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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.

Run the Jewels

Timothy Saccenti

Run the Jewels

Album: Run the Jewels 3
Release Date: January 13th
On Christmas Eve, Run the Jewels jumped their own January 13th release date and gave away RTJ3 as a download and on streaming services, resulting in a wellspring of critical praise and a number 35 placement on Billboard's album charts. "To recap: jumped the street date by three weeks, gave the record away for free, no physical yet, still sold 22k copies in week one. Fully indie," wrote El-P on Twitter. El and Killer Mike's latest agit-rap treatise includes guests like Danny Brown, Tunde Adebimpe from TV on the Radio, comeback rapper of the year Trina, Kamasi Washington and Zach de la Rocha.

The xx

Alasdair McLellan

The xx

Album: I See You
Release Date: January 13th
If you want to know what the atmospheric London trio's first album in five years will sound like, take a listen to beatmaker Jamie XX's 2015 solo album In Colour, which he says offers a hint at where the band is going. Lyrically, according to guitarist/vocalist Romy Madley-Croft, their third album is reunion-themed. "Our friendship was a really big part of the album process and we all felt quite distant from each other at one point, but then, you know, we came back together again and we worked on our relationship as friends," she told Rolling Stone. "And when someone see you, you feel understood and you don't feel as alone. It's comforting. And so, we picked the title because we thought it was the simplest way of saying, 'I see you, it's OK.'"

St. Vincent

Renata Raksha

St. Vincent

Album: TBA
Release Date: Spring 2017
In a December interview with Guitar World, shredder-songwriter Annie Clark said that the follow-up to her self-titled 2014 album would show off "a real sea change" in her sound. The politically charged offering, which doesn't have a title yet, will be released in the spring. "I think it'll be the deepest, boldest work I've ever done," Clark said. "I feel the playing field is really open for creative people to do whatever you want, and that risk will be rewarded – especially now that we have such high stakes from a political and geopolitical standpoint."

Sky Ferreira

Steve Jennings/WireImage/Getty

Sky Ferreira

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Whether or not Ferreira's follow-up to 2013's Night Time, My Time will still be called Masochism, as she once told Dazed, is up in the air, but one thing is for sure: Its songs will be true to its singer's intentions. "I refuse to put out something that isn't honest," Ferreira wrote on Instagram a year ago. "It's not something that I can force out. If I was to do it any sooner I either would have been compromising myself & anyone listening." And it's still very much in the works: "These anticipated album list things are cool & stuff because I'm actually really excited for the songs I've made so far," Ferreira Tweeted this week, a wording that hints at more songs in wait.

Kehlani

Joseph Okpako/WireImage/Getty

Kehlani

Album: SweetSexySavage
Release Date: January 27th
Since emerging in 2014 with her Cloud 19 mixtape, Kehlani has gathered over 2.7 million Instagram followers while scoring Hot 100 hits like "Crzy" and "Gangsta" (from last year's Suicide Squad soundtrack). She's drawn praise from industry figures like Puff Daddy, who claim that her iconoclastic, tattooed image and honest, confessional lyrics have "redefined and saved R&B." As a result, SweetSexySavage is one of the most anticipated R&B debuts of 2017. "This one, I really took my time like, 'Every song, I not only have to write really intensely, but I have to make sure that I push myself to get the sonics correctly,'" she said in an interview last year.    

The Shins

Nikki Fenix

The Shins

Album: Heartworms
Release Date: March 10th
The Shins' follow-up to 2012's Port of Morrow is also the first time since 2001 and Oh, Inverted World, that bandleader James Mercer produced a full album himself. (Well, almost a full album – former bandmate Richard Swift is behind the boards on one track). "I made a concerted effort on certain songs … to use the palette that I've used historically for the band." Mercer told Portland radio station KBOO 90.7 last August. "And then on other songs, I really jumped off. … I was able to do some stuff that is a bit more synth-oriented." You can hear what Mercer means on two advance tracks: "Name for You," inspired by and addressed to Mercer's daughters, and "Dead Alive," which first surfaced with a Halloween-themed video last year.

SZA

Roger Kisby/Getty

SZA

Album: A
Release Date: TBA
Besides racking up songwriting credits for Rihanna and Beyoncé, Solána Rowe has been hard at work on her own highly-anticipated full-length, A, the third release in a series that may be her last. In 2013, the same year she signed to Top Dawg Entertainment, the 26-year-old neo-soul singer released S, a glitter-trap opus fit for an ice princess. Her 2014 EP, Z treaded murkier waters, with TDE labelmate Kendrick Lamar and Chance the Rapper at her side on tracks like "Babylon" and "Child's Play." Yet in October 2016, all bets seemed off for A after SZA fired an acerbic tweet aimed at Top Dawg Entertainment co-president Terrence "Punch" Henderson. "I actually quit," she said. "@iamstillpunch can release my album if he ever feels like it. Y'all be blessed." Fans panicked: Was she quitting her label? Or music as a whole? The singer later told Complex there was no beef to be had with her label, and that ample time she spent with Rick Rubin and Frank Ocean would inform her ongoing work. "I'm definitely committed to completing this," she says, "And. … We'll take it from there."

Bell Biv Devoe

Larry Busacca/Getty

Bell Biv Devoe

Album: Three Stripes =
Release Date: January 27th
Right after The New Edition Story, the three-night BET miniseries about the vocal group that brought Michael Bivins, Ricky Bell and Ronnie DeVoe stardom, the trio will release their first album as Bell Biv DeVoe since 2001's BBD. First single "Run" came out in September, and it's a slinky number that puts the sexually charged group's harmonies front and center. 

Ryan Adams

Christopher Polk/Getty

Ryan Adams

Album: Prisoners
Release Date: TBA
After his marriage to Mandy Moore fell apart in 2014, Adams returned from Los Angeles to New York, where he recorded 80 songs in a therapeutic frenzy. "I needed to shut everyone off for a while and completely destroy myself. I needed to become totally lost," Adams recently told Rolling Stone Australia. "I went inside and said, 'OK, Ryan Adams, who are you in this moment? Can you accurately describe your internal surroundings?" With titles like "Do You Still Love Me?" and "To Be Without You" suggesting the end of a relationship, listeners will inevitably wonder how much of the new album is autobiographical, a question that Adams has been reluctant to answer directly. "The fairest way to answer that is, as a writer, I literally work with what I have at the time," he says.

TLC

Ross Schultz/Newspix/Getty

TLC

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
In 2015, the hip-pop duo TLC announced a Kickstarter to fund their final album – and their first without Lisa "Left Eye" Lopez, who passed away during the recording of TLC's 2002 record 3D. "Our final album will stay true to the TLC sound, always confronting the real issues and life experiences that we all must face every single day, everywhere," the duo wrote in their pledge plea. "We write music that people relate to … timeless music. No matter the trends, we feel like our music is always relevant." TLC's fourth album still doesn't have a release date, but last October, two snippets from it surfaced. "Ride" is loose-limbed and reflective, with T-Boz and Chilli's harmonies taking center stage, while "Haters" is a broadside against critics backed by rapidfire beats.  

Father John Misty

Courtesy of Sub Pop Records

Father John Misty

Album: TBA
Release Date: TBA
Father John Misty's deeply ironic sincerity has taken a political tack since late last summer, when he cut short a Camden, New Jersey concert to deliver a Kanye-esque rant about the uses and abuses of entertainment in the Trump era. Subsequent SoundCloud releases – including his cover version of Tim Heidecker's droll kamikaze tune "Trump's Pilot" and the surprisingly somber new tune "Holy Hell" – suggested that dark political themes would be emerging in his work. He debuted three new songs at a December benefit concert in Seattle and announced the completion of his third album. 

Spoon

Tom Hines

Spoon

Album: Hot Thoughts
Release Date: TBA
Since Spoon stopped touring in support of 2014's They Want My Soul, the band has been lying low. However, they've recently begun offering glimmers of new material. Last spring, frontman Britt Daniel and keyboardist-guitarist Alex Fischel played an acoustic show as a duo, debuting an angsty new number, "I Ain't the One." And the band recently played four more songs at a secret show in their hometown of Austin, Texas, showing off what sounded like some rhythm-heavy new rockers with titles like "Hot Thoughts" and "Talk You Into It." Daniel later discussed the show and announced the album title in an interview with Sirius XM. "The way our albums usually happen, we're writing the songs while we're recording them," he said. "And once the record's done, you have to figure out how to play the songs … so doing a gig like this helps us." Although they wouldn't commit to a release date, they did not shoot down the notion that it would come out in March – the same month they will be playing South by Southwest.

Old 97's

Courtesy of ATO Records

Old 97’s

Album: Graveyard Whistling
Release Date: February 24th
The alt-country quartet celebrated two decades as a band by returning to the same Tornillo, Texas, studio where they recorded their 1996 debut, Too Far to Care. "It was a beautiful feeling of completing a circle – we're the same people, but we had grown so much as bandmates and friends," says frontman Rhett Miller. "It really made me believe in the power of experience and that you do get better with time." And they didn't go in to record alone: In addition to producer Vance Powell and songwriting collaborators Nicole Atkins and Butch Walker, they teamed up with Brandi Carlisle, who duets with Miller on the nervy cowpunk rager "Good with God." She plays God. Says Miiler, "It's not bad company – her, George Burns and Morgan Freeman."

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