June 24, 2009

2009: Old And New Music Heroes Return

No matter what style or era of music brings glee to your ears, you may be hitting your iTunes or Amazon this year for the latest of the greatest. There may have been a time when you may have hit a record store for such purchases, but who leaves their house to purchase music anymore?

This year has already gotten off to an incredible start. Dredg, Green Day, Tori Amos, and U2 have already dropped their latest. But hold on, ladies and gents, because the ride is just getting started.

Remember the '90's? Surely it was not that long ago. Of course, people of voting age now may have been born in '91 so maybe the '90's were not all that memorable. For those, I say this is a good time to see what you were missing. For you fans of old-school rap, before it was all money, champagne, and chicks, you have a veritable array to whet your palate. Beastie Boys, Bone Thugs N Harmony (remember them?), Cypress Hill, Diddy (now releasing under Sean "Diddy" Combs - seriously, guy, pick your identity), Dr. Dre, Fugees, Jay-Z, Mary J. Blige, Naughty By Nature, Outkast, Fallon house band The Roots, and Tupac (yes, you read that right. This guy can't be dead) are all releasing in '09. 90's rock swings back in a big way with the returns of Alice In Chains (with 2 albums), Blink-182, Garbage, The Offspring (2010), and Stone Temple Pilots for the hard-rock fans as well as Goo Goo Dolls, Matchbox 20, Our Lady Peace, Rusted Root, Sister Hazel, Sixpence None The Richer, Sugar Ray and Third Eye Blind for those who like their music to go down a little easier. 90's rock staples Collective Soul continue their onslaught of amazing, following the successes of "Youth" and "Afterwords" with the project referred to as "Rabbit" (although guitarist Dean Roland has confirmed on Twitter that this is not the official name of the album). Pearl Jam keep their engines running with "Backspacer" (although the leadoff single, played on Conan O'Brien's first night as Tonight Show host, left a little to be desired). 90's indie vets Barenaked Ladies (sans Steven Page), Blur, and The Flaming Lips will also be returning to the fray, as will R&B throwbacks Ginuwine, Mariah Carey, Maxwell, and Whitney Houston. For the 90's acts that aren't returning, at least their voices will be, with Dolores O'Riordian and Noel Gallagher dropping solo albums.

For you 80's enthusiasts, Cheap Trick, Crowded House, Devo, Extreme, Heart, The Lemonheads, Michael Jackson, Peter Gabriel, and Sting will provide you some new sounds. Metalheads can rejoice as Dream Theater, Killswitch Engage, Megadeth, Porcupine Tree, and Trans-Siberian Orchestra return. For you classic rockers, there's an all-star lineup coming your way. You can look forward to Aerosmith, Black Crowes, Boston, Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, Joe Satriani, John Fogerty, KISS, Levon Helm, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Roxy Music (original lineup), and ZZ Top gracing your presence with new music.

I promised you newer artists as well, so here they are: Arctic Monkeys, Breaking Benjamin, Cobra Starship, Daughtry, Deer Tick, Elbow (2010), The Fiery Furnaces, The Mars Volta, Muse, New Pornographers, OK Go, Paramore, Spoon, Regina Spektor, The Shins, Tantric, and Tegan and Sara are among the artists with releases on the way. Interpol's Paul Banks releases under Julian Plenti. Collaboration albums include "Horehound" by the Dead Weather (Jack White and Allison Mosshart) and an LP by Discovery (Vampire Weekend's Rostam Batmanglij & Ra Ra Riot's Wes Miles). Oh yeah, Christina Aguilera, Creed, Kenny Loggins, and Velvet Revolver are back. Y'know, if you cared.

An interesting trend is going to appear in 2009, with artists releasing under multiple bands. This is a far cry from the 90's, when Eddie Vedder was criticized for starting a new band with Stone Temple Pilots (although obviously, Scott Weiland is not quite Eddie Vedder). Big Boi has a solo album underway in addition to Outkast's. Blink-182 side projects Angels and Airwaves and +44 are releasing new albums. Shirley Manson is releasing her own album in addition to Garbage's. Rob Thomas has an album aside from MB20's. Even Ace Frehley of KISS has a solo album coming out, adding to a second trend of band sidemen(and women) releasing albums (keyboardist Bill Champlin of Chicago, bassist Melissa Auf der Maur, bassist Nathan Maxwell of Flogging Molly with his Original Bunny Gang, and guitarist Tony Fredianelli of Third Eye Blind).

I'm sure this has been an overload of information, but it was purposely done that way to show you your options for 2009 (and some for 2010). For a full breakdown, visit Metacritic.

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