The 5 Most Anticipated Albums from Major Music Publishers in 2014

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.

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The Light from the TV Shows: A Chat with Joe Berlinger (“The ‘Paradise Lost’ Trilogy”)

I can still remember the first time I watched “Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills,” about the so-called West Memphis Three, a trio of teenagers – Jason Baldwin, Damien Echols, and Jessie Misskelley – who in 1993 were accused of the murder and sexual mutilation of three prepubescent boys in West Memphis, Arkansas. Maybe Baldwin, Echols, and Misskelley weren’t the most clean-cut teens imaginable, but watching the sad but undeniably enthralling “Paradise Lost,” it’s pretty easy to believe that their imprisonment was unjust, a case of the justice system gone horribly wrong.

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Indeed, I was sufficiently affected by it that I continued to keep tabs on the case over the years, right up through when Baldwin, Echols, and Misskelley were finally released after almost 20 years behind bars. Similarly, directors Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky, the gentlemen behind the camera for “Paradise Lost,” continued to follow the saga of the West Memphis Three, resulting in two sequels, “Paradise Lost 2: Revelations” and “Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory.”

The whole trilogy has just been released in a four-disc set – one for each film, plus an extra disc of bonus material – and upon receiving a review copy, I was pitched an interview with Berlinger. At first, I hesitated, thinking, “Geez, do I have any place to run this?” Then I realized, “Hello, technicality: all three films made their debut on HBO, so I’m calling in a loophole and putting this baby in ‘The Light from the TV Shows’!” The next thing you know, I’m on the phone with Mr. Berlinger, having the chat that sits before you now. Read on…

Bullz-Eye: I should probably start by telling you that I’ve just spent a fair amount of the preceding 24 hours plowing through the new “Paradise Lost Trilogy” set.

Joe Berlinger: Oh, my God. Watching it in one fell swoop…

BE: Yeah, I said on Facebook, “This is a whole lot of depressing footage to watch and know that you’re only going to get a semi-happy ending in the end.”

JB: Yeah, I know. Imagine me living it! [Laughs.] At least I spread it out over two decades. But to pile it all on like that…I’m actually curious: how does it feel watching one after another? Does it feel repetitive?

BE: No, it doesn’t. [Hesitates.] Well, okay, there are moments, I guess. But they’re acceptable knowing the fact that each one was made several years after the next.

JB: Okay, so it holds up as a trilogy, watching one after another?

BE: I’d say so.

JB: Cool!

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All Work and No Playlist: Taking Back Sunday drummer Mark O’Connell’s favorite songs

Welcome to another installment of All Work and No Playlist. This week’s victim (we really do feel bad stealing all these iPods) is Taking Back Sunday drummer Mark O’Connell (far left, kneeling, in photo below), whose band has reformed with the lineup from their Tell All Your Friends days and will release a new self-titled album June 28. Says Mark: “We couldn’t be more excited about it.” Perhaps these 10 songs will provide some insight into the sound of the new record. Or perhaps not. He did put a Billy Joel song on here, after all, and we don’t see the band making the next “Tell Her About It” anytime soon.

“Battery,” Metallica

I remember the first time I heard this song, I couldn’t believe what was happening. I had no idea music like that existed. They are the pioneers of thrash metal.

“The Downeaster – Alexa,” Billy Joel

I am from Long Island — Billy Joel is from Long Island. He has Long Island pride — I also have long island pride. I want to meet that guy so badly, it hurts.


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