Terrified of New Music

Right now there are a number of upcoming albums that have the mp3 bloggers blogging up their lunches in excitement. And anticipation-wise, I’m no exception; however, ever since the Stone Roses’ Second Coming let down the entire world (I’ve reversed my position) and played no small role in the ensuing breakup of the band, I’ve been wary of follow-ups to major albums.

So I hope you can understand my concern here.

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The band even your stepsister likes, the Arcade Fire, has a new album out on March 6. It’s called Neon Bible and leaked tracks are going up so fast and being removed-at-the-request-of-the-band even faster—you’ve really got to hand it to someone in their camp for having this page bookmarked. Trying to track down these songs is just annoying enough to make you go buy the album. Wait a—

What I’m afraid it’s going to sound like: the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack

What I’m hoping it sounds like: Jagger ’74

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The big news about Bloc Party is that A Weekend in the City, their follow-up to 2005’s Silent Alarm, finally, officially sees the light of day on Feb. 5. Or is the big news that the band’s lead singer, Kele Okereke, is gay? Decide for yourself, but with the swarm of interviews that arrive on an album launch, you’re probably going to hear a lot more on this topic.

What I’m afraid it’s going to sound like: Sugababes

What I’m hoping it sounds like: like Silent Alarm without the insurance commercial

» Listen to “The Prayer” at Red Blondehead

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So far I’ve liked every single Explosions in the Sky album, but when All of a Sudden I Miss Everyone comes out on Feb. 20, what I really want to hear is just something… different. This one has me really worried, because I wonder it the Panthers actually have what it takes to go all the way in the playoffs.

What I’m afraid it’s going to sound like: Godspeed You Black Emperor IV

What I’m hoping it sounds like: something with vocals, seriously

» Listen to “What Do You Go Home To?” at the Rich Girls Are Weeping

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Here cometh the answer to Low’s magnificent 2005 album, The Great Destroyer. Filled with a lot of epic menace, that album marked a sharp departure from the band’s otherwise narcoleptic catalog. Given said departure, however, it’s hard to know exactly what to expect when Drums & Guns arrives March 20. Based on the title alone, I’m only guessing it’s a real party record.

What I’m afraid it’s going to sound like: old Low

What I’m hoping it sounds like: more of The Great Destroyer would be fine, really

» Listen to “Violent Past” at There’s Always Someone Cooler Than You

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Ambient noodlers Stars of the Lid have the distinction, for me, of putting on, in 1996, perhaps the worst live show I’ve ever seen—boooooring. Five years later, I was (and still am, actually) bowled over when I heard the very extraordinary The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid. So I will definitely want their new album, And Their Refinement of the Decline, which comes out April 2, but don’t wake me up until the Stars of the Lid Lazer Show is on at the Planetarium.

What I’m afraid it’s going to sound like: ProTools

What I’m hoping it sounds like: the music Steve Jobs jams on Starship Apple, circa 2010

» Listen to “A Meaningful Moment Through a Meaning(less) Process” at Pitchfork


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack

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