This is, by no means, a comprehensive list (if you want that, go to AMG or Metacritic). Rather, these are just releases that have caught my eye, piqued my curiosity, and/or insured themselves a slot on my shelves and some space on my iPod.
Start saving your shekels, but remember, release dates are always subject to change. Don’t believe them until you actually hold the CD in your hand (or have it downloaded onto your computer).
- Michael Jackson — Thriller (25th Anniversary Edition) — Yes, we all know that the “King of Pop” has gone so far beyond self-parody that no words can really describe it anymore. But surely Thriller is a perfect example of a work of art transcending the limitations and foibles of its creator. The 25th anniversary edition features seven bonus tracks, including one from the 2001 Thriller re-issue and re-recorded song from the Thriller sessions, as well as DVD with videos (including the famous performance of “Billie Jean” from Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever). Release date: 2/12
- July Skies — The Weather Clock — I’ve been a fan of Antony Harding’s dreamily nostalgic take on shoegazer for years, and I’ve been waiting for The Weather Clock for a long time. Apparently this will be the final July Skies release, but based on the few snippets I’ve heard, Harding will be ending things on a lovely note. Release date: 2/25
- Keith Canisius — Ferris Wheel Makeout — Keith Canisius is one of the folks behind Rumskib, whose song “Springtime” was one of my favorite tracks of 2007. However, Canisius is going entirely solo for his debut album; with the exception of Jonas Munk’s production and programming, everything on the album was performed by Canisius himself. Release date: February 2008
- Writ On Water — A Wingless King — It’s been seven years since Writ On Water’s last release, but in February they’ll be back with another full-length, as well as plans to release three more EPs and re-release their back-catalogue before the end of 2008. Welcome back, guys! Release date: February 2008
- The Great Depression — Forever Altered — Why the Great Depression are more well-known, or receiving crazy amounts of accolades from across the blogosphere, I’ll never know. Few bands out there are making indie-rock this dark, atmospheric, and intelligent. If the tracks on their MySpace page are any indication, their newest album continues that streak, while bringing in some intriguing new sounds. Release date: February 2008
- Auburn Lull — Begin Civil Twilight — Expect more swirling, shoegazey sounds from these Michigan-based dreampoppers. Release date: March 2008
- Portishead — TBA — All I can say is, it’s about #$@^$%$ time. Videos from the band’s recent ATP performance have surfaced, revealing material that seems even starker and harder than their previous album — which came out ten years ago. Release date: April 2008
The following are releases that have no definite release dates, but have been scheduled to come out in Spring 2008:
- The Cure — TBA — I don’t know much about the new Cure album. I just know it’s a new Cure album, which is enough to make my inner high schooler all antsy to break out the black lipstick and get his gloom on.
- Stereolab — TBA — The ‘Lab are back with their first album after 2004’s Margerine Eclipse. Expect more bleeps and bloops, sweeping strings, retro-futuristic melodies, and Lætitia Sadier’s always gorgeous voice singing those Marxist lyrics you know you love.
- Robin Guthrie — TBA — The former Cocteau Twins’ guitarist has been a busy guy lately, releasing several albums last year (including two collaborations with noted ambient composer Harold Budd). Details about his next record are scarce, but it will be released on Darla Records.
- The Radio Dept. — TBA — It’s official: Sweden’s Labrador was my favorite label of 2007, having released several albums of absolutely exquisite pop. And in 2008, they’ll be releasing the latest from the Radio Dept. I can already feel the nostalgia and mopiness bubbling up from within.
- lovesliescrushing — girl. echo. suns. veils. — This will be a limited edition two-disc affair. Details are still sketchy, so it might be a new album, a compilation of older stuff, or something inbetween. Whatever the case, it’ll likely sound unlike anything else you hear all year.
The following are releases that have no definite release dates, but enough is floating around the Web to imply that they will come out sometime in 2008:
- My Bloody Valentine — TBA — In years past, this was pretty much a running gag. But the last month or so has seen some surprising activity in the MBV camp, including some concert dates. Kevin Shields has gone on record with saying that two new albums are in the works, one of which was supposedly going to come out before 2007 wound down. That didn’t happen, but all of this activity is certainly encouraging… isn’t it?
- The Cure — Disintegration (2‑Disc Remastered Edition) — Rhino has been doing Cure fans a huge service over the last few years, going through the band’s catalog and re-releasing their albums as remastered 2‑disc affairs packed of extra tracks, new liner notes, never-before-seen photos — you know, the deluxe treatment. No album deserves this treatment more than Disintegration, arguably the Cure’s magnum opus (and “best album ever” according to Kyle Broflovski).
- Junior Boys — TBA — Junior Boys’ previous release — So This Is Goodbye — was one of my favorite albums of 2006. And I expect more of the same: solid beats, retro atmospherics, and plenty of crooning vocals singing about alienation, longing, and late night trysts.
- Massive Attack — Weather Underground — I think I was a little harsh on Massive Attack’s previous album, 2003’s 100th Window (my review). It’s grown on me somewhat in the ensuing years. Whatever the case, though, a new Massive Attack album is always something to pique the interest.
- Sweet Trip — TBA — It’s been nearly five years since Sweet Trip’s last album, 2003’s Velocity : Design : Comfort (my review), one of the best example of drum n’ bliss pop around. Which means that it’s about time for more of their sweet sounds to come swirling through my headphones.
- Hammock — Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow (A Sound Installation) — Hammock have released several albums of solid dreampop, and this latest one ventures even deeper into the ambient realm.
- Hearts+Horses — TBA — Hearts+Horses is the new project from the folks behind Park Avenue Music, whose For Your Home Or Office (my review) was a lovely little slice of electronic pop.
- The Declining Winter — Goodbye Minnesota — The Declining Winter is Richard Adams, who happens to be one of the founding members of the mighty Hood. Which is reason enough for me.
- Epic 45 — TBA — Epic 45 have been rather prolific, and incredibly reliable, over the last two years or so. Their music has grown on me in a big way, and so anything they release has become “must hear” material for me.
Did I miss anything? If so, let me know in the comments.