— RADIOHEAD, Amnesiac Remember those Brit sourpusses who released last year’s inscrutable Kid A? Well, forget ’em. The follow-up, due this spring, is said to be a return to traditional songwriting. OK!
— BECK/TIMBALAND, ”I’m Music” Hip meets hip-hop on this potentially brilliant collaboration between the ironic rapper (right) and the inventive producer, set to appear this spring on Timbaland’s new album.
— JACK JOHNSON, still untitled There’s nothing limp about this new rock band, fronted by rapper Mos Def and featuring members of Living Colour, Bad Brains, and P-Funk. Look for their debut album in late spring.
— RYAN ADAMS, still untitled The Whiskeytown frontman’s indie solo debut was considered one of last year’s best alt-country discs. Now he’s got a major-label deal and a new album coming this summer.
— BILAL, First Born Second The latest R&B sensation from the Soulquarians camp (D’Angelo, Jill Scott), this honey-voiced crooner is already working some voodoo with his first single, ”Soul Sista.”
— RAKIM, still untitled The greatest rapper of the ’80s teams up with the best producer of the ’90s (Dr. Dre) for a Y2K1 comeback album. What more do you need to know?
— TRAVIS, still untitled These great Scots wowed melody-starved Yanks with last year’s lovely The Man Who. The follow-up is due in May.
— MADONNA TOUR Since she last hit the road six years ago, the Material Mom has spawned a pair of tykes, exchanged wedding vows, and put out two of her finest albums, Ray of Light and Music. She’s always staged a spectacular show; now she’s got top-notch new tunes to match.
— ALMOST FAMOUS DVD Missing from Cameron Crowe’s ’70s-rock love letter was a pivotal scene set to ”Stairway to Heaven,” axed due to a licensing hitch. The DVD (due this March) may include the scene sans song, advising you to cue up the tune on your stereo. Cool, man.
— THE RECESSION Something‘s gotta kill this teen-pop craze, and last time the economy hit the skids music enjoyed a renaissance (Nirvana, anyone?). Here’s to our wallets hurting more than our ears.