Bob Dylan won’t release a new CD and Celine Dion will—but 2002 is still shaping up to be a good year. Here are 10 reasons to be cheerful.
—LAURYN HILL’S NEW ALBUM Is Hill turning into R&B’s answer to Axl Rose? The singer has gone from Miseducation to missing in action. After all, we were looking forward to a new album this time last year.
—PHANTOM PLANET’S ‘THE GUEST’ This L.A. band is best known for drummer Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore). But that should change with the Feb. 26 release of their second album, an accomplished collection of thoughtful power pop.
—ODB’S ‘OH,S—, IS THAT A SIREN?’ Okay, that’s not really the title of the incarcerated Wu-Tanger’s upcoming CD, but he reportedly did record it while on the run from the cops after fleeing rehab in October 2000. It promises to be even more hilarious and scary than 1999’s Nigga Please.
—LOLLAPALOOZA/AREA 2 When Lollapalooza went on hiatus in 1997, the alt-fest seemed to have lost its pizzazz. Four long, hot, Ozzfest-dominated summers later, the return of Perry Farrell’s brainchild is as welcome as earplugs at a Metallica concert. With Moby’s inspired and diverse Area 1 tour also headed out again (this time as Area 2), it’s shaping up to be a great summer for eclectic festivals.
—ZWAN A new band led by grumpy Billy Corgan? Ho-hum. But wait: In addition to Smashing Pumpkins-secret-weapon Jimmy Chamberlin on drums, Zwan includes Matt Sweeney (the former frontman for indie faves Chavez) and bassist David ”Papa M” Pajo (Slint, Tortoise). Sounds like the whiner might have a winner.
—DJ SHADOW’S NEW ALBUM NoCal beat master Josh Davis’ 1996 album Endtroducing… remains one of modern electronic music’s greatest achievements, but it’s taken him five years to craft his much-coveted follow-up. Now comes word it might finally be out in May. Shadowy indeed.
—GLENN LEWIS’ ‘WORLD OUTSIDE MY WINDOW’ Like Maxwell and D’Angelo, this Canadian crooner fuses ’70s soul with contemporary R&B. His debut, out March 12, combines old-fashioned instruments with a satin voice that often recalls Stevie Wonder.
—WILCO’S ‘YANKEE HOTEL FOXTROT’ A new Wilco album is always cause for excitement, but this long-delayed disc (due out April 16) is particularly anticipated because of the brouhaha surrounding the band’s departure from longtime label Reprise, which reportedly found the disc—and this is the turn-on—too musically adventurous.
—FIONA APPLE’S NEW ALBUM Apple’s pain is our gain; the singer’s emotional ups and downs have made for some compelling songwriting. With director boyfriend Paul Thomas Anderson reportedly dumping the wired waif, Apple should have lots of fodder for her next CD, possibly ready at year’s end.
—FALLING CD PRICES Are people really willing to pay $19 for an Afroman album? Apparently not: 2001 was one of the worst years for music sales since the advent of the compact disc. Surely the record industry, already suffering from CD burning and MP3 swapping, realizes CDs cost too much. Um, don’t they? Anybody? Hello?