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The most anticipated albums of 2013: Arcade Fire, Jay-Z, Bowie and more

Published January 24, 2013 10:21 am

Music • Artists who have been on hiatus — artists who were considered retired, even — have announced records scheduled for 2013.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

If anything, 2013 will test your patience. This is the year of musicians releasing albums that have been, in some cases, decades in the making. Artists who have been on hiatus — artists who were considered retired, even — have announced records scheduled for 2013.

Will it be worth the wait? In good time we'll know.

For pop fans, the wait isn't too long, as some of music's biggest divas prep albums after only a one- or two-year break. But in the world of chart-topping singles, that can feel like a lifetime.

Keep in mind that upcoming albums are subject to change. Artists will continue to announce releases as the months pass, which is good news for indie rock fans, because from the looks of it now, the genre has a pretty light year. The hip-hop world is following up on a big 2012, where both newcomers and legends released unforgettable albums. This year might just turn out the same way.

With possible delays and surprise announcements to come, here is our countdown of the most anticipated albums of 2013.

10. Tool

Progressive metal group Tool hasn't released an album in seven years. The band started working on a new album in 2009, and 2013 could finally be the year fans have been waiting for. Give the band a break, though. Those mind-bending rhythms must take time to think up.

9. My Bloody Valentine

When it comes to long waits for an album, My Bloody Valentine gets the trophy for 2013. If you had a kid when the band's last album came out, that kid has been old enough to drink for a year. The shoegaze pioneers announced on Facebook recently that a new album is indeed finished. If anything, it will be interesting to see what has happened to the band's sound in more than two decades.

8. Britney Spears

In 2011, Britney Spears made her comeback with "Femme Fatale," her first album to produce three Top 10 singles on Billboard's Hot 100 chart. With that success still fresh, start getting used to hearing Spears every time you get in your car.

7. Unknown Mortal Orchestra

The critical praise for Unknown Mortal Orchestra was enormous following its self-titled debut in 2011, but the positive reviews didn't translate into record sales. That might not be the case this year, if the New Zealand group can produce more sizzling psych rock and contagious melodies on its second album, "II," due Feb. 9.

6. Jay-Z

More than 15 years into his career, Jay-Z has built himself a hip-hop empire. And even at the top of the world, he can still make music that connects to his Brooklyn, N.Y., origins, as he did on 2007's "American Gangster." Other times, though, he can get lost in his success, and the music becomes a shallow spectacle. Let's hope his 2013 release is about the music — not just the business of music.

5. Vampire Weekend

Earlier this month, Vampire Weekend confirmed it would have a "darker" new album out this spring. The beach pop group went for a weirder sound on its 2010 release, and it worked. So some darker tunes this year could be another welcome change.

4. Schoolboy Q

L.A. rapper Schoolboy Q has made waves in hip-hop with a series of mixtapes and his first two albums in 2011 and 2012. In 2013 he is set to release his major-label debut with Interscope called "Oxymoron."

3. David Bowie

Seeing as David Bowie hasn't released an album in nearly a decade and rarely makes public appearances, it was thought the pop legend had retired. Well he has announced a new album, "The Next Day," which is due out March 12, and judging by the new single, "Where Are We Now?", the wait was worth it.

2. Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Over the course of three albums in more than a decade, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs grew up a bit. Well, singer Karen O at least doesn't injure herself on stage anymore. The trio's last release in 2010, "It's Blitz!," had more of a shiny, dance-pop feel. But early live performances of new songs give the impression the trio has moved back to its rough, punk-tinged roots on the upcoming "Mosquito," due out April 16.

1. Arcade Fire

At nearly every point in Arcade Fire's fire career it has faced hype from fans and critics alike. Under immense expectations, the band has produced three fantastic albums, including its Grammy-winning "The Suburbs" in 2010. Maybe that's why the band has been keeping its progress on the upcoming fourth release (due out later this year) so secret. But the odds of the album being another hit are in Arcade Fire's favor, especially with LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy in the studio helping out.