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Veteran artists slated to make a return in 2014

15 January 2014 33 Comments
This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

This blog belongs to Radio Creme Brulee – an internet music radio station that broadcasts globally.

2013 was an interesting year for pop music if not one of the more eventful years in pop music. Some veteran artists delivered on their promises to give us great new material. Some fell short of giving us anything respectable. Others did not deliver new material originally slated for release in 2013. So as the new year near begins, what do we have to look forward to in 2014? Here is the rundown of veteran artists that are very likely to release new material in 2014:

a. Take That: Very few stories in pop music have a happy ending. Career resurgences in the music industry are quite rare. Boybands, in particular, have the lowest probability of making a successful comeback. The story of Take That’s initial success, followed by a decade-long hiatus from the pop landscape, and then a glorious return that spawned three #1 albums and four sellout stadium tours never ceases to bring a smile to the face of pop connoisseurs. Take That’s last album “Progress” (which featured former member Robbie Williams), in particular is an essential in Take That’s legacy. The name of the album was very apt given the artistic and stylistic progression that it showcased. One cannot help but hope that Take That builds off that sound and hones it further as opposed to returning to the more MOR sound of post-reunion albums such as “Beautiful World” and “Circus“. Fortunately, we don’t have to wait too long to find out as the Manchester quartet (sans Robbie Williams) is slated to return to the recording studio in January 2014 to work on their fourth post-reunion album. This essentially means that a new Take That album will see the light of day before the end of 2014. It is a shame Robbie Williams is not going to be a part of this project. While Gary Barlow has a gift for songwriting, Robbie Williams has a better knack for stylistic reinvention. The two complement each other with their different artistic competencies – a phenomenon that was fairly obvious on both “Progress” and “Progressed” (the follow-up EP to “Progress“). Maybe there is still hope and Robbie just might get involved again after he is done touring for his latest hit album “Swings Both Ways“.

b. Kylie Minogue: Kylie Minogue is one of the artists that we had hoped would release a new studio album in 2013 but that did not happen. She did preview a god-awful buzz track called “Skirt” in the summer. While many of Kylie’s ardent fans claimed that “Skirt” was a sign of artistic progression, the overarching majority of pop fanatics seemed to agree that the song was far from memorable and was a predictable reflection of her business partnership with RocNation – Jay Z‘s artist management company. Many fear that Kylie’s sound will be massaged by the folks at RocNation to appeal to the lowest common denominator in the US. It would be very unfortunate if that actually happens. The only other material by Kylie in 2013 was her fantastic duet “Limpido” with Italian popstar Laura Pausini. That song definitely went a long way in reassuring those that thought Kylie was on a downward spiral with “Skirt“. Kylie has already announced the release of a new single titled “Into The Blue“. The song will be out in March. We definitely hope that the new material builds off the delectable “Aphrodite” album (released in 2010) stylistically.

c. George MichaelIn late 2012, George Michael did a series of interviews to promote a “yet to be released” album which he described as his most “commercial” since the “Faith” album although probably not his best. This was in October of 2012. Things went very quiet after that. Things got even quieter after George met with a bizarre accident on the M1 which involved him falling out of a moving car. While his representatives claim that he has recovered and is in perfect health, not much has been heard from George Michael ever since. He has also not been active on twitter ever since the accident. We had listed him as one of the artists slated to make a grand return in 2013. Unfortunately, there was no word from the megastar for the entire year. Recently, there has been a new video on his official site indicating that new material will surface in March 2014. George Michael has had a penchant for taking the pop world by surprise and not really making much of a noise prior to the release of new material. This year might be just one more of those occasions. The idea of George Michael releasing new material makes us dizzy with excitement. We can barely wait for the follow-up to his last single ‘White Light“.

d. Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Catchy, upbeat, hook-laden, and classy are the first words that come to mind when one thinks of British popstar Sophie Ellis-Bextor. Over the past decade, she has gone from being an international pop star with her hit single “Murder on the dancefloor” to the industry’s favorite underdog. Her last album “Make A Scene” had some stellar moments – especially its delectable lead single “Starlight” which Sophie aptly described as a melancholic disco ballad. She has increasingly become a victim of poor promotion despite the fact that her music is getting better with time. Her new album “Wanderlust” is slated for release in 2014. She sounds amazing as usual but our concern (based on the album trailer below) is that it is very ballad-heavy. It is safe to say that Sophie’s new sonic template is a dramatic deviation from the dancey hook-filled sound that has characterized most of her music so far. In general, we think the “balladeer” positioning is not a good one in modern pop – and certainly not one that is poised for commercial success (even though British megastar Adele gets away with this). That being said, Sophie’s die-hard fans will undoubtedly be pleased. Here is the trailer for the album:

e. Culture Club: 2013 was supposed to be the year that marked Culture Club’s glorious return and a celebration of 30 years since they stormed the global pop landscape with their first hit single “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me“. The band previewed a new track called “Universal Love” at live gigs in Dubai and Sydney in 2012. The song is brilliant and without a doubt a Culture Club essential. But then it seemed like things went quiet. Boy George’s release of “This is What I Do” in October 2013 intensified speculation that the Culture Club project might have been shelved permanently. Fortunately, in our interview with Boy George in October, he put those concerns to rest and said that he and his former bandmates from Culture Club are slated to return to the recording studio in 2014 to complete what they had started over a year ago. George sounded extremely upbeat and positive about it. If “Universal Love” is even remotely indicative of the musical stockpile that the band has created, we definitely have a lot to look forward to.

f. Duran Duran: The pioneers of the location-based music video shoots, and posterboys of the 80s and early 90s have continued to deliver fantastic music for years after their so-called commercial prime. Age has not slowed them down. They sound and look amazing in their live shows. They still have the same spark that they did when they first emerged in 1981 as a potent force to be reckoned with. Lead singer Simon LeBon’s voice ages better than a bottle of great wine. Their 2010 album “All You Need Is Now” has been described by its producer Mark Ronson as the sequel to their landmark album “Rio” (released in the early 80s). That album had the distinguishing feature of sounding both retro and modern at the same time. It also succeeded in getting rid of the bitter after-taste that many Duran Duran fans were left with after listening to the Timbaland-produced “Red Carpet Massacre” album. Rumors indicate that the New Wave gods are back in the recording studio working on new material for an album to be released in 2014. We secretly wish that they release “Beautiful Colours” (one of the greatest unreleased songs of all time) and the material from their “shelved” album “Reportage” – an album that Sony Music rejected because it was missing a “modern beat” (that for some odd reason they thought Timbaland could fix!).

g. Morten Harket: Norwegian pop/rock trio a-ha‘s ageless, charismatic, and annoyingly good looking frontman Morten Harket is without a doubt one of the finest male vocalists in the music business. His first flirtation with a solo career was in the mid-90s – during a-ha’s 7-year hiatus from the music industry. The music fell very much in the realm of the adult contemporary genre – pleasant but not particularly earth-shattering. His second tryst with solo stardom was far superior. Within a year after a-ha called it quits, he took a different approach to creating music. He partnered with great Scandinavian songwriters and put together a “proper” pop album titled “Out of my hands”. The songs were very different from the largely lightweight fare that he presented us with in the 90s and mid-2000s. Songs such as “Scared Of Heights“, “When I reached the moon“, and “Undecided” are infectious at their very core. This is the sound that Morten Harket should have moving forward. In a recent television interview at the Billboard Music Awards (following an on-stage performance with Christina Aguilera and Pitbull), Morten admitted that he was working on some of the best material of his career. We recently caught a first “glimpse” of his new material. His new down-tempo single “There Is A Place” (the lead single from his new album) appears to be a return to the adult contemporary flavor of his earlier music – which is somewhat of a disappointment. Hopefully, the new single is not representative of the overall sound of the new album. Either way, having the “voice of a-ha” back with new material is always a good thing.

h.Natalie Imbruglia: Natalie Imbruglia is one of those artists whose songwriting competencies have become sharper with time and yet she is constantly anchored to her signature track “Torn” – a song that was NOT written by her. Sadly, for those that have not looked beyond “Torn” with regard to Natalie Imbruglia, have truly missed out on her artistic brilliance. It was only on her sophomore album “White Lilies Island” (which spawned the hit single “Wrong Impression“) did Natalie Imbruglia start to hone her songwriting skills as opposed to being a puppet for songwriters. It was on her fourth album “Come To Life” (which spawned the addictive “Lukas“) that Natalie Imbruglia hit her artistic peak. Sadly, the album was very poorly promoted and tanked even before it could truly see the light of day. Most music listeners (besides Natalie’s ardent fans) had no idea she was back with her best music. The album definitely became a victim of obscurity. For the longest time, there were rumors that Natalie was set to quit the business after the commercial failure of “Come to Life“. Of late, there have been rumors that she is slated to return with a new album in 2014. A new track called “Home to the sea” has surfaced. It is a rather downbeat affair but is very much in the vein of what Natalie has showcased throughout her fifteen year music career.

i. Janet Jackson: Janet Jackson was without a doubt the most successful female artist of the 90s. She was unstoppable. It seemed like the 2000s also got off to a great start for her with her hit album “All For You“.  Things started to go downhill soon after. Her 2004 album “Damito Jo” (which released after Janet’s infamous “nipplegate” incident with Justin Timberlake) did not have any obvious singles. The following two albums were also quite disappointing. It appeared that Janet had voluntarily decided to step out of the limelight for an extended period of time until recently when rumors surfaced that new material was in the works. It is likely that this material will see the light of day in 2014. We just hope Jermaine Dupri is NOT involved in this project. His involvement in her music marks the beginning of things going wrong for Janet. It is a shame they were also involved romantically at the time. Is it fair to expect another Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis produced masterpiece? Only time will tell.

j. Adele: British songstress Adele just might be one of the few artists in the music industry that still sells records. She does so without fitting most of the confining moulds that modern pop stars have to work within to earn a livelihood in the music industry. She is without a doubt an incredible vocalist that typically stimulates a sense of consensus whenever her merits as an artist are discussed. We take pride in being one of the few stations in America that played her music before she became known in the mainstream. She is credible if not the most interesting. Some of her widespread appeal might stem from her “safe and wholesome” positioning in the pop music business. Her first two albums were named after her age at the time of their release. “24” is the album slated for release later this year. Adele started work on this album in early 2013. No definite release date has been announced but it is very likely that her third album (titled “24“) will release before the end of 2014.
k. Imogen Heap: Imogen Heap is quite the opposite of Adele. Her sound is far from safe but is incredibly interesting. This UK-based artist just might be one of the best artists to have emerged in the past two decades. Imogen continues to push the boundaries of conventional pop – successfully mixing electronica, acapella, and eastern elements into her music. She is also known for quirky approaches to the creative process which include “outsourcing” recordings of mundane activities (sound of a dishwasher door, bicycle etc.) for inclusion in the production of her music. Her fourth album “Sparks” (slated for release in March 2014) might showcase many of these elements. Whether the album will be radio-friendly or not is anyone’s guess. Her 2009 album “Ellipse” was brilliant but had only a couple of radio-friendly tracks (specifically the album’s lead single “First train home“). We’re always interested in what Imogen has to offer musically. Hence, we can barely wait for the release of “Sparks“.

l. Tears For Fears: This is without a doubt the most surprising and unexpected “veteran return” in 2014. This dynamic duo from Bath (UK) rose to prominence in the mid-80s with anthems that defined a generation. Noteworthy examples include “Shout“, “Everybody wants to rule the world“, and “Sowing the seeds of love“. In 1990, musical differences overpowered the friendship that brought the band’s two members together. Curt Smith left Tears For Fears and went solo while Roland Orzabal continued to record music under the Tears For Fears name. Tears For Fears ceased to exist post 1996 after the release of the “Raul and The Kings Of Spain” album (the album was a commercial disappointment). In 2002, there were rumors that Curt and Roland had reconnected after over a decade and were recording new material together. The result of these recording sessions manifested itself in the form of “Everybody loves a happy ending” – an album that was Beatles-esque at its very core and a radical departure from the sophisticated sonic template that dominated the two landmark Tears For Fears albums (i.e. “Songs from the big chair” and “Seeds of love“). This album polarized the band’s fanbase. The reunion tour was a successful one. The duo split again and it seemed unlikely that they would ever record again when Curt Smith once said in an interview that making music as Tears For Fears was a “money losing proposition” due to the rampant phenomenon of ageism in the musical mainstream. The band recently announced via twitter that they were recording new material to be released in 2014. Radio Creme Brulee has been an ardent supporter of the band and we can barely wait for the new material to see the light of day. We just hope the sound of the album mirrors the elements that made Tears For Fears an international sensation as opposed to it being a sequel to “Everybody loves a happy ending” (which we found tragically underwhelming!).

 

This list is not nearly as long as the one we had for 2013. Did we miss anyone noteworthy? Please do let us know by commenting below.

 

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33 Responses to "Veteran artists slated to make a return in 2014"

  1. Frannie says:

    Are you a fan of Suzanne Vega? She has a new album called Tales from the Realm of the Queen of Pentacles on Feburary 18. This is her first new pop album since Beauty and Crime in 2007. People kind of see her as a solely folk artist but she has more of a pop/rock feel to a lot of her songs. I think some of her songs would be perfect for your station.
    Here is a song from it called Fool’s Complaint.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxUyNEVdAd0
    It is getting heavy airplay on BBC2 in the UK.
    Also here’s another song which is the single in the US. Don’t Uncork what You Can’t Contain
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8fIQj9Rf6A

    Finally, here’s another song called I Never Wear White. This may be a little heavy on the electric guitar for your station, but this is my favorite song so far since I love to rock.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rq7CLAkRquc

  2. @Frannie: DEFINITELY a fan of Suzanne Vega! Songs like “Caramel” and “Luka” are regular favorites/staples on our radio station. I actually heard about her new album literally right after we posted this article. I’ve heard “Don’t Uncork What You Can’t Contain” but I definitely need to check out “Fool’s Complaint”. Is the last one you mentioned on the new album? Either way, I will check the first and third one out to see if they fit our format. I have a feeling they will. Thanks so much for commenting and hope all is well at your end.

  3. Frannie says:

    Yes, the last song is also on the new album. Tori Amos is also coming out with a new album this year in May called the Unrepentant Geraldines. It’s also her first pop record in quite a few years as she was doing some classical stuff. I like her, but she is a little more unpredictable than Suzanne for me. She has some great accessible pop songs such as 1000 Oceans and A sorta Fairytale, but sometimes she will do something really bizarre that’s not really suitable for radio. You never know with her, but the new album may be worth checking out. Do you ever play Tori’s music on your station?

  4. @Frannie: I wasn’t aware Tori Amos was slated to release new music. Thank you so much for the heads up. The songs we play by Tori include “Welcome to England”, “A Sorta Fairytale”, and “Sleeps with butterflies”. So yes, Tori Amos is definitely within our sphere of interest. I do not believe I have heard 1000 Oceans. I need to check that one out ASAP. Thank you so much for the recommendation. Last, but not least, thanks a ton for the comment. We love engaged readers on our blog.

  5. Frannie says:

    Here’s 1000 Oceans
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7-hEAdCrwg
    It actually got a lot of airplay on US radio when it was released. It charted at #22 on the US Singles chart.

  6. @Frannie: I actually heard this earlier this evening. Nice song but it didn’t grab me like some of the others that we feature on our station did. #22 on the Billboard Hot 100 is not bad at all. How long back was this?

  7. Frannie says:

    That was in 1999.

  8. @Frannie: Not bad considering the quality of music on the charts had already started to deteriorate quite rapidly by that time.

  9. Frannie says:

    Really? To me, the 1990’s was a great time for music on the charts. Much better than now. In the 1990’s radio played a lot of more artistic creative music, from the female singer songwriters like Tori and Fiona Apple. alternative rock acts like Hole and Garbage and trip hop. I love the 1990’s. It was the last time you could be creative and still be commercially successful to me. Much better than the shallow electro pop that dominates the charts now.

    You mentioned Culture Club in your article. Boy George posted a picture of the 4 of them together on twitter. https://twitter.com/BoyGeorge/status/425303759384612865/photo/1
    He says they are writing together again. I think you pushed him to do it your interview. You deserve a credit on the album if it comes out!

  10. @Frannie: I lived overseas for most of the 1990s. There, we got music from everywhere – the US, Europe, and Australia. Hence, when I returned to the US in 1999, and the charts were dominated predominantly by hip-hop and bubble gum pop acts like Britney Spears and N Sync etc, I found it quite frustrating. The one observation that jumped out fairly quickly was the lack of much non-American material on the charts. This downward trend probably happened post 1996 when consolidation in the radio industry happened and every station in the country had identical playlists – most of which featured the same 10 songs over and over. But yes, the 90s in general showcased a wider spectrum of music that what we see today on the charts – more specifically the US charts.

    Thank you so much for the Culture Club photo. So glad to see the guys back in the studio together. They look thrilled to be around each other. If the rest of the album is as good as “Universal Love”, I’ll be super-stoked. Hopefully I can score an interview with the band in the studio. Each of them has distinct voices so I should have no trouble figuring out who I am talking to if and when the interview happens. Last, but not least, I am so glad you liked our interview with Boy George.

  11. G!e says:

    TAKE THAT are coming back without Robbie Williams this 2014. Robbie has already achieved his goal. He used his 4 Bandmates to revive his Solo career, with success. Now he don’t need TT4 anymore! But, even without Robbie, many Fans are still waiting for TT4. They missed the TT4 sound, mostly Fans found their sound with Robbie so cocky and too much Robbie and not really TAKE THAT! I’ve read in news that they want to make Albums and Tour around the world for about 3 more years before they really stop.

  12. @G!e: Take That (as a 4-piece of 5-piece) is always a source of excitement. We just found “Progress” and “Progressed” way more interesting than the first two post-reunion Take That albums. I think Stuart Price as a producer also made a big difference to the sound on “Progress”. Hence, I think they can recreate that type of magic again with that type of producer.

  13. G!e says:

    The problem is that TT4 Fans are not really happy with it! The fact, that Progress isn’t really a reunion for 5 piece. It is like Robbie Williams featuring TT4. It’s like TT4 was the an opening act for Robbie Williams, and then in the Middle of the Concert, it was all about Robbie and at the end it’s like Robbie inviting TT4 and singing the old Songs with him! Robbie is not a teamplayer. You just need to watch eveytime he’s performing with the 4 Lads (Concerts, or TV promotions). He seems unconfident, but mostly he wants to be a center of attraction, that’s why he need to do outrageous things to seek more attention. By singing louder than the others, provocating, dancing with Mark, step more forward than the others and he change his dance choreography from the others! If he wants to be the main attraction. He should stay solo and stay away from the TT4. By the way, Robbie mostly calls and begs Radio Stations to promote his Albums. He has certainly not yet heard of you, otherwise he would have called you a long time! He wants to be absolutely famous in America.

  14. @G!e: I hear that from a lot of TT4 fans. I guess the sound on “Progress” and “Progressed” was a very different sound. Keep in mind that Stuart Price’s production probably had a LOT to do with it. If you listen to some of the earlier material he has produced (e.g. Madonna’s “Confessions”, Kylie’s “Aphrodite”, Seal’s “System” etc.), they are all dance albums. Hence the elements and production techniques he uses are dramatically different from those used by John Shanks on the “Beautiful world” and “Circus” albums. His production is very much reflective of the genre he generally produces for (e.g. acts like Coldplay). But that being said, a lot of critics are saying exactly what you are – that “Progress” felt like a “Robbie Williams featuring Take That” album. I agree with elements of that assertion but not all of it. Robbie’s management has actually heard of us. We’ve interacted a few times but the reason he doesn’t call us is because we’re a purely online broadcast – and unfortunately, terrestrial (i.e. over the air) radio still enjoys 90% “share of voice” in America and hence THAT medium is what is critical for an artist to be famous in America. Robbie’s management was aware of this even back in the day which is why they planned with the assumption that Robbie would not be famous in America and that any success in America would just be a bonus. As always, thank you so much for the comment.

  15. G!e says:

    In an interview of Will Smith ( sorry, can’t remember which TV show it was), talking about Music and Film Artist have not made bigger in America. And, the name of Robbie Williams has also been mentioned, why he didn’t make it in America. Will answered, he knows lots of Artist in both firm that already huge in many countries of the world, and didn’t make it in America is because of their representation. Some believed, it because they’re already huge and convinced that they can also easily conquer America. Some are too arrogant and too confident..unfortunately, Americans do not like! I think, those times when Robbie trying to conquer your country!

  16. @G!e: Robbie’s obscurity in the US all comes to one thing – ClearChannel’s refusal to play his music on the radio. It is impossible for a non-teen star to get famous in the US without a viral hit or radio play. Nothing else in this country gives an artist the scale he or she needs to break America the way radio does. Unfortunately, ClearChannel owns over 50% of the terrestrial radio stations in the country and forces all of them to have identical playlists. Hence, if Robbie Williams was on one of them, he would be on ALL of them. If he wasn’t even on one, he wouldn’t be on ANY. His management was aware of this dynamic a long time ago which is why they never factored the US into their strategy. The second factor here is that a LOT of the reason Robbie was even given a chance in the first place was because of his association with Take That. Take That had a legacy in every part of the world besides North America. Hence, even his legacy could not be used as leverage in the US the way it was used in other parts of the world.

  17. Frannie says:

    I remember Robbie Williams doing quite a large promotional push here in the US in the late 1990’s for his album the Ego Has Landed. He didn’t go over too well here. A lot of Americans didn’t understand his British ironic tongue in cheek humor. They basically thought he was an egoistical jerk which the title of the album also kind of led on to them thinking. So a lot of Americans were like don’t come back, you are a total jerk and we could care less about you. So that was pretty much the last I heard of him being heavily promoted here.

  18. @Frannie: I too remember Robbie Williams being promoted here in the US around 1999-2000. The thing is, he was already famous overseas before going solo as one-fifth of Take That. His ego somewhat made sense to folks overseas but in the absence of the “Take That” legacy, it didn’t make much sense to folks here at all. Furthermore, he was getting a lot of promotion but almost none of it was on terrestrial radio. At the time, terrestrial radio was still king – more so than it is right now. There was no way he stood any chance of success without a radio hit. No radio airplay = no radio hit. The unfortunate thing is, Robbie Williams actually got pretty in the early 2000s but by then it was too late for him in the US – since his first impression here didn’t exactly get things going for him in the US.

  19. G!e says:

    As long a i remember, in 1995 where TAKE THAT “Back for Good” made it huge in 35 countries. The management of TAKE THAT planned a big promos in the USA. Unfortunately, Robbie Williams has started to make problems with the original 4 Manchester Boys (TT4). He was also often seen with the Oasis Brothers, Naomie Campbell and Kate Moss and begun to take Drugs and Alcohols. As the 4 Lads gave him Ultimatum, either he gets better or he’s out! I think, he decided to prefer his new so-called friends and leaving Take That end of 1995. That’s why they have done promotion in USA only with 4 members. They have just made to be famous, but Robbie’s Ego is further reinforced by his new friends and advised him to go Solo. I think, that time after they splitted, then Rob and Gary made Solo careers, there’s a lot of negative headlines made that three parties (Rob Solo, Gary Solo and TT4 carreer) suffered, especially to be famous in America.

  20. @G!e: Robbie’s erratic behavior and subsequent departure from the band may have acted as a catalyst for the split-up of Take That. But that being said, teen-oriented acts do not have a very long shelf-life and I think on some level, the band probably knew that they ran the risk of overstaying their welcome as a 5-piece unit. That, in my opinion, was a smart realization and they called it quits while being on top. In terms of the US promo, it was too little too late and having Robbie exit the band at the time probably only complicated matters further. But then again, American obscurity has more to do with the dynamics of the radio industry here. It doesn’t matter how much promo you do in the US if radio does not play your music. Thank you so much for expanding on the discussion here. This is my favorite part of a blog post.

  21. Sam says:

    Interesting list. I can think of a few more:

    1) Toto. Apparently they’re now working busily in the studio.

    2) Mariah Carey. I don’t care for most of her music, but she’s supposed to have the first single out next month for her new album. Of course, I believe her two singles last year were supposed to be singles for the album as well, but then they turned into “buzz” singles. LOL.

    3) Madonna. Rumors say that she’s going back to ballads and/or the style of “I’m Breathless.” This album is not definite for 2014, but there have been some rumors.

    4) The Veronicas. I don’t know if they qualify as “veteran,” but they are supposed to release their long-awaited third album this year, with the new single out next month. Then again, they’ve been saying this for so long that I’m not holding my breath. 😉

  22. @Sam: Thank you so much for the additions. I am definitely intrigued by the Toto return. Some of their recent output has actually been pretty good. I am pretty sure Mariah Carey has an entire album ready but her team is probably trying to figure out a proper positioning for her – something of the type they did for the “Emancipation Of Mimi” album. The buzz singles didn’t take off – which is why they were referred to as buzz singles. A lackluster official lead single can spell the death of an album. That is probably why things are being staggered quite a bit. I actually do not mind Madonna going back to ballads at all. Songs such as “Crazy for you”, “Rain”, and “Bad Girl” sound as beautiful today as they did back when they were released. I have to confess we’ve never really played anything by The Veronicas before. I guess I need to sift through their catalog. Thank you so much for the additions here. Great stuff!

  23. Sam says:

    You’re very welcome, RCB. As far as Toto goes, I’ve always liked them but I think they’re rather hit-and-miss. I was disappointed with their last album (2006). It was a solid album in terms of musicianship, but there weren’t any truly memorable songs on it IMO. Maybe there will be this time. I think their last great song was “I Will Remember.” Yeah, I realize why Mariah Carey’s team ended up calling those songs “buzz” singles. 🙂 LOL. I think a change of pace for Madonna would be fine too. Oh, you haven’t played anything by the Veronicas? Actually, I think one of their songs is one of the best songs (IMO) of the 2000s. But I won’t spoil the surprise for you by revealing the title. 😉 However, I will recommend a few of their other songs to get you started:

    “Everything I’m Not”
    “When It All Falls Apart”
    “Leave Me Alone”
    “This Is How It Feels”

    Those are some of their good ones and a nice intro to their music.

    Oh, I forgot to mention one other “veteran” act with a new album. In case you haven’t heard, Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have teamed up to form a brand new band: The Both. Their first single, which you can now listen to on the Web, is called “Milwaukee.” It’s very energetic, fun, and catchy, but a bit dry and generic. Anyway, it’s worth checking out.

    P.S. Concerning what you mentioned in another blog post, yes, I will try to check out your station if I get a decent block of time to do so, and will try to leave you some feedback as well.

  24. @Sam: A HUGE “thank you” for the The Veronicas recommendations. I will definitely check out these tracks. My sincere apologies for not having acknowledged your message earlier. It has been a busy few days. I will also check out the new Aimee Mann collaboration. Looking forward to the feedback on the station. It might be a breath of fresh air after the monotony of terrestrial pop/rock radio in the US.

  25. Sam says:

    Hi, RCB.

    Oh, no acknowledgment was necessary. Glad to be of any help. 🙂

    A couple interesting things:

    1) There was a BBC article today that said that even though Minogue is popular on “The Voice,” her new single has failed to make the top 40. Maybe it’s having a slow start everywhere. Strangely enough, the article has now disappeared–don’t know why.

    2) A lot of folks think Kylie’s new single is a ripoff of Delta Goodrem’s “Sitting on Top of the World,” which I haven’t heard yet.

  26. Kerry says:

    Blimey. I’ve just listened to Delta Goodrem on u tube. It’s absoutely shameless! I prefer Delta’s track though – a more poppy less dance production.

  27. @Sam: A few lackluster singles in the UK is enough to guarantee that an artist will NEVER chart again in the top 40. George Michael had that issue with songs like “Flawless” and “Round here”. It it is safe to say “Patience” was his least radio-friendly album. Kylie had a similar issue by not releasing the great songs off “Aphrodite” as single (except for “Get Outta my way”). But songs like “Timebomb” etc definitely killed the Kylie momentum. I don’t even think “Into the blue” is playlisted on BBC Radio 1. I am not much of a Delta Goodrem fan so I haven’t heard it.

  28. @Kerry: “Shameless” in a good way or a bad way??? You have got me curious!

  29. Ken says:

    Thanks for the updates. I’m looking forward to hearing what Culture Club has up their collective sleeve. I don’t know if you want to mention Belinda Carlisle’s Anthology being released in March 2014 with new single “Goodbye Just Go” and newer single “Sun” from 2013. The compilation includes 18 of her biggest solo hits, a 2nd CD of rare songs and mixes, a live audio concert from Tokyo in 2013 as well as a DVD of most of her videos (some videos were not included).

  30. @Ken: We would have mentioned Belinda if there was an EP and full-length album from her this year. “Sun” was a great single but very much 2013’s news. We wanted to focus on some of the surprise elements of this year. As for Culture Club, you can listen to our interview with Boy George and hear what he said to say about the new material. Here is the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jE7XAkWY2hM . Here is a full-length live clip of a new song that Culture Club has recorded: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXYq-k1gA7g

  31. Frannie says:

    http://noisey.vice.com/blog/tori-amos-returns-heres-her-new-track-troubles-lament

    This is Tori Amos’ new single Trouble’s Lament. Maybe I’m biased, but I feel this is a must add for your station. Tori stays true to herself, but I think it’s very accessible and melodic.

  32. kerry says:

    I meant that Kylie’s track is very much like Delta’s. I’m surprised more hasn’t been said. I can only assume that DG’s track isn’t really known outside of Aus.

  33. Eli says:

    Belinda has a new Rick Knowles produced album coming out in early 2016. they begin tracking it the first week of March 2015 in Los Angeles. in the meantime, she has a new album with The Go Go’s coming out in the fall that they recorded back in June and July of 2014 with producer Linda Perry at her studio in North Hollywood. by the time it hits store shelves her new solo album will be her first pop album in 20 years

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