22 Most Anticipated Albums of Sep.-Dec. 2011 (Part 2)

Hey gang, hope you enjoyed the first half of this feature yesterday and got amped on the absurd amount of good music that we’ll get to hear before the end of this year. Here’s even more.

J. Cole – Cole World: The Sideline Story [Sep 27 on Roc Nation]

I came to J. Cole a little later than most, jumping on the train with last year’s stellar Friday Night Lights mixtape, but I’ve come to like him quite a bit since then. Over that mixtape’s sprawling 20-tracks-in-77-minutes, Cole showed a consistent ability to spit fire even when talking about, you know, sensitive ish. Hopefully the first-official-album woes of other mixtape heroes like Wale won’t befall Cole on Cole World, but the fact that it’s coming out on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation rather than a major like Interscope or WMG is reassuring. Single “Work Out”, which you can stream below, isn’t Cole’s best work, but it’s a solid listen.


Not the cover...I'll take one of those sweater/hat combos tho.

Joker – The Vision [Nov 8 on 4AD]

For more than two years, Bristol’s Joker has been releasing an unimpeachable string of post-dubstep (or, in his words, a style called “purple”) singles, as dance producers like to do, but for just as long, fans have been clamoring for an album, and this fall we’ll finally get one. Based on the three songs he’s released from the album so far, he’s leaning hard towards pop, with vocal collaborators, huge choruses, and drops that will make brostep fans salivate. My favorite is the absolutely massive title track, which features a vocal from SBTRKT collaborator Jessie Ware, but make sure the check out the other two as well.

“The Vision (Let Me Breathe)” ft. Jessie Ware

“Music (4am)” ft. Buggsy

[audio http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/Music_4am.mp3]

“Here Come the Lights” ft. Silas of Turboweekend


Justice – Audio, Video, Disco [Oct 25 on Ed Banger]

For their follow-up to 2008’s unhinged , Justice have claimed they’ll be deviating away from dance music to something more akin to…stadium rock? Personally, I hope it’s either a heavy dose of awesome or a complete disaster — I’m guessing it’ll delicately toe that line. First single “Civilization” would indicate a mediocre in-between space, but I’ve got my fingers crossed they can pull through with something colossal.

Watch the utterly ridiculous, buffalo-centric video for “Civilization”:


The cover of shit-hot single "Nasty"

 Nas – Life Is Good [TBA on Def Jam]

It’s worth thinking twice about what to reasonably expect from a Nas album in 2011. I certainly wasn’t monitoring news of his follow-up to 2008’s Untitled closely. But then he dropped “Nasty” this summer and showed that, when he puts his mind to it (and grabs the right beat), he can still spit like it’s 1993. Here’s hoping the album (whose title might be changing) is filled with tracks as furious as “Nasty”, which you can stream below.


The cover of advance release "It's Real"

Real Estate – Days [Oct 18 on Domino]

Real Estate’s self-titled 2009 debut is most definitely a slow-burner; every once in a while, I’ll discover the greatness of another track which had never struck me before — this summer, it was album closer “Snow Days”. Interim EP Reality showed that they could turn out more breezy, nostalgic, suburban rock of the same quality, no problem. I also got to see them live at D.C.’s Red Palace, where they played a lot of new stuff, which was fast and hot but still wistfully melodic — just like advance single “It’s Real”. I think Days will pretty much be a sure bet. It’s also guaranteed to make them even hard to Google than they already were with a name like Real Estate — now your search will inevitably get clogged up with Sunny Day Real Estate hits.

Stream lovely, rollicking “It’s Real”:


Ryan Adams – Ashes and Fire [Oct 10 on Pax-Am / Capitol]

In recent years, Ryan Adams’ albums have mostly suffered at the hands of his insane prolificacy and inability to self-edit, but he has an undeniable reserve of talent, a great voice, and a touch that instantly marks songs as his own — just watch how gracefully he interprets Vampire Weekend’s “Mansard Roof”. He’s penned a few of my all-time favorites, and Ashes and Fire single “Lucky Now” is great, so I’ll be sure to check the album out. Stream “Lucky Now” below:


St. Vincent – Strange Mercy [Sep 13 on 4AD]

I’ve never gotten around to checking out Annie Clark’s first two albums as St. Vincent, Marry Me and Actor. But when I heard Strange Mercy single “Cruel”, I was instantly hooked. Like other advance release “Surgeon”, it weds a pretty, delicate vocal to a number of kinetic, uneasy, sometimes even distorted elements. I get the feeling you’ll be hooked as well once you hear “Cruel”. Stream “Surgeon” and check out the delightfully evil video for “Cruel” below.


[audio http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/St.%20Vincent%20-%20Surgeon.mp3]


Tom Waits – Bad As Me [Oct 25 on ANTI-]

There’s no way I’ll miss a new release by Mr. Waits, one of history’s most singular songwriters, who pretty much hasn’t released a bad album since…ever. What more needs to be said? The guy is an American treasure. Stream the title track below.


The Weeknd – Echoes of Silence [TBA, self-released]

I almost didn’t put this one on the list, because The Weeknd have already released two excellent mixtapes this year, and a third of the same quality will just be an embarrassment of riches. I pretty much know what to expect from Echoes of Silence, and I pretty much expect it to be up to snuff with House of Balloons and Thursday. And if it’s not? Abel Tesfaye will have already given us two enduring chunks of R&B sleaze this year, so I won’t be too upset. Below, check out what appears to be a very early version of Echoes track “Birthday Suit”, originally given to Drake as a reference of sorts. You can be sure that by the time it makes its way onto Echoes of Silence, Doc McKinney and Illangelo will have done all sorts of magical things with it.

“Birthday Suit”

[audio http://thajuicebar.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/the-weeknd-birthday-suit.mp3]


Wilco – The Whole Love [Sep 27 on dBpm]

Most Wilco fans have a mindset of slowly diminishing expectations ingrained in them by now — since the glory days of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, flanked on either side by Summerteeth and A Ghost Is Born, amazing albums both, we’ve received the (merely) comfortable Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album). As much as I love Sky Blue Sky, it’s not exactly boundary-pushing, and while Wilco delivered some really stellar tracks (“One Wing”, “Bull Black Nova”, “Wilco (The Song”), many of the others were hit or miss. So I’m trying to keep my expectations for The Whole Love in check, but “I Might” is a kick-ass song, and this preview video gets me pretty amped for 7-plus-minute album opener “Art of Almost”. No matter what, it’ll still be a Wilco album, which even at their worst are a blessing to the world.

“I Might”

[audio https://theashtraysays.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/wilco-i-might-b-w-i-love-my-label-01-i-might.mp3]


Zola Jesus – Conatus [Oct 4 on Sacred Bones]

Niki Roza Danilova’s brooding, gothic, early work wasn’t exactly for me, but I fell in love with last year’s Valusia EP, which saw her flirting with pop a little more, and the EP’s heart-wrenching closer “Lightsick” squeaked its way onto my Top 25 Songs of 2010 list. Advance single “Vessel” from her upcoming LP Conatus indicates she’ll be continuing with her pop-ward evolution on the album, and if it’s anywhere as good as Valusia, I’m sold.


[audio http://downloads.pitchforkmedia.com/Zola%20Jesus%20-%20Vessel.mp3]

Back to Part 1


~ by toren on September 3, 2011.

2 Responses to “22 Most Anticipated Albums of Sep.-Dec. 2011 (Part 2)”

  1. […] Continue to Part 2 Like this:LikeBe the first to like this post. […]

  2. […] just streamed Conatus, the new album by Zola Jesus (which appeared on my recent Anticipated Records list), over at The Guardian’s music blog. Nothing struck me with the immediate gut-punch […]

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