The most anticipated CDs of 2008

Mymorningjacket_lWith just a month under our belt, I must say 2008 has been awfully good, sonically speaking: Cat Power made her sultry and long-overdue return to covers; Vampire Weekend’s so-called "Upper West Side Soweto" style has everyone in the tri-state area doing the rhumba; not to mention the cow-punk of Drive-By Truckers and garage-rock foot stomps of the Whigs continuing the Athens, Ga., legacy. But what about the next 11 months? Who’s making a valiant return? And what brand-spankin’-new artists are going to rise up out of obscurity? In order of anxiousness, here are 10 albums I can’t hardly wait to tear the packaging off of — or click the download button for, as the case may be.

My Morning Jacket (pictured), Evil Urges, June 10
It’s been almost three solid years since we’ve heard anything new from the echo-y vox of Jim James & Co. He teased us with Calexico, singing that sublime rendition of Dylan’s "Goin’ to Acapulco" for the I’m Not There soundtrack in 2007. (I was lucky enough to see him perform it live at the Beacon Theater back in November, my only disappointment being that the shaggy hair was no more.) For Evil Urges, just the band’s second major studio release on ATO, MMJ promises more Kentucky two-step and some calypso. James has even been reported as saying a little of that old-time gospel has caught hold of him — which might actually get me up for church on Sunday morning.

Wolf Parade, As yet untitled, spring 2008
Spencer Krug is a machine. No, really. Somehow he of the manic vox found the time to release two debut albums with two different bands in 2005 (Sunset Rubdown and Wolf Parade); follow up with two more in 2006 (with Sunset and second side project Swan Lake); and deliver one of my top-10 albums of last year in Sunset’s Random Spirit Lover. Krug’s sidekick (and Wolf Parade’s Adderall, if you will) Dan Boeckner even tinkered around with the drum-kit during his spare time in ’07, resulting in Handsome Furs. The two reunite and try and match the critical acclaim of their debut, if that’s possible. You’ll likely hear more soaring guitars, more strobing synths, and, apparently, a 12-minute song that evokes, er, Slayer? If anyone can pull it off, it’s these Canadians.

Black Keys, Attack & Release, April 1
Just forget the White Stripes’ comparisons. Without prefix, suffix, or apology, Black Keys play the blues. And it’s damn good, too. A year and a half removed from the gritty rawk of Magic Potion, the Keys were flipping the script, enlisting Danger Mouse and Ike Turner for what was to be the band’s fifth album and first proper studio record. Even though Ike’s passing put a damper on things, Danger Mouse’s stamp is still on Release — although it’s nothing "Crazy."

Gnarls Barkley, The Odd Couple, April 2008
Speaking of Danger Mouse, the mulit-tasking producer has put together another mashup of uncoventional beats to go with Cee-Lo Green’s uber-tenor. The duo said it won’t be too far removed from 2006′s St. Elsewhere. Which begs the adage, if it ain’t broke, well, you know…

addCredit(“My Morning Jacket: Danny Clinch”)

Fleet Foxes, Self-titled, summer 2008
Already referenced as "one to watch" in last week’s EW, this recent Sub Pop signee is releasing a tour EP as it treks from Seattle to NYC with Blitzen Trapper.A little less freak folky than their tourmates, Fleet Foxes has enoughof a reverb-laden sound to draw quick comparisons to MMJ and labelmatesBand of Horses — only I detect more of a Rocky Mountain spring aesthetic, than a backwoods creek.

Sun Kil Moon, April, April 1
A minimalist title for a minimalist frontman. From Red House Paintersto Sun Kil Moon, Mark Kozelek’s folk-tinged songs have aged like awhiskey in oak, much more defined and poignant with each passing year.2003′s boxer-tragedy piece  Ghosts of the Great Highway was a debut that you didn’t want to end, while 2005′s Modest Mouse-inspired Tiny Cities was less so. Here’s hoping Kozelek’s return to the ring will pack as much punch as Highway.

Weezer, The Pure Sound of Weezer, April 22
Besides being released on Earth Day (and yours truly’s b-day), it’ll beinteresting to see if the 15-year-old West Coast rock group returns tothe organic days of The Blue Album for its sixth release.

Margot & the Nuclear So & So’s, Animal!, 2008
After much critical acclaim for its 2005 debut, Dust of Retreat,the Indianoplis-based indie-pop octet has been touring relentlessly,and we’ll see what two-year’s worth of buzz has done for their wry yetsugary sound.

Los Campesinos!, Hold on Now, Youngster, February 28
With what will probably be the freshest breath of twee-pop air thisyear, the debut LP from this seven-member Wales group already has theInternet abuzz. Just listen: "You? Me? Dancing!"

Santogold, As yet untitled, 2008
Look out M.I.A. This Brooklyn-based bombshell and her breakneck dubstep are going to match your hustle.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, Jan. 29, PopWatch learned that the previously untitled Gnarls Barkley album will be called The Odd Couple, and Sub Pop let us know that Wolf Parade’s album may not be called Pardon My Blues but is still currently untitled. We’ve corrected this post accordingly.

Comments (78 total) Add your comment
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  • Demarcus

    You forgot to mention Discipline by Janet on feb. 26th

  • Can’t Wait

    Can’t wait for Weezer, Gnarls Barkley, and the Black Keys, and will definitely check out these other bands. I’m really happy that Weezer is returning to their roots and that Gnarls aren’t going to stray from their killer sound.

  • suzanne

    Who ever writes this has like the most boring taste, except for Gnarls. The new Madonna is the only thing I care about really.

  • heather

    about time there’s some good music on here. mmj & wolf parade, jyesss.

  • D.

    As a child of the 90′s i can’t wait to hear what Shirley Manson’s solo album is going to sound like. No idea what its going to be called – can’t wait nonetheless.

  • Leslie

    I agree, Shirley’s album will be interesting… but am more psyched for JACK’S MANNEQUIN!!! It’s been 3 years since the last album. Can’t wait!

  • Salah Bessiso

    THE RACONTEURS!!!!

  • Salah Bessiso

    and hellooooo
    PORTISHEAD??

  • Chris

    Can’t wait for either the new Supergrass album or the Raconteurs (and Brendan Benson supposedly has a new solo album done that’s looking for a label to release it).

  • Phil

    Besides the Gnarls Barkley & the Weezer release, none of these albums listed are very mainstream, and obviously not going to make huge dents on the Billboard charts, but the idea is probably to get their names out there & try and get some other people interested in alot of these indie acts. (Surprised you neglected to mention Hot Chip’s new cd, “Made In The Dark” out next Tues.) Of course the new Sheryl Crow, Lenny Kravtiz, & Jack Johnson cds all come out next Tues, Feb. 5th! The big mainstream releases are releases aren’t really coming til March & April, but confirmed so far are:
    Feb. 22nd, 2008 Janet “Discipline”
    March 11th, 2008 Rick Ross “Trilla”
    March 18th, 2008 Lil Wayne “The Carter III”
    March 2008, Snoop Dogg “Ego Trippin’”
    April 1st, 2008 Mariah Carey “That Chick”
    April 8th, 2008, Leona Lewis “Spirit”
    April, 2008 Madonna ” still untitled”

  • lola

    What about U2???
    –read my blog at http://fashionpoirot.blogspot.com

  • darrin

    bryan adams march 2008 – hear the new single now at http://www.bryanadams.com/

  • Ashley

    What about Coldplay?

  • Emilio

    Is Portishead releasing a new album? Is it true? I’ve heard things about their new album since 1998 and a decade has past already. By the way, any My Bloody Valentine news?

  • Xashton

    These are the most anticipated albums of 2008? Who is anticipating these albums?

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