Hello again folks!
I’ve been pretty bored with alot of the music that has been coming out lately. For the past three years, I have seen and immersed into flashes of great to exceptional releases from artists. Whether these artists are new or already established, there are many anticipated albums that I’m looking forward to, and some of these releases I have been looking forward to for many years. Hopefully, this is the year that we, including myself, will once again experience some innovative and engaging work by some engaging artists that I really appreciate and enjoy. Please comment on this post and follow this blog! Thanks so much! Here we go…
Janet Jackson: It has been four years since the release of her tenth studio album, 2008’s Discipline, and it seems like there has been an extended period of time between that particular release and now. Given that she starred in major motion pictures such as Tyler Perry’s For Colored Girls and Why Did I Get Married Too? and dealt with the tragic loss of her iconic brother, Michael Jackson, there is no doubt that Janet is going to dominate the music world again with the ever-evolving sounds that will be imbedded in the fabric of pop history. Let’s just hope she works with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis again this time around!
Last album: Discipline (Island/So So Def, 2008)
Angie Stone: There is no question that soul and hip-hop pioneer Angie Stone is an iconic vocalist, producer, and songwriter, but three years have passed since her 2009 Stax Records release, Unexpected. Alot of anticipation and gratitude has been surrounding her upcoming release. Stone has still been relevant by performing small-to-large venues. May the soul prevail with the sounds and sultry of Angie Stone!
Last album: Unexpected (Stax Records, 2009)
Teena Marie: The unexpected passing of Mary Christine Brockert, better known by her stage name, Teena Marie, still remains one of the shocking I’ve witnessed in recent memory. A year and a half has passed since her farewell and it has been revealed that before her death, she had been completing various jazz and gospel themed suites. There is much wonder if a posthumous project will eventually surface. Last year, there was a magnificent rarities compilation release from Motown/Hip-O Select and there is more to come from vaults of the soul genius.
Last album: Congo Square (Stax Records, 2009)
Bobby Womack: All hail the master of music, Bobby Womack! Given that “the last soul man” hasn’t released a major studio release since 1999’s Traditions, it has recently been revealed that he is set to release his first album in thirteen years on XL Records entitled, The Bravest Man in the Universe. It will be making its release this summer and in perfect timing. Bobby also had been featured in his TV One special, Unsung earlier this year. I’m definitely looking forward to it! Over five decades of timeless music and he’s still progressing!
Last album: Traditions (Capitol Records, 1999)
Stevie Wonder: Seven years have passed since his 2005 critically-acclaimed release, A Time To Love and rightfully so, that particular release exceeded all expectations I had back in 2005 given that it had taken 10 years to prepare that release. Since that time, Stevie has been making several appearances and performing sold-out shows around the world, proving his viability and iconic status to the music world. Several reports indicate a couple of years back that he had been working on a gospel album that he was dedicating to his deceased mother, but nothing has surfaced since. I am still hopeful that Steveland Morris will hit it out of the ballpark with a new release in the future, possibly this year. His music is timeless and universal and may his soul and spirit be alive forever!
Last album: A Time To Love (Motown, 2005)
Lauryn Hill: What has been said that hasn’t already been said about Lauryn Hill. An artist who broke barriers across the border and took the world by storm during her reign as a R&B, hip-hop and pop giant. Her monumental, award-winning The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill still remains a marvel and there’s no doubt that her presence is felt by many. Nonetheless, she hasn’t put out a solo undertaking since her 2002 maglined and controversial folk/soul project, MTV Unplugged 2.0. She is still touring and selling out shows since her halting departure from the music industry, but there is a void felt in the music world without a new album. Hopefully, this will be her year. Recently, she unleashed a new song during a concert performance. Good graces!
Last album: MTV Unplugged 2.0 (Columbia Records, 2002)
Janelle Monae: Since her emergence in the music game, not too many artists have wowed and excited me today as much as Janelle Monae. Her presence is one that is much needed in the fabric of the music landscape today, with so many carbon copies and no substance. Janelle blew away all expectations with 2010’s ambitious epic, The ArchAndroid and showed us the true definition of her talent. Reports have come out that she is working on her sophomore release and it will slated for release this year. I am so astounded as to what surprises she will reveal with this new suite and I am sure she will up the ante even higher this year.
Last album: The ArchAndroid (Suites II & III) (Atlantic Records/Bad Boy/Wondaland Records, 2010)
D’Angelo: A decade has flown by since D’Angelo’s powerful reign in the music industry and there is so much that has happened since that time. Despite his many legal troubles and prison time, D’Angelo’s presence has always been felt in the music community and only time will reveal when his highly-anticipated third release will be on the shelves. Currently, he is on a highly-publicized “comeback” tour overseas and things seem to be looking up for the soul and funk man himself. I’m truly ready for it!
Last album: Voodoo (Virgin Records, 2000)
Prince: Ok, I know that I am cheating here alittle, but I’m always looking forward to what Mr. Nelson, formerly known as Prince will be delivering next. It has been two years since his international-only, straight-to-newspaper release 20Ten was unveiled and there is so much that I expect from him this year. With an artist of his stature, he doesn’t even need to release another studio album. I wish he could break ties completely from Warner Bros. and unveil gems from his imfamous vaults. What a marvel that would be!
Last album: 20Ten (NPG Records, 2010)
Bill Withers: Since his last release in 1985, we have not seen or heard anything from the majestic and introspective sounds of Bill Withers. There has been a major void in the landscape of music with Bill’s departure from the industry three decades ago and many, including myself, would be heavily appreciative of his return. His reign in soul music from the 1970s and early 1980s remains unmatched and unparelled. His newest documentary, Still Bill, has become a critical favorite and proves that Bill is still alive and his spirit is intact. (Dream collaboration: Bill working with Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson on anticipated release.)
Last album: Watching You, Watching Me (Columbia Records, 1985)