Facebook R&B crooner Mario has been relatively quiet on the music front for…
- Posted by Matt Glazebrook
1. Return to the Sauce
For a group whose cultural ubiquity has been more or less uninterrupted since the mid-Eighties, it's always slightly surprising how few albums the Beastie Boys have actually released: eight, including 2007's somewhat low-key instrumentals set 'The Mix-Up.' Their relative rarity helps each Beasties disc retain a sense of occasion, even if the three MCs' skills have diminished a little as they've entered their fifth decade. The unusually monikered 'Hot Sauce Committee Pt. 1' was postponed last year following Adam Yauch's cancer scare, and should now drop in the first half of 2010. Whether it emulates the stripped-down old-school sound of 2005's 'To the Five Boroughs,' the giddy sonic experimentation of 1998's 'Hello Nasty' or goes somewhere else entirely, it's bound to be interesting.
2. A Nice Pair of Bristols
2010 will be the first year that West Country wizards Massive Attack and Portishead have both released albums since 1994, the height of the trip-hop era. No need to dust off those old combat trousers and backpacks, however, the two Bristolian groups have been nothing if not consummate reinventors since their mid-Nineties heyday. In February, Massive Attack will look to banish memories of underwhelming 2003 release '100th Window' with their fifth album, 'Heligoland,' while Portishead are currently working at -- for them -- lightning speed in an attempt to follow up their barnstorming 2008 comeback, 'Third,' before the year is out.
3. Getting Down on the Farm
Turn of the decade Glastonburys tend to be turbulent affairs: 2000 saw gatecrashers more than double the festival's official attendance (prompting the current "superfence") while 1990 featured a pitched battle between security guards and New Age travellers. Michael Eavis' annual bash is far more slickly run these days, delivering a dependably impressive mix of crowdpleasing headliners and wildly eclectic smaller stage line-ups. Certainly don't expect any chaos from arena rock ultraprofessionals U2 at the 2010 festival. Our hope: They open with their brilliant, Echo and the Bunnymen-esque debut single 'I Will Follow,' and Bono does the dance from the video.
4. Chasing Pavement
Blame the Pixies. The reunion tour, formerly the domain of hoary heritage rock acts and wrinkly heavy metallers with only one original member, has become rather fashionable of late. Do we really need to see our beloved indie heroes grey-haired and struggling to recapture former glories? Luckily, whatever you think of the comeback trek business, Pavement have a pretty unimpeachable five album back catalog to fall back on. Expect it to be annoyingly far harder to get a ticket when they hit Europe in May than back in the group's mid-90s pomp.
5. The inevitable rise and rise of ...
The BBC have hit on a pretty scientific formula for their annual 'Sound of...' new music prediction poll: It turns out, if you pick a list of 10 new acts to watch, and you just happen to have a national network of pop music radio stations on which to massively hype every single they release, there's a decent chance one or two of them will hit the big time. The 2010 long-list is a patchy affair, but inevitably contains a few likely contenders. For this year's White Lies, Florence and the Machine and La Roux, then, read theatrical popsters Marina and the Diamonds, whimsical folkies Stornoway and Brooklyn-based art poppers the Drums. Get used to them. You'll be hearing them a lot.
6. Gorillaz in our Midst
The trouble with this kind of pop-crystal-ball-gazing is that it's difficult to gain any sense of what the proposed albums are actually going to sound like. Helpfully, in recent weeks we've been getting a drip-feed of collaborator names for 'Plastic Beach' -- the third effort from Damon Albarn's always intriguing cartoon supergroup Gorillaz -- including Lou Reed, Mos Def, the Bee Gees' Barry Gibb, soul legend Bobby Womack, the Horrors and Snoop Dogg. Let's just say, if it ends up being anyway near as insane and brilliant as the album we're imagining right now, 'Plastic Beach' is a 2010 must-buy.
7. Ciao Bella!
Bella Union established itself as one of the few genuine "seal of quality" record imprints in the late noughties. 2010 should cement the label's status as the go-to for all things rustic, North American and sepia-tinted, as woozy '70s rock revivalists Midlake look to emulate the massive sleeper success of breakthrough 'The Trials of Van Occupanther' with new disc 'The Courage of Others.' Sun-bleached duo Beach House are set to release third effort 'Teen Dream,' and Fleet Foxes will follow up their spectacular eponymous debut. Also keep an eye out for new Bella Union releases from lovely chanteuse Laura Veirs and underrated Canadian folkies the Acorn.
8. Diff'rent Strokes
Whisper it softly: it looks like the world might actually get to hear a fourth Strokes album, in 2010. For a while it was seeming as if the disc's potential existence was merely an conversational crutch to get us to read interviews promoting the various members' solo endeavours. But no, it seems Julian Casablancas' 'Phrazes for the Young' marks the end of the 'vanity project' portion of the New Yorkers' career, with a June 12 headline slot at the Isle of Wight Festival suggesting new group product to hawk. So which Strokes will turn up in 2010? The ultra-tight 'Is This It'-era new wavers who launched a skinny-trousered-boys-with-guitars dominated decade? Or the slightly shambolic rawkers of enjoyably sloppy third effort, 'First Impressions of Earth'?
9. A Long-Awaited Avalanche
In 2000, a group of Australian dudes united rock, dance and hip-hop fans alike with 'Since I Left You,' a joyous, dreamy party album comprised entirely of obscure samples. Having helped reinvent electronic music for the 21st century and pave the way for the likes of Danger Mouse and Girl Talk, the Avalanches decided to take the rest of the decade off. Ten years later, the crate-digging antipodeans have returned from their extended backpacking trip, or whatever it is they've been up up to, and are supposedly "clearing samples" for a long-awaited sophomore release. Bonzer!
10. The Return of the Critical Big Hitters
If the "best of the 2009" lists had an unfamiliar look about them (total ubiquity of Animal Collective notwithstanding), it may be because so many of the usual suspects took the year off. The next end-of-year award winners are easier to predict. Indeed, a glance at the slated release calendar for 2010 suggests a few of the less imaginative hacks could save themselves a job during the Christmas rush and start compiling their top ten in early January. Spoon's 'Transference', Radiohead's eighth effort, the Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem's third, MGMT's sophomore set: If these don't end up topping a lot of critic's lists, we'll eat our official rock writer hats.