Top 10 Albums That We Hope Will Actually Come Out in 2009 (But Probably Won't)
With the music industry in a continued state of shambles, even the average consumer is starting to understand that it's a risky venture to release an album and that this holds true for newcomers as well as those who have had a taste of superstardom. But we've still got to tease the artists that continually claim to put out a project and somehow just never quite end up getting there, which is why we're honoring the 10 albums that we hope will come out this year, but probably won't. While we don't recommend you hold your breath for any of these magnum opuses, Guns 'N Roses' hilariously delayed Chinese Democracy did actually come out in 2008, so maybe anything's possible.
2000 marks nine years since hip-hop producer extraordinaire Dr. Dre began speaking about his Detox album project, which is to be the true sequel to his influential 1992 solo debut The Chronic (because the lackluster Chronic 2001 doesn't count). Dre might well need an intervention to actually get this record out, for there seems to be something holding it back from seeing the light. Spark it up, Dre! You don't want to become the next Axl Rose, but are honestly well on your way.
While Dre is contemplating a Detox, his compadre Eminem has been hard at work on his Relapse, now five years since he released his last effort, Encore. We'll cut him some slack for getting re-married and re-divorced, and for grieving over the fatal shooting of his close friend and musical associate Proof, which all happened in 2008. But how hard is it to fall off the wagon?
Spirit in the Dark
Motown's newest darling isn't a throwback to Diana Ross or Marvin Gaye; absurdly enough, it's Lindsay Lohan, who landed on the legendary imprint after a shuffle off of her previous label Casablanca, the early home to KISS and many now-obscure disco acts. Her Spirit in the Dark album (her third full-length) was supposed to come out last November and reportedly features songwriting and production work from R&B star Ne-Yo and expensive producer Pharrell Williams. After the leak of the Ne-Yo-penned "Bossy," the promise of a release date slipped away as easily as her sobriety reportedly has gone. Miss Lohan fancies herself a triple threat, but really, she's only a threat to herself. Still, we'd look forward to hearing this certain trainwreck of an album.
Ms. Houston's last album was a holiday effort released back in 2003, but her industry mentor Clive Davis has been jabbering about a comeback album for the last two years. Two months ago, when this supposed album cover started floating around, blogville was abuzz with compliments of her strong new physique. But it turned out to be a fake, a fan-Photoshopped work that actually hijacked the body of supermodel Naomi Campbell to place under Houston's head. With still no release date and discouraging evidence of her current vocal abilities on display on YouTube, Houston still has a problem.
Rapper Foxy Brown temporarily lost her hearing a couple years ago, but even she knew that Brooklyn's Don Diva (an album rushed out while she was incarcerated at Riker's Island in 2008) was crap and sued her former label and manager for allegedly putting it out without her approval. The rumors of Black Roses, which she started working on in 2004 for Def Jam, is that it is her best work of all time (according to Brown, who else?) and that she'll put it out this year via her own new record label, Black Rose Entertainment. Tone deaf or tone def? Only time will tell.
The King of Pop celebrated the 25th anniversary of Thriller in 2008. It sold more than three million copies globally, but the new-school interpretations of "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin," "P.Y.T." and "Beat It" were soundly dissed by critics and fans alike for messing with perfection. Rumored to be working on his next "comeback" with the help of Akon and his producing partner RedOne (who took new popster Lady GaGa to the top of the charts in 2008), Jackson's spokesman recently said he's close to finalizing a deal for a world tour and television appearances but did not mention an upcoming album. It may only exist in Neverland.
Timberlake brought sexy back in 2007 and shoved his dick in a box in 2008, but hasn't announced what's next for him musically in 2009. C'mon, Trousersnake, give it to us; don't wait for a tween focus group to tell you what's hot.
This looked like it would come out last year when Elliott released the song "Ching-a-Ling" in January 2008, but it quietly fizzled along with the promise of a release date. Atlantic Records is still on board for the release, but no one is committing to a date. It's starting to seem like Elliott has a Writer's Block Party going on.
Before I Self-Destruct
50 Cent was supposed to drop this album at the end of last year, but chickened out and blamed the economy instead. The recent cancellation of his Apprentice-like MTV reality show The Money and The Power will probably not embolden Curtis Jackson (as his mother named him) to rush out with a new release date, either.
The Khulami Phase/Untitled
The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was one of the most impressive albums released in 1998. Hill followed this up four years later with a bizarre live recording taken from an MTV Unplugged session, and then proceeded to all but disappear from public life as she had five children with Bob Marley's son, Rohan. Stories of her alleged mental imbalance (as well as the occasional shambolic live performance) have followed her ever since. And even though Rohan recently told People that Hill is still a prolific songwriter, there seems to be no plan to offer up a new album, which was apparently to be called The Khulami Phase at some point. So she'll likely continue to kill us softly, without a song.