The Albums to Look Forward To in 2018

The Albums to Look Forward To in 2018

In the aftermath of the 60th Grammys, we count down our most anticipated albums of the year. Maybe some will even be in contention next year.

In the aftermath of the 60th Grammys, we count down our most anticipated albums of the year. Maybe some will even be in contention next year.

Text: Rayne H. Ellis

Rihanna

Photo courtesy of @badgalriri

Though Rihanna spent a good portion of the year on Billboard's Hot 100, the songstress didn't release any of her own music during 2017. And even though this drought was likely due to a shift in focus (caused by the very successful Fenty Beauty) it still left us parched. Nothing is certain, but last year producer NaNa Rogues, known for Drake's 2017 earworm "Passionfruit", confirmed in a radio interview that he was working with Rih on her next project.

The producer told FUBAR Radio last October, "She’s definitely coming out with new stuff. The songs that we heard in that session, in that writing camp, were insane. It was absolutely insane. So I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully a bunch of my tracks make the album too. I don’t even know the direction. You know what Rihanna’s like. You can’t anticipate anything. It’s just a bunch of different songs that are like ‘I didn’t think she would do that.’ It sounds sick."

Justin Timberlake

Photo courtesy of @justintimberlake

Love or hate the projects since his magnum opus FutureSex/LoveSounds, everyone can rejoice because this silky-voiced singer is releasing new music. Due to be released February 2, just two days before his Super Bowl Halftime performance, Man Of The Woods is shaping up to be a piece reminiscent of his older sound. After winning a Grammy for his work on the Trolls soundtrack, and acting in a Woody Allen film (oops), it's obvious that Timberlake was keeping busy in 2017, but 2018 is already shaping up to be busier. After the Super Bowl, JT embarks on a 35-show tour. I guess he got his swagger back.

Beyoncé

Photo courtesy of @beyonce

For most, anything that Beyoncé does is highly anticipated. But after canceling her Coachella appearance, birthing twins, and enduring the drama surrounding her husband Jay-Z's revealing album, the world is rightfully awaiting her next move with bated breath. Besides her rescheduled Coachella appearance, album speculation ramped up with her sudden burst onto the Instagram scene. Though many photos were from family travels, fans noticed the frequent change in hairstyles and became suspicious. Often, for Beyonce, rapidly changing hairstyles means she's doing some kind of visual. While that might be a stretch, she has been featured on a couple of different songs over the past few months, the necessary proof that she's in the studio.

Ariana Grande

Photo courtesy of @arianagrande

After a tumultuous 2017 following a horrific terrorist attack, Ariana Grande understandably took a break. Fans thought it would be indefinite, but the songbird posted an Instagram recently showing that she's been hard at work in the studio.

Kanye West

Photo courtesy of @kimkardashian

Kanye West dropped off of the face of the earth in 2017. After feuding with "Big Brother" Jay-Z, befriending Donald Trump, canceling the remainder of his shows, and being hospitalized, it's not unreasonable that he would need a break from the spotlight. But late last year, rumors swirled that his discretion was due to his work on a secret collaborative project with protege Kid Cudi deep in the woods of Wisconsin. Now that life is on the up-and-up for the Kardashian-Wests, the rapper has been photographed in public more frequently. New music just may be on the way.

MGMT

Photo courtesy of @whoismgmt

After a four year hiatus, indie rock band MGMT is back to fill the void in psychedelic rock that they left gaping. Set to be released February 9, Little Dark Age is sure to be strange. Not unlike previous projects, this album's creative process was fueled by acid. Bandmember Andrew VanWyngarden told Q Magazine, "I spent hours screaming at the top of my lungs about Pakistan." For many, all of this information seems unconnected, but the picture is pretty clear. MGMT made new music, it will likely be politically aware, and they still love acid.

Tinashe

Photo courtesy of @tinashenow

Sultry R'n'B princess Tinashe has been releasing singles over the course of a year, all the while promising that her sophomore album Joyride was on its way. After taking to Instagram to announce three new singles,"No Drama", "Faded Love", and "Me So Bad" (the first of which debuted last week), it's reasonable to assume that a major release is around the corner.

Vampire Weekend

Photo courtesy of @arze

Back in September, lead singer Ezra Koenig told a fan on Twitter that the band's next album was "80% done." While they've done well to stay in the public eye since their last album, it's been five years and fans are itching to hear what socially conscious, alternative-pop sounds the group have come up with this time around.

Florence + the Machine

Photo courtesy of @florence

Probably the most speculative of this list, Florence + the Machine have kept all information about their pending fourth studio album very private. But because the band will be performing two music festivals come this summer, including Poland's Orange Warsaw Festival in June and Germany's Melt! Festival in July, it's not unreasonable to expect new music. Also, Florence Welch posted this picture of her working on something on Instagram.

Nicki Minaj

Photo courtesy of @nickiminaj

Fans can be certain that Nicki Minaj will be releasing her fourth studio album at some point this year. With the numerous features, extensive interviews, and Twitter trolling, the Trinidadian rapper has built up the pressure during the three year period since her last major release. Minaj said in an interview with Dazed that fans should expect the release to be "a billion times more epic than anything 'Anaconda' could have delivered." All feuds aside, real or fake, 2018 is promising to be an intense year for female rappers.

Drake

Photo courtesy of @champagnepapi

It's hard to say use the word 'anticipated' with Drake because he never leaves his fans waiting for longer than a year for new music. But once again, less than 365 days after releasing More Life, Drake is hard at work in the studio looking to release new music. And after surprising fans with a new EP titled Scary Hours, fans can assume that the Canadian rapper has a major project in the works.

Arctic Monkeys

Photo courtesy of @nmemagazine

Over the course of their history as a band, the Arctic Monkeys released an album every two years. So at the end of 2015, when fans still hadn't heard anything from the UK band, people began to speculate about whether or not the golden age of the Arctic Monkeys was over. Hope resurrected in 2017 when someone caught the group in their native Sheffield (the only place they record albums). Later in the year, a band member confirmed in an interview that new music was on the way. Now they are headlining multiple festivals. It took five years, but a new album is so close we can taste it.

Credits: Image courtesy of @tinashenow

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