looking back at my 2014 album predictions

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Friday, December 12th, 2014

looking back at my 2014 album predictions

back in january, i posted my most anticipated albums of 2014. it was part prediction, part wishful thinking and part reporting information that had been circulating in corners of the interne around that time.

so, i thought now that the year is coming to a close, i’d look back and see how successful (or not) that i was. here’s how things shook out:

in the original post, i grouped these into “i wish” (no rumors or clues of new music, but they’re due an album), “i think” (enough rumors to make me believe it’s actually gonna happen this year) and “i know” (confirmed release dates or substantiated rumors).

i wish

1. outkast
last album: speakerboxxx/the love below, 2003 (i’m not counting idlewild…)

i thought there was a small chance of this happening, but within the last couple weeks, big boi has confirmed that he’s working on a new solo album. so, we can look forward to that and, at the same time, deduce that andre 3000 is also working on his debut solo album. a 3 stacks albums is something we can all get excited about.

verdict: FALSE

it became clear a few months after this post, as outkast prepared to do a slate of festival dates, that there would be no outkast comeback album. in the past few weeks, andre 3000 said he really didn’t even want to do the reunion concerts this past summer.

2. ray lamontagne
last album: god willin’ and the creek don’t rise, 2010

i have a feeling we could get something new this year. ray usually puts out new music every 2 years, so we’re long overdue. but in contrast to many of the other artists on this list, there’s never any rumor mill about ray’s new music. at some point, we’ll get an unexpected announcement and new music will follow shortly thereafter.

verdict: TRUE

album: supernova
well, some wishes do come true. ray released supernova. it wasn’t exactly the album i would’ve asked for, but ultimately, it was a solid effort and a welcome return after years of absence.

3. kanye west & jay z
last album: watch the throne, 2011

i don’t see this happening this year. maybe next year, but i think it’s too soon this year given the fact that i think there will be a new kanye album this year (more on this later). also, we know these 2 aren’t gonna rush something out, so i think 2015 is more realistic.

verdict: FALSE

as i said in my original post, this was a long shot. i didn’t expect it. it was truly a wish. and honestly, i’d be really surprised if it happened in 2015. but i think this will eventually happen again.

i think

1. jenny lewis
last album: acid tongue, 2008

just a couple weeks ago, we got our first taste of new jenny lewis music (listen to completely not me) in a recent episode of hbo’s girls. i think 2014 will finally be the year we hear more.

verdict: TRUE

album: the voyager
yes, we finally heard from long-lost jenny lewis. the album certainly didn’t disappoint. it was easily one of my top 5 albums of the year. here’s to hoping it isn’t another 6 years until we hear from her again.

2. nickel creek
last album: why should the fire die?, 2005

this wouldn’t even come close to being on this list if not for rumors that got going in november, about a reunion album. but if it happens, this would be a huge. i think the years apart combined with the growth they’ve each had as solo artists could add up to a really great new nickel creek album.

verdict: TRUE

album: a dotted line
as previously noted, there were rumblings of a reunion in late 2013, but they were still a long shot. the members of nickel creek, at that point, had not mentioned that a reunion was a possibility. but alas, we got the album and it was one of the best of the year.

3. mutemath
last album: odd soul, 2011

we know the guys have been in the studio for awhile and further, a friend of mine recently got darren to commit to laying down some drum tracks for his new project, with darren agreeing to do it “because we’re in the studio for awhile before we hit the road”. 3 years after odd soul, i think we’re due a new mutemath album.

verdict: FALSE

blerg. back in january, i noted that the guys had been in the studio awhile and now, at the end of the year, the same can be said. they’ve been in and out of the studio for the better part of 2014. it looks like, finally, 2015 will be the year that we get new mute math music.

i know

1. elbow
last album: build a rocket boys!, 2011

finally. we’ve now heard two new tracks (which are really, really great), so we’re inching closer to the march 10th release date. i keep waiting for elbow to put something out that i don’t love, but they’ve yet to do it. in just over a month, we’ll test that again.

verdict: TRUE

album: the takeoff and landing of everything
this was the biggest gimme on the list. sure enough, the new album came out as promised. quite frankly, while i still liked the album, it was one of the more disappointing albums for me. in fairness, though, my expectations were out of this world.

2. kanye west
last album: yeezus, 2013

in multiple interviews, kanye himself has said his goal is to release a follow-up to yeezus this summer. he (and rick rubin) have also indicated in interviews that quite a few finished tracks hit the cutting room floor on the yeezus final track list. i have a feeling this could get bumped back later than the summer, but i think it’s safe to say it’s coming.

verdict: FALSE

kanye, you’re killing me. i thought this was a lock, but alas, we still wait. there was buzz about a paris listening party a couple months ago, but we’ve yet to hear anything from kanye suggesting a new album. i anticipate a surprise album drop, so it could happen at any time now.

3. u2
last album: no line on the horizon, 2009

this has been coming for a long time, with the rumor mill churning for what seems like a couple years. what we know at this point is that it’s dangermouse-produced and for me, that’s enough to get me excited. i’m not a massive u2 fan like many others, but nevertheless, new u2 music is always accompanied by great intrigue and anticipation.

verdict: TRUE

album: songs of innocence
ah yes, the free itunes debacle. we got a new U2 album, but not quite how we could’ve anticipated. but in the end, U2 put out another solid album. it wasn’t necessarily groundbreaking or, by any means, they’re best, but it was another worthwhile album by rock’s biggest band.

so, i did decently. i nailed a couple albums that were long shots and missed one that i was convinced was a lock.

final tally: 5/9 correct predictions

here’s to anticipating another slate of great albums in 2015.