As dedicated music consumers, each new year brings about fresh and exciting voices to latch onto, along with the welcome return of familiar faces. To help capture the excitement of what 2020 has in store, we asked various Riffs & Rhymes staff members chime in on some of their most anticipated albums of the year.
Ellie Burleson // Contributor
- Hayley Williams – Petals for Armor
- Justin Bieber – Changes
- Kacey Musgraves – TBD
2019 is not going to be an easy year to top. However, artists know how to give their fans a good tease and keep them on the edge of their seat when it comes to new music. Already releasing the single “Simmer” last week, Paramore’s lead singer Hayley Williams announced her very first solo record will come later this spring. Those of you who follow pop culture and entertainment news as closely as I do already know Justin Beiber has been laying low when it comes to his music, but he recently gave us a new single and will be releasing a new album in February, along with a 10 part docuseries that just released on YouTube. Now that the high of Golden Hour has leveled out, I have to believe the wondrous Kacey Musgraves has a lyric book full of fresh words too, with music written and ready to record.
Honorable Mentions: Kali Uchis – TBD, SALES – TBD
Mike Flores // Contributor
- Lil Uzi Vert – Eternal Atake
- Playboi Carti – Whole Lotta Red
- J. Cole – The Fall Off
Lil Uzi Vert and Playboi Carti fans had the worst 2019. Both artists have been plagued by online leaks and label troubles, pushing the releases of their highly anticipated albums to 2020. J. Cole hopes to return back to form after a phenomenal 2019 as an executive and feature artist. Boasting commercial success and multiple Grammy nominations with the release of the Dreamville Records album, Cole has been teasing this 2020 solo release since 2018.
Honorable Mentions: Drake – TBD, Young Thug – Punk
Oliver Cable // Contributor
- Red Hot Chili Peppers – TBD
- Pearl Jam – Gigaton
- The XX – TBD
Red Hot Chili Peppers stole Christmas this year by announcing the return of John Frusciante to the lineup. While it’s unlikely to herald a revisit of their ’90s funk-rock power, there’s every chance the album they’re working on will be a step away from recent offerings. Pearl Jam’s Gigaton marks seven years since their last release, and three decades as a band. In thirty years they’ve developed such rockstar status that anything they release is exciting. As for The XX: here’s hoping for more floaty vocals, minimal guitars and inevitable Jamie XX remixes.
Honorable Mentions: Foo Fighters – TBD, Kendrick Lamar – TBD
Roberto Johnson // Editor
- Jackie Cohen – TBD
- Father John Misty – TBD
- Joey Bada$$ – TBD
I’d be remiss if I didn’t say that 2019 will be hard to top. Nonetheless, I’m anxiously anticipating more music from a few of my favorites. After releasing her unbelievably infectious debut last May, Jackie Cohen is poised to drop another batch of amazing songs. And while Father John Misty’s existing catalog already boasts enough material to spend a lifetime dissecting, it’s hard to imagine the always-prolific Josh Tillman staying quiet for too long.
Honorable Mentions: Charlotte Dos Santos – TBD, Tame Impala – The Slow Rush