'm just trying to figure out which tracks will make the cut. I have over 100 songs to choose from, so that's why it is taking some time." Collaborators look set to include 50 Cent, DMX and T.I., the latter commenting: “You know how Marshall Mathers and Slim Shady have their beefs? Well, T.I. is trying to tell Marshall how to deal with Slim based on how he deals with T.I.P. Then T.I.P. butts in, like, 'You can't tell nobody nothing’. Then Em comes in and tells me, 'Who are you to tell me anything?' I was like, 'I'm just trying to help, homie’." Makes as much sense to us as roast beef and strawberry jam sandwiches, but something’s definitely sounding tasty here… More news when we have it.
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MF DOOM – ‘BORN INTO THIS’
Release date: TBA, Lex
No official word from Lex, no release date, no real details to tell y’all about. But know this: ‘Born Into This’ can’t be anything but big. We’re already excited out of our skin for what its maker has called “(my) definitive album... encapsulating but surpassing all of (my) previous work". Work like this classic…
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MUSE – ‘TITLE TBC’
Release date: TBA, Warner Bros.
Not much to tell you about this, yet. All we know is what we’ve found on that ever-reliable (oh, ha ha) source of music news, Wikipedia. Bassist Chris Wolstenholme has told fans that "…it would be nice to have (a new) album out in the second half of 2009, but we have not set ourselves any targets. It is more important for us to make the best album we have made to date and if that means it comes out in 2010 then we don’t mind. Hopefully it will be sooner though". With ‘Black Holes And Revelations’ one of 2006’s best rock albums, expect fireworks as and when album five appears.
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PETE DOHERTY – ‘TITLE TBC’
Release date: TBA, Parlophone
With a solo live show at the Royal Albert Hall under his belt, the scene is set for the ex-Libertine and current frontman of Babyshambles to release a solo album. Clash has heard the record, and has spoken to its maker about its content and much, much more – pick up issue 34 of Clash magazine for more, available January 8, and check out our exclusive videos HERE. There will be plenty of exclusive online content relating to Pete’s solo album in the coming weeks here at ClashMusic.com, so make us your homepage to not miss out on some tasty preview material.
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LILY ALLEN – ‘IT’S NOT ME, IT’S YOU’
Release date: February 9, Regal
Lily Allen told folk back in April that her second studio album, recorded in LA, would mark a change of direction; lead single ‘The Fear’ seems to back this up to some extent, with the singer’s caustic wit and lyrical twists, sharp like a knife, set to music that’s a lot more electro-pop than previous offerings. Allen’s been dragged through the tabloids since emerging with ‘Alright, Still’ in 2006, and the message on ‘The Fear’ seems to be one accompanied by a middle finger the way of so many trash-talking hacks. Expect politics to invade her muse on album two, too, with one previewed track an attack on the BNP. Clash has long been a fan of Lily, whose work in the pop field regularly outshines her supposed peers, and we’re looking forward to ‘It’s Not Me, It’s You’ making good on the potential shown by its curtain-up single release.
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AMY WINEHOUSE – ‘TITLE TBC’
Release date: TBA, Island
Well, we’re all allowed one little wish this time of year, right?