Ten Artists Who Really Need to Release a New Album in 2011

New Album ReleasesHeated family disputes and power drinking away your troubles aren’t the only things that come with the holiday season. We also get treated to a seemingly endless stream of new albums from some of the biggest recording artists in all the land. This year will be no different. Several high profile musicians have albums on the schedule for the end of the year.

But for a lot of fans, 2010 will come and go without so much as a new single from their favorite band and, sadly, it’s been that way for years. Here are 10 musicians who really need to drop a new album in 2011.

Justin Timberlake

Justin Timberlake hasn’t released an album since 2006’s FutureSex/LoveSounds and he’s been busying himself in the meantime by doing anything but singing and dancing. It seems like our favorite former Mouseketeer hasn’t ever gotten the acting bug out of his system. He’s been trying his hand at semi-regular SNL drop-ins and Hollywood Acting for the past several years. And that sucks. We wouldn’t trade “Dick in a Box” for almost anything, but we’re ready for our present day “What Goes Around…” Been ready, actually.

Tom Waits

Tom Waits is quite possibly the greatest songwriter most of the population of the world has never heard of. Sure, his sandpaper voice takes some getting used to, but he writes the kind of songs that stop the entire world when you hear them. This year, Tom is finally in contention for a long overdue induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (he’s been eligible since the late 90′s). What better way to celebrate than with a new album?

Last year’s live album, Glitter and Doom, and his 2006 rarities collection Orphans: Bawlers, Brawlers and Bastards were a great way to hold us over, but it’s been over six years since his last proper studio album, Real Gone. That’s a long damn time to wait, but not out of character for the notoriously reclusive songwriter. Here’s hoping he comes out of his shell in 2011 and delivers something great.

Pavement

To be totally honest, we’re not exactly Pavement diehards, but catching their show at the Hollywood Bowl earlier this year and hearing the same hits we heard when we saw them like, fifteen years ago was kind of a bummer. We can only imagine how bummed out we’d be if we were huge fans, so we’re including this. Because we’re really thoughtful of your needs, you special gems.

The Pixies

Kurt Cobain’s favorite band shocked the world when they reunited in the mid-90′s for a series of sold out tours. Nobody saw that coming, mostly because it’s hard to make amends with the person who fired you via fax machine. But so far, the reunion has resulted in barely any new music save for a lone single, “Bam Thwok”, that was released exclusively via the iTunes store. Other than that, the Pixies haven’t dropped any new music since goddamn 1991. That’s almost 20 years. We have interns at TSJ who are younger than the last Pixies album for the love of God.

There are some indications that the long wait may soon come to an end, though. Front man Frank Black (or Black Francis, depending on when you ask) said the band would return to the studio sometime in 2010 to record that long awaited fifth album. Our fingers are crossed.

The Strokes

It is such a soul boner kill when you realize that The Strokes haven’t released an album since 2006. Yo, The Strokes are one of the best rock bands of the ‘00s. Everyone in the band has been working on their own projects and Julian Casablancas’ solo album that came out last year has been our jam, but he better not get all Beyoncé over it. We went through that once with Destiny’s Child, we’re not prepared to do it again.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse

On the long list of musicians who give not a fuck what anyone says about anything, Neil Young is a strong contender for the number one spot. When a long running fan site complained about his recent musical output, he basically replied with “feel free to shut down your website if you don’t like my music.” We’re paraphrasing, but you get the gist.

It’s not a dry spell of Neil Young albums that earns him a spot on this list, it’s more a matter of who he records those albums with. He’s always been the type to assemble a ragtag group of musicians together and bang out an album that nobody saw coming. He’s been doing that consistently his entire career. But no backing band brings out the magic of Neil like the fabled Crazy Horse. Some of his most timeless classics have been recorded with the thunderous backing of the Horse, but the band has been missing in action since 2003′s solid but kind of preachy Greendale album. That’s a tragedy.

Lauryn Hill

1998’s The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill is arguably one of our favorite albums of all time and Lauryn’s MTV Unplugged set has gotten us through a trying moment or two, but that’s all homegirl’s given us since she broke off from the Fugees. Earlier this year, Lauryn broke her silence and addressed why she decided to put music down. She was quoted as saying , “There were a number of different reasons. But partly, the support system that I needed was not necessarily in place. There were things about myself, personal-growth things, that I had to go through in order to feel like it was worth it…Oftentimes, I think people are forced [by the music industry] to make decisions prematurely. And then that sound radiates.”

We’re taking that to mean those rumors about her being crazy aren’t true and when she finally comes back it’s going to be the best thing we ever heard.

The White Stripes

We have been waiting for a new album for The White Stripes, who released their sixth studio album, Icky Thump, like three and a half years ago. Earlier this year they gave us their live album Under Great White Northern Lights, but we’re dying to hear a couple new hits. There are only two of them. How hard could it be to coordinate schedules?

Neutral Milk Hotel

There’s a pretty strong chance you have no idea who Neutral Milk Hotel is, but the name is both celebrated and painfully mourned in the indie rock community. They released a mere two full length albums, the last being the insanely influential In the Aeroplane Over the Sea in 1998. That album went largely unnoticed by the general public, but the critics and fans of the band loved it. It seemed like the band’s star was on the rise at the time, but the complexities of recording that album and the subsequent tour eventually drove Neutral Milk Hotel into an “indefinite hiatus.” Front man Jeff Mangum has made a few scarce appearances here and there in the years since, but so far the long recording drought shows no signs of coming to an end anytime soon.

D’Angelo

What in the hell happened to D’Angelo? When he burst onto the scene in 1995, he almost single handedly kicked off the neo-soul movement and was hailed as some sort of second coming of Prince. His second album, 1998′s Voodoo, still stands as one of the greatest R&B albums of at least the past 20 years. And then…he just vanished.

A sad descent into drug addiction and a string of legal troubles have almost certainly impeded his progress, but damn, Ol’ Dirty Bastard managed to record a pretty killer album while strung out on crack and on the run from the law. Surely D’Angelo has had enough lucid moments in the past decade to string together a few great songs, right?

He’s made a few appearances on other artists albums and released the occasional soundtrack single, but so far, a new album has yet to materialize. There were rumors of a 2010 album, tentatively titled James River, and a summer tour; but that talk quieted after the troubled singer was arrested once again for soliciting oral sex from an undercover cop in New York’s West Village. But rumors still circulate that a long awaited third album is nearly finished. Here’s hoping we see it sometime soon.

This article was lovingly handcrafted by superstar blogger Molly McAleer and TSJ editor Adam Brown. To follow Molly on Twitter, go here. To get lame status updates and unfunny one-liners from Adam, check out his Twitter page here.

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