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Hits on the horizon: Most anticipated albums of early 2021
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Hits on the horizon: Most anticipated albums of early 2021

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Among the highlights of 2020 were surprise album releases from Taylor Swift, Eminem and Childish Gambino.

We can’t predict those, but we can say what’s scheduled for the first quarter of 2021, and that slate includes new material from major stars like Foo Fighters, Florida Georgia Line and Sia, as well as such indie faves as Cloud Nothings, The Hold Steady and Julien Baker.

Last year, release dates were bumped all over the place as artists tried to navigate the pandemic. This year should be a little less volatile.

Here’s the first look. Keep an eye out for releases from Adele, Cardi B, Frank Ocean, Kendrick Lamar, J. Cole, Lorde, Rihanna, St. Vincent, Travis Scott and more.

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Steve Hackett, “Under A Mediterranean Sky”: The new acoustic album from the former Genesis guitarist was inspired by his recent travels in the Mediterranean.Bill Champlin, “Livin’ for Love”: A new album from the former Chicago singer-guitarist-keyboardist who sang lead on the hit “Hard Habit to Break.”TRZTN, “Royal Dagger Ballet”: The latest from the Paris-based musician, composer and producer features collaborations with Interpol’s Paul Banks and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ Karen O.

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Alice Cooper, “Detroit Stories”: The shock-rocker pays homage to his hometown with this album produced by longtime collaborator Bob Ezrin and featuring such Detroit music legends as The MC5’s Wayne Kramer, The Detroit Wheels’ Johnny “Bee” Badanjek, Paul Randolph and the Motor City Horns. It includes a cover of The Velvet Underground’s “Rock ‘n’ Roll,” which was recorded by Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels.Cloud Nothings, “The Shadow I Remember”: The Cleveland noise-rock band reunited with Steve Albini, who produced breakout album “Attack on Memory,” for this seventh album, of which frontman Dylan Baldi said, “I want the three-minute song to be an epic. That’s the short version of the long-ass jam.”Willie Nelson, “That’s Life”: Following his Grammy-winning 2018 album, “My Way,” this is a second collection of Frank Sinatra covers, recorded in the spare style of “Stardust.”Melvins, “Working With God”: The Washington state sludge punk/metal band assembles the 1983 lineup — Buzz Osborne, Dale Crover and Mike Dillard — for an album that will include a re-imagining of The Beach Boys’ classic “I Get Around” along with a song about their junior-high biology teacher.Julien Baker, “Little Oblivions”: The Memphis indie artist played nearly all the instruments on her third album, which will be a sonic shift to a more expansive sound.Architects, “Those That Wish To Exist”: Ninth album from the British post-metalcore quintet follows 2018’s “Holy Hell.”

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