Home Music Music Lists

63 Most Anticipated Albums of 2017

Drake, Tool, U2 and more of this year’s upcoming releases

Album Preview 2017

U2, Drake and Tool may all release music this year.

Kevin Winter/Getty, Chris McKay/Getty, Tim Cadiente/Speakeasy

From arena titans to critical darlings, there’s no shortage of albums to look forward to in the new year.

Kanye West

Taylor Hill/Getty

Kanye West

Album: Turbo Grafx 16
Release Date: TBA
"My next album is titled 'Turbo Grafx 16' as of now…" West tweeted in February, right after the release of The Life of Pablo. "Just on some super nerd vibes … one of my favorite gaming systems when I was a kid." This announcement could have been filed away as just one of many impulsive Kanye blurts until December, when old-school production giant Pete Rock posted an Instagram video with the caption "playing 45s in da lab with Kanye West." That clip revealed what looked like a track list for a new project named after that ill-fated, off-brand early Nineties game console, with each of the songs titled for a video game. What that portends is still unclear: Kanye projects have a tendency to change some before their release. Or, as his obsessive post-Pablo track-tweaking indicated, even after.

Drake

Kevin Winter/Getty

Drake

Album: More Life
Release Date: TBA
Dubbed a "playlist" as opposed to an "album" or a "mixtape," Drake began previewing his forthcoming More Life project on his 30th birthday. He released three singles on the birthday edition of his OVO Sound radio show, including the 21 Savage collaboration "Sneakin," and though it was originally intended for a December release, the "playlist" will now be dropped early on this year. The ever-cryptic Drake has not revealed too much about it, or if he'll even be the primary artist, though it will feature all new music. Also supposedly on the docket for the prolific hitmaker: a collaborative album with Kanye West, confirmed by both artists late last year, though little has been said by either of them since.  

Tool

Tim Cadiente/Speakeasy

Tool

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
It's been nearly 11 years since Tool put out their last album, 2006's 10,000 Days, and the wait continues for a follow-up. The band revealed in 2014 that they'd been battling a soul-sucking lawsuit regarding an insurance claim that had demoralized their creativity, but said they'd been jamming on some long, new songs. Then, in 2015, they debuted a new instrumental, dubbed "Descending," which guitarist Adam Jones told Rolling Stone was an excerpt of a new 14-minute-long tune. Toward the end of 2016, bassist Justin Chancellor told Bass Player that the band was "deep into the writing process" and that they'd narrowed down what they were working with to a group of ideas. "Everyone knows we take our time," he said. "We're really trying to be responsible with ourselves in trying to discover ideas that haven't been discovered before. It's kind of an alchemy, how we experiment." 

Lorde

Amy Harris//Shutterstock/Rex

Lorde

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Lorde, the pop star who went to Number One with a song she wrote and recorded when she was 16, has yet to follow up her 2013 debut LP, Pure Heroine. With a Coachella appearance announced this week, it looks like it may be coming soon. On the cusp of her 20th birthday, the pop star wrote about her upcoming LP on Instagram: "Writing Pure Heroine was my way of enshrining our teenage glory, putting it up in lights forever so that part of me never dies, and this record – well, this one is about what comes next. I want nothing more than to spill my guts RIGHT NOW about the whole thing – I want you to see the album cover, pore over the lyrics (the best I've written in my life), touch the merch, experience the live show. I can hardly stop myself from typing out the name. I just need to keep working a while longer to make it as good as it can be. You'll have to hold on. The big day is not tomorrow, or even next month realistically, but soon. I know you understand."

Beck

Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty

Beck

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
You wouldn't know it by hearing it, but Beck's lush, Grammy-winning 2014 album Morning Phase was a rush job, released quickly so he'd have new material to play on the road. Months before, the singer began work on another project that he says is both more ambitious and more pop-wise. For that album, he even brought in Greg Kurstin, who played in Beck's backup band more than a decade ago and has gone on to produce huge hits like Sia's "Chandelier" and Adele's "Hello." As Beck told Rolling Stone last July, the new music is inspired by the "communal, celebratory" mood he experienced on the festival circuit. "I wanted to take that into the studio, a kind of energy or joy," he said. "The thing that wakes you up a little bit." 

Nine Inch Nails

John Crawford

Nine Inch Nails

Album(s): TBA
Release Date(s): TBA
Trent Reznor made good on his promise to release new Nine Inch Nails music in 2016 by the skin of his teeth, putting out the fuzzy-sounding five-song EP, Not the Actual Events on December 23rd. He's been busy – he also worked on soundtracks for the climate-change doc Before the Flood and Boston-bombing movie Patriots Day – but it was only after the EP release that he revealed just how busy he and partner Atticus Ross have been. They revealed that they'd revamped The Fragile, remastered Nine Inch Nails' catalogue for vinyl and began formulating more new releases. "I'm teeing up the next quote I'll have to live up to, but the idea has been to do two new major [Nine Inch Nails] works come out [in 2017]," Reznor said in an interview with Zane Lowe. He also said he and Ross had been discussing a Nine Inch Nails tour. When Rolling Stone asked about new music in a recent interview, Reznor gave a vague answer: "That will be part of the reveal," he said. "I don't want to spoil it. If I'm interested in a film, I prefer not to watch the trailer. We live in overstimulated times."  

Chuck Berry

Timothy Hiatt/Getty

Chuck Berry

Album: Chuck
Release Date: TBA
Rock & roll legend Chuck Berry stunned fans on his 90th birthday when he announced his first new album in 38 years. "This record is dedicated to my beloved Toddy," Berry said in a statement last October, referring to his wife of 68 years, Themetta. "My darlin', I'm growing old! I've worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!" He's backed by "the Blueberry band," the same players he's performed with for two decades at his Blueberry Club in St. Louis: his children Charles Berry Jr. on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica, along with pianist Robert Lohr, drummer Keith Robinson and bassist Jimmy Marsala, who's played with Berry for 40 years. According to Berry's son Charles, "These songs cover the spectrum from hard-driving rockers to soulful, thought-provoking time capsules of a life's work."

Shania Twain

Melissa Renwick/Getty

Shania Twain

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The pop-country superstar's last album, Up!, was in 2002. Since then, Shania's kicked back for a spell, performed a two-year Vegas residency, and, maybe most crucially, split with husband and producer Robert "Mutt" Lange. For her comeback album, Twain wrangled a crew of production pros who've worked with the likes of Ed Sheeran and Bruce Springsteen, but she came to them with demos she's been recording over the years using GarageBand and Pro Tools. "I did so many of my backing vocal arrangements – just being able to have all these multi-tracks and moving them around and experimenting that way," Twain told Entertainment Weekly. "By the time I got into the studio, I was already quite familiar with what I wanted to do."

The Killers

Denise Truscello/WireImage/Getty

The Killers

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The Las Vegas glam-pop kings began writing their fifth album in late 2015, a process that's involved collaborators ranging from pop tunesmith Ryan Tedder to U2 producer Jacknife Lee. In an interview with Noisey, drummer Ronnie Vannucci Jr. said that listening to the 2006 album Sam's Town, which received the deluxe-reissue treatment last year, may have helped nudge the band's writing process a bit: "There are lots of ideas and theories from Sam's Town that I can see finding their way back in," Vannucci said. "We're going to subconsciously soak in some of that old way we used to do it. The old vibe." In November, Flowers told KROQ that his band would "definitely have a record in 2017." 

Brad Paisley

Mark Horton/WireImage/Getty

Brad Paisley

Album: Love and War
Release Date: TBA
For his 11th full-length album, Brad Paisley appears to be shifting back toward a more adventurous, pop-conscious approach after the relatively traditional sounds of Moonshine in the Trunk. There's no official track listing available for Love and War yet, but Paisley – who co-produced the album with Luke Wooten – partnered with pop star Demi Lovato on the playful, sultry first single "Without a Fight," and then urged us all to experience living in the moment on his uplifting new "Today." Back in May, he teased possible album collaborations with rock icons Mick Jagger – with whom he'd shared the stage during the Stones' 2013 and 2015 tours – and John Fogerty, as well as hip-hop and R&B maestro Timbaland. What ends up on the final mix remains to be seen. 

My Morning Jacket

Courtesy of Girlie Action Media

My Morning Jacket

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
My Morning Jacket's follow-up to 2015's The Waterfall was interrupted by frontman Jim James's second solo album, Eternally Even. The Waterfall sessions produced 24 tracks, enough for two albums, but James has promised that more new material will be recorded for its successor. MMJ released "Magic Bullet" as a violence-awareness statement last July, and "The First Time" ended up on Cameron Crowe's canceled Showtime series Roadies. But as with any MMJ project, what ends up coming through your speakers may have no connection to what the musicians planned before entering the studio. "As I know from past records," James told Rolling Stone, "you'll walk in with these rock & roll songs, and you'll walk out with a record of the saddest, dreamiest ballads."                                    

Erika Goldring/Getty

Dan Auerbach

Album: TBA
Release Date: Spring 2017
Black Keys leader Dan Auerbach is prepping his second solo album, a star-studded affair that features legends like guitar icon Duane Eddy, Johnny Cash bassist Dave Roe, Mark Knopfler and Elvis Presley session men Gene Chrisman and Bobby Wood. Co-writers on the record include John Prine and David "Fergie" Ferguson, who engineered Cash's acclaimed American Recordings albums. "It's reflective of the stuff I've listened to my whole life," Auerbach tells Rolling Stone. "It's equal parts Working Man's Dead, Beatles, Lovin' Spoonful. It feels like all that music to me, in a way. Without sounding retro, and it jumps around a little bit. It's acoustic, and high rhythm section horns."

John Mayer

Josh Brasted/WireImage/Getty

John Mayer

Album: The Search for Everything
Release Date: TBA
Timepiece collector John Mayer carved out time away from guitar duties with Grateful Dead spinoff Dead & Company (which he will rejoin on tour later this year) to record The Search for Everything, describing the project as "sort of like a mixtape of all the music that inspires me and all the styles that I've made." Mayer accompanied his November announcement with the release of an upbeat pop tune, "Love on the Weekend," which equates romance with "serotonin overflow." "Weekend" and three other tracks – "Moving On and Getting Over," "Changing" and "You're Gonna Live Forever in Me" – will comprise the first "wave" of tracks Mayer will release monthly, beginning January 20th.

Arcade Fire

RMV/Shutterstock/REX

Arcade Fire

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
This year looks to be a busy one for the Canadian rock ensemble. On January 27th, they'll release a documentary of their 2014 Reflektor tour and Tim Kingsbury is preparing his solo album as Sam Patch for the following month. Then there's the matter of the Arcade Fire's fifth solo album. Win Butler and Co.'s latest is currently untitled, and reportedly includes material like "I Gave You Power," which Butler and multi-instrumentalist Régine Chassagne debuted during a surprise set at the Louvre in Paris last May. In a June Reddit AMA for his Friday Night album, Butler said that the next Arcade Fire disc would arrive "probably in the spring." He added that Owen Pallett – his collaborator on the Oscar-nominated soundtrack for Her – would "most likely be involved."

Sam Hunt

Kevin Winter/Getty

Sam Hunt

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Sam Hunt's 2014 debut Montevallo is a testament to the enduring power of a good breakup album. Spawning five hit singles, the collection became one of the biggest – and most polarizing – country debuts in recent memory with its winning combination of personal, detail-rich songwriting, boundary-pushing production and hints of modern R&B filtered through Drake's sensitivity and self-loathing. More than two years later, the highly-anticipated follow-up is still mostly a mystery, though Hunt did say the writing process was going a little more slowly since hitting the big time. "I really find my true sense of purpose in a room writing a song," he told Rolling Stone in late 2015. "That's something I have missed, because I haven't figured out how to write on the road. I realized after writing songs for years how important it is. Whether it provides a living for me or not, that creative outlet is something I need." On January 1st, 2017, Hunt released the first taste. Titled "Drinkin' Too Much," the track probably won't quiet purists with its murky, electro-tinged production and sung/spoken lyrical delivery.

Nile Rodgers, Chic

Chris McKay/Getty

Chic

Title: It's About Time
Date: TBA
It's About Time will be the first Chic album since Chic-ism a full quarter-century ago.
 Guitarist Nile Rodgers says he'd just completed the legendary disco band's new album when he heard the news of Prince's death, which spurred him to delay its release. "I couldn't release an album about the joy of life in A Year of So Many Deaths," he wrote in a blog post at the time. It also occurred to Rodgers that 2017 was an auspicious date: This year marks the 40th anniversary of Chic's founding. "No matter what bad stuff goes on in the world, it's just like your birthday, you still can celebrate and pay tribute to these anniversaries," he told Rolling Stone in December. 

Big Sean

Mike Windle/Getty

Big Sean

Album: I Decided.
Release Date: February 3rd
Big Sean has said that fourth album I Decided. is inspired by the concept of rebirth. As he told Entertainment Weekly: "I [told my friend], 'Sometimes I feel like I was an old man and didn't succeed in life and asked for a second chance, and this is my second chance.' He was like, 'Make that the album,'" Of course, the Kanye West-approved Detroit native has been making life-affirming anthems since he scored with "My Last" in 2011. An early single from I Decided., "Bounce Back," has become his 11th Billboard Top 40 hit. Guests reportedly include Jeremih, Chance the Rapper, Pharrell Williams and more.

The Offspring

Bertrand Guay/AFP/Getty

The Offspring

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Early in 2015, when these pop-punk veterans released "Coming for You," their first new song in three years, it whetted an appetite for an 11th album that the band has thus far been slow in satisfying. "We want to do a record, that's the plan," guitarist Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman told the Aspen Times in July 2015. "But it's taking forever. … We released this song because we felt good about it immediately. It was one of the first one or two songs we finished, so we were like, 'If we wait on this it might be another year, year-and-a-half. Why don't we just put it out and see what happens?" Frontman Dexter Holland offered a simple explanation to Loudwire for the project's long, slow gestation: "We're just lazy. Every other time we've done a record, we hunker down and go into the studio for a year or however long it takes. We just decided not to do it that way this time."

Gorillaz

Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

Gorillaz

Album: TBA

Release Date: TBA
Jamie Hewlitt, the artist for cartoon band Gorillaz, shared Instagram videos of himself with Damon Albarn in the studio back in April – but the 2016 release date for new music he'd promised earlier was not to be. To tide fans over, there was a 10-chapter multimedia story "The Book of Noodle," about the band's fictional guitarist, along with two Soundcloud mixes indicating the music that had influenced the upcoming album. "We actually sat down with Damon two weeks ago and he played us some of the new Gorillaz album, and it sounds amazing," Posdnous of De La Soul told the Guardian in August. "He played us a track that he wants us to get off on his album, so we got to get in the studio and put that down." In that same interview, Pos revealed another of the album's guests: Snoop Dogg.

Kesha

Scott Legato/Getty

Kesha

Album: TK
Release Date: TK
In the years following the release of her sophomore album, 2012's Warrior, Kesha has been entangled in a vicious legal battle against producer/label executive Dr. Luke. Her music career has been largely put on hold as she has attempted to exit her contract with Sony, but after a court denied her injunction, the singer-songwriter has begun focusing her energy on relaunching her music career. Little has been known about what she's been working on, but live covers of Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop as well as a "dirty rock & roll" tour with her band the Creepies – reimagining her dance-pop hits as country and rockabilly ditties – indicates a return to her Nashville roots. Plus, she's teased A-List collaborators on social media, noting that she's been working with a Grammy winner that many have assumed is Taylor Swift.

Charli XCX

Toby Zerna/Newspix/Getty

Charli XCX

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
The UK's punkiest pop export is ready for a revamp with her forthcoming, as-yet-untitled third album. Following up her early 2016 EP Vroom Vroom — which featured collaborations with PC Music affiliates Sophie and Hannah Diamond — XCX has revealed to Rolling Stone that she has not only continued to work with PC to redirect her sound but also create a party-ready club album inspired by Britney Spears' 2007 electropop romp Blackout. Lead single "After the Afterparty" featuring Lil Yachty, previews a bubbly side of a turn-up. She's also reached out to Diddy and R&B singer Abra about contributing as well. "It's a champagne shower of badass pop," she teases.

Major Lazer

Theo Wargo/Getty

Major Lazer

Album: Music Is the Weapon
Release Date: TBA
Much like past Major Lazer efforts, Diplo, Jillionaire and Walshy Fire's homage to post-millennial global pop will be a dancehall-and-electronic-tinged all-star affair. Its first single, the Justin Bieber and Mø showcase "Cold Water," was one of the biggest hits of 2016. Other guests mentioned so far: the Weeknd, Ariana Grande, Nicki Minaj, Partynextdoor, Sia, Travis Scott and Konshens. "The record has a lot of moving parts," Diplo told Zane Lowe's Beats 1 show last July. "It's like a big family, we do it all together."

LCD Soundsystem

Erika Goldring/Getty

LCD Soundsystem

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Last year, LCD Soundsystem reunited less than five years after they famously disassembled at Madison Square Garden, playing a series of well-received festival performances. The Brooklyn unit was supposed to drop their comeback album in 2016, their first since 2010's This is Happening. The band reportedly canceled a tour of Asia and Australia in order to work on the as-yet-untitled project.

Little Big Town

David Becker/Getty

Little Big Town

Album: The Breaker
Release Date: February 24th
The Grammy-winning vocal group expertly married pop production (via producer Jay Joyce) with country tradition on 2014's