2011 in popworld already feels like a bit of a fuzzy memory. It was a year of minor triumphs and disappointments rather than massive, audience-uniting moments. History will remember 2011 as a good, not great, year for pop music.
Happily, 2012 already looks chock full of great, big pop albums to get our ears around. Here's my ten tips for the year ahead.
Yes, we’re worried about her spelling of 'love'. Yes, her last album ‘Hard Candy’ was a career worst. But only a fool would underestimate Madonna. The initial signs are good; she’s re-teamed with ‘Ray Of Light’’s William Orbit as well as ace electro powerhouse Martin Solveig. The Nicki Minaj and MIA featuring ‘Gimme All Your Luvin’ (yes, it’s that spelling again) and W.E theme song ‘Masterpiece’ both indicate a great Madonna album.
Due in the Spring
Last year was the year Nicki Minaj broke through to the mainstream thanks to ‘Super Bass’ and a heavy media profile. She’s threatened to let her alter egos “run wild” on the follow up to 'Pink Friday', so what can we expect? It's hard to say. Although teaser tracks ‘Roman In Moscow’ and ‘Stupid Hoe’ aren’t quite as amazing as we’d hoped, the stakes are too high for NM and her band of imaginary friends to mess this one up. Watch this space.
Due February 14th
Thanks to the title track and ‘Off The Races’, the enigma of Lana Del Rey continues to grow post ‘Video Games’. The 'will she / won’t she live up to the hype?' questions remain but we can’t wait to spend a whole album in her off-kilter, Americana world.
Due January 27th
OK, we’re not sure if this will or won’t happen. But thanks to some very strong rumours and Keisha Buchanan’s suggestive Tweets, we suspect that the original Sugababes will be getting back together and making a new album in '12. This potential follow up to the classic ‘One Touch’ couldn’t come at a better time; what with Katy B’s 'On A Mission' echoing 'One Touch''s British urban flavour.
Last time No Doubt had an album out, we had an unironic goatee (and nope it wasn’t Movember), but a decade and a bit after the fact we’ve got high hopes for their new album. They’ve nabbed Major Lazer and claimed the album was inspired by “80s one-hit wonders”. Expect dance-pop of the ‘Hella Good’ variety.
With rumours she’s gone blond, acoustic, disco and worked with White Lies circulating, there’s been a lot of speculation around the second La Roux album. Well, if the below appearance on Absolutely Fabulous is anything to go by, she’s not ditched the brilliantly catchy electro pop just yet.
Due in the Spring
Despite the fact we pretty much lost interest when RW went all opera, we have high hopes for this new album. He’s called this collaboration with Mark Ronson “danceable,” which may sound horrific to some but only makes us think of ‘Shadows’, his ace collaboration with The Propellerheads. Bring on the dancing ex-meth head!
Due in May
Whilst last year's excellent ‘Night Work’ was coolly received, it was an important step for the band who’d turned their backs on Radio 2 in favour of re-embracing their club beginnings. New Azealia Banks-assisted track ‘Shady Love’ has been their most well received single for ages and we can't wait to hear how far they've pushed their sound this time.