The coming of a new year always has a strong effect on the music industry. Artists, labels and music publishers often focus their efforts on prepping releases and building hype, and it usually starts well before the holidays. 2014 is no different, with a handful of near-future releases already drumming up a great deal of excitement among music fans. Narrowing down which albums might actually be worth hearing, though, isn’t always easy given the plethora of releases scheduled for the coming six months.
2013 was certainly a great year for music, but there are plenty of reasons to believe that 2014 may even be more packed with top-caliber releases.
Here are 5 of the most anticipated major label releases scheduled to come out over the course of the next year:
1. Bruce Springsteen – High Hopes
Everyone knows Springsteen is The Boss for a reason, and his upcoming album High Hopes has a great deal of hype surrounding it, even if it isn’t exactly a proper new release (it’s a collection of odds and ends from Springsteen’s career). Tom Morello from Rage Against the Machine guest stars, and there are also appearances from classic members of the E Street Band Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici. If you’re a Springsteen fan, this record will no doubt make you happy.
2. Dr. Dre – Detox
Hip hop fans hold Dr. Dre in high regard, and for good reason – he’s one of the godfathers of the genre. Given the history of his release schedule, though, it seems as if he has a hard time staying relevant. His first release in a handful of years, Detox is being called Dre’s return to the limelight, and will no doubt be one of the biggest rap releases in 2014. The record is full of cameos and even has its own blog for marketing and promotion purposes, making it one of the most anticipated releases for 2014. It’s still too early to tell whether or not it’ll be worth the hype though.
3. U2 – (TBA)
U2 has yet to release the title of their upcoming record, but it’s fairly safe to assume that it’s going to be a big hit. Having not releases an album since the 2009 record No Line on the Horizon, fans of the band are clamoring over what the next release will showcase. As one might expect, the album is loaded with guest appearances, from producers Danger Mouse and Will.I.Am to David Guetta and RedOne. The album doesn’t have a release date as of yet, but it’s sure to sell a boatload of copies whenever it does finally come out.
4. Metallica – (TBA)
Unlike U2, Metallica has been all over the map as of late. They’ve been touring relentlessly, released a 3D movie in 2013 and have been building a lot of hype for their upcoming record. Like U2, however, it’s been about 5 years since the band has released a proper album, not counting the 2011 collaboration with Lou Reed, Lulu. It’s too soon to tell whether or not this will be the album fans have been waiting years to hear, but hopes are high that the as-yet-untitled record will deliver.
5. Chris Brown – X
Chris Brown’s upcoming record X was supposed to come out in 2013, although the star has dealt with a great deal of legal troubles and issues with music publishers. The album has already spawned some hits, though, and is looking to be quite a big record for Brown. Whether or not he decides to stick to releasing singles or eventually puts out the album as a whole is yet to be known, but fans of the singer have high hopes for his output in 2014.
So whether you’re looking to stream these on your favorite music service or cherish a brand new piece of vinyl, the above releases should keep you busy in 2014.