There is a lot to look forward to in music in 2009, busting wide open the myth that there is no good music to be had these days. Here is what I am on the lookout for.
My favourite group would have to be the Pet Shop Boys so it should be no surprise that I am very excited about the release of their tenth album, “Yes”, on 23 March. They are still going strong after 25 years together and are about to be awarded for their Outstanding Contribution to British music at next month’s Brit Awards.
The other album that I’m really excited about was released in Sweden yesterday. It is Tina Stenberg‘s new album of beautiful acoustic pop called “Tales Of A Heart”. I have ordered my copy which should arrive next week. If the single “Now That You’ve Gone” is any indication then I’m going to love this. Initial reviews have been very positive.
Every year, I follow Melodifestivalen, the Swedish competition to decide on their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. Some of my favourites are taking part and have promised albums to be released around March to May, like Alcazar and Sarah Dawn Finer. Both these artists have already released singles from their respective albums and it’s all looking good. Other Swedish artists that I like who are taking part are BWO, Måns Zelmerlöw, Shirley Clamp and Velvet so lets hope there is more new music from them.
Other Swedish artists who should have albums out this year are Nanne Grönvall, West End Girls, Martin Stenmarck and Harpo. It should be a good year for Swedish music.
Russian pop music is looking good too. Tatu and last year’s Eurovision winner, Dima Bilan should be releasing English versions of their respective albums from last year. Tatu’s album release should be in conjunction with a new movie called “You And I”. Dima will also be releasing a Spanish version of his album. Sergey Lazarev will hopefully be releasing his first international album.
I have never bought any product from any of the American Idol contestants since they don’t really capture my imagination. This is about to change with the release next month of the debut album from the soulful Melinda Doolittle, the third place getter in 2007. Everyone was saying she should have won and I agree. I have heard clips from the songs and she is sounding brilliant.
Michael Johns was in last year’s American Idol and he was very good. An album is imminent and if it’s anything like his performances on the show then it’s a winner.
There have been reports that Cher is working on a new album for release this year. It has been way too long since her last album so I hope the reports are true.
Australia soul singer Eran James is working on his third album in London with none other than Elton John. Eran has an amazing voice that has to be heard. Lets hope that this will be his big break.
Relatively unknown UK indie singer, Jake Hook, has promised to release his album “Butterfly Observatory” this year. I discovered Jake on MySpace and was immediately hooked [sorry for the pun] on his seductive voice and compelling music. Lets hope that he is another singer to become more well known.
Along with a lot of people, I fell in love with Welsh singer Duffy last year. I am not sure if we will get a new album this year but she has recorded a version of “Live And Let Die” for a charity album next month and is contributing music to a new film about the Northern Soul music scene called “Souled Out” due out later in the year.
Well, that’s all I know of at the moment. It’s shaping up to be another great year of music – for me anyway. 🙂