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2020 was a tumultuous year by all means, and just like everything else, several music projects got pushed back, whether because they were difficult to record, or because the time wasn’t right for a big release. In 2021, we’re expecting pop, rap and rock to come back full force, with releases by everyone from Drake and Adele to the Foo Fighters and Billie Eilish. Here are 11 albums listeners can expect in 2021… plus, the one album fans SHOULDN’T demand this year.
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Adele — TBA (TBA): Adele was reportedly back in the studio in 2020 working with writer Rick Nowels. And former Pearl Jam drummer Matt Chamberlain also spoke about creating a powerful new track with her. “I just got to work on some new music for Adele,” he said in a podcast. “To hear that voice in my headphones was getting me chills. It was just so powerful and emotive. You know her voice, but to be across the room from somebody doing that, it’s just insane.” If Adele does drop the new album in 2021, it will be six years since her last one.
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Drake — Certified Lover Boy (January): Toronto rapper Drake is set to drop his sixth studio album early this year, and his longtime engineer Noel Cadastre said in July that the album is “90 per cent done.” The lead single ‘Laugh Now Cry Later, featuring Lil Durk, is already out. And Drake confirmed that the finished and polished version of leaked track ‘Not Around’ will be on the album, too.
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Foo Fighters — Medicine at Midnight (February): Recorded in a seemingly haunted 1940s house in Los Angeles, weird things kept happening at their 2019 sessions, according to Dave Grohl: “We would come back to the studio the next day and all of the guitars would be detuned … There were some tracks that were put on there that we didn’t put on there. But just like weird open mic noises. Nobody playing an instrument or anything like that, just an open mic recording a room.” Regardless, it’s going to be a big one for the Foo Fighters — their 10th studio album to date, preceded by two singles: ‘Shame Shame’ and ‘No Son of Mine’.
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Sia — Music — Songs from and inspired by the Motion Picture (February): Sia isn’t one to do things by halves, which is why her upcoming 10-track album is also a soundtrack. The songstress will make her feature film directorial debut with ‘Music’, a musical drama starring Kate Hudson, Maddie Ziegler (Sia’s longtime dancer) and Hamilton’s Leslie Odom Jr, and release her album alongside it.
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Red Hot Chili Peppers — TBA (TBA): Not only did the Red Hot Chili Peppers welcome guitarist John Frusciante back into the midsts after a 10-year absence, but the band also confirmed they’re working on their yet-to-be-titled 12th studio album. “We’re concentrating on new songs and writing a new record,” said drummer Chad Smith. “We’re all real excited to make new music.”
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Travis Scott — Utopia (TBA): In 2020, on the second year anniversary of ‘Astroworld’ (which, incredibly, released in 2018 and not yesterday), Scott teased his upcoming album, writing: “Lets keep the ride going see you in Utopia.” Singles from the album include ‘Highest in the Room’ and ‘Franchise’. Some rumoured guest appearances are Future and Roddy Ricch.
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Billie Eilish — TBA (TBA): The second album is coming, and according to Eilish’s brother and co-creator Finneas, it might be here as soon as the vaccine takes hold. “Billie’s album, and my album, they won’t be a bummer COVID record … It’s the vaccine record! I want it to be the album everyone’s out dancing in the streets to.” Eilish, who released her smash debut album in 2019, said she’s at 16 songs for album two, adding: “I love [songwriting] so much more. I actually really do enjoy it now and I do feel like I’m pretty good at it now.”
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Rosalia — R3 (TBA): Rosalia is gearing up to release her third studio album after the massive success of her concept album ‘El Mal Querer’. Producer Pharrell Williams said that his fellow Neptunes producer Chad Hugo also worked on the record. “It’s a pleasure to work with [Rosalia] because she not only knows what she wants, but there are three things that really mean something to her,” Williams said in an interview with Billboard. “The first one is intention … The second thing is commitment … The third thing is about conviction. She feels like, ‘Man, I wanna be convinced.’”
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Lana Del Rey — Chemtrails over the Country Club (TBA): Lana Del Rey dropped ‘Norman [expletive] Rockwell] in 2019 and ‘Violet Bent Backwards over the Grass’ last year, but she’s already prepping to drop her upcoming seventh studio album in 2021, titled ‘Chemtrails over the Country Club’. It includes the already-out single ‘Let Me Love You like a Woman’.
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Lorde — TBA (TBA): Lorde teased fans with a new album in October 2020, as she pleaded with them to vote in the New Zealand election. “Do it for our beautiful country...And next year I’ll give you something in return,” wrote Lorde. Her last album, ‘Melodrama’, released four years ago in 2017. She began working on her upcoming album before the pandemic hit: “I started going back to the studio again in December, just for something to do, and to my surprise, good things came out. Happy, playful things … And then, of course, the world shut down.”
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Lil Nas X — TBA (TBA): It’s hard to believe it, but Lil Nas X still doesn’t have an album out. He shattered records with his diamond-certified hit single ‘Old Town Road’ featuring Billy Ray Cyrus, which spent 19 weeks at No 1, becoming the longest-running No 1 track on the Billboard Hot 100 since the chart’s debut in 1958. Two EPs later, Lil Nas X is finally ready to drop his first LP, saying: “In 2021, I’m dropping the greatest album of all time.”
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The one album fans should probably stop demanding is Rihanna’s ‘R9’. It’s become a running joke to ask Riri where the album is at, but it seems the Fenty Beauty icon is over it in 2021. Underneath a photo of herself posing by a pool in Instagram, she wrote the caption: “new year’s resolution: apply the pressure.” But when someone responded, “Resolution should be releasing the album,” Rihanna shot back: “this comment is sooo 2019. grow up.”
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