Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ryo's Highly Anticipated New Releases For 2011

As 2011 continues to march forward, it’s time to start thinking about the highly anticipated releases of 2011. The music that is yet to come has me hopeful for another great year of rock and roll. While not a comprehensive list by any means, below are the albums that I am most anxious to hear in 2011. Note: all release dates are subject to change without any rhyme, reason, or notice.

Pop Evil – War Of Angels – Release Date February 8th
Discovered with my friend Bobby (may God rest his soul) as an opening act for Theory of a Deadman, Pop Evil’s debut disc has become one of my favorite albums in recent memory. These guys flat out rock! After seeing them open for Theory, I was able to catch them in a headlining set, which only made me fall in love with the band more. Having played Lipstick On The Mirror many, many times, I am really looking forward to some new songs from Pop Evil. The band is more than happy to oblige and their latest set, War Of Angels hits stores on February 8th. Expect to see me in line with this album in my hand.

REM - Collapse Into Now – Release Date March 8th
Having heard the first single from this album, Mine Smell Like Honey, it’s nice to know that REM is still making relevant music. While the lead single wasn’t anything Earth shattering or life changing, it was a solid REM song, which is what we’ve come to know and love from this band for the last 25-plus years. REM continues making good records, producing good tours, and releasing good music. There is nothing wrong with that formula, and I have no doubt that Collapse Into Now is going to be another solid REM album worth adding to my collection. I for one am looking forward to March 8th.

My Morning Jacket – Title TBD – Release Date: May, 2011
The follow up to 2008’s Evil Urges has My Morning Jacket fans a little anxious. A lot of fans weren’t pleased with the band’s last album. Other fans felt it was the weakest of all My Morning Jacket’s releases. No matter how you add it up, it equals the same thing – the fans want to hear something different. The good news is that bassist Tom Blankenship told that this record is going to sound more like their first three albums. To the worried fans, that’s a sigh of relief. Evil Urges was the first (and only) My Morning Jacket that I bought. While I’m curious to hear their new record, I should probably check out their back catalog to compare that sound to Evil Urges. As for the firmness of the May release date, don’t count any chickens. The band has been slow to record as of late, so that may delay the new album to a fall release.

Blink 182 – Title TBD – Release Date May, 2011
Here’s what we know. Blink 182 is scheduled to tour Europe and the UK this summer. They have supposedly been working on new material for the last couple of months. Blink 182 would like to see a new record out in May of this year (which would be right before their summer tour of Europe). They would return to the states in time for a fall tour. The math adds up and I hope the formula was written correctly. I would LOVE a new Blink 182 album. The band has always entertained me and I was always been a little disappointed that their self titled album was the last record they left their fans. This provides the perfect opportunity for the band to make amends for that.

O.A.R. – Title TBD – Release Date Spring 2011
Rumor has it that OAR has been hard at work on their next studio release. All I can say is that I hope this is true. Getting some new OAR in my hands this spring would be a wonderful treat. The band really took their sound to a whole new level on 2008’s All Sides. Factor in that’s it been over two and a half years since that studio release, and you can just imagine what the anticipation is for some new music. While OAR performed some new songs on last summer’s tour, there is no way of knowing whether those songs will ever be recorded in the studio. What that equates to is a desire to know what the latest sounds like. With a little luck, we’ll all know this spring.

U2 – Songs Of Ascent – Release Date Spring 2011
Much can be made about U2’s latest album. Some reports claim the songs are all leftover from the No Line On The Horizon sessions that are being reworked. Other reports claim that the band has recorded with Danger Mouse. Other reports show that the Danger Mouse is only producing the new CD. Apparently, the air is still being cleared of all these rumors to bring us fact. While their official website does not mention the new disc, we know that the band has been touring and will continue to do so in 2011. Some new songs have been performed on tour, and those new songs may or may not end up on the next album. What I do know is that the last three U2 albums have been fantastic. From All That You Can’t Leave Behind to How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb and the latest No Line On The Horizon, U2 has released some high quality records over the last 10 years. The questions is – can the new album stand up?

Black Stone Cherry – Title TBA – Release Date TBA
While I own (and thoroughly enjoy) Black Stone Cherry’s debut album, for some reason I never picked up their sophomore effort Folklore and Superstitions. I’m not really sure why it was never added to my collection, because I love the singles that I have heard from that record. Perhaps when their new album comes out, I’ll have to pick up both. Black Stone Cherry has been hard at work on their third album for a long time, and early reports all lead to this being an amazing record. Knowing what this band can do, that makes me hopeful for some great songs.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – Title TBA – Release Date TBA
It has been almost five years since we’ve heard any new music from The Red Hot Chili Peppers. In that time, the band has taken a hiatus, worked on side projects, dabbled in solo stuff, and otherwise enjoyed their time off. Now they are back in the studio, putting the finishing touches on what I hope is another amazing effort. While Stadium Arcadium was a terrific effort, it came with the limitations that most double albums face. The new Peppers disc is only going to be a single album, which means the band has culled the best songs from these sessions to include on the record. With the amount of time the Red Hot Chili Peppers have had to rest and focus on making great music, my expectation level is through the roof. I only hope that I am not setting myself up for disappointment.

Van Halen – Title TBA – Release Date TBA
Rumors, rumors, rumors. That’s all we have when it comes to a new Van Halen record with David Lee Roth behind the microphone. There are plenty of rumors running rampant all over the World Wide Web, but nothing has been confirmed. However, if the band is going on tour this summer, it would make sense that they would want a new album to support. One can only hope that there is some truth to this rumor and the band has been working in secret to put out a brand new record. I would love to get my hands on that. I guess only time will tell.

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