Readers’ Poll: The 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013 – Rolling Stone
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Readers’ Poll: The 10 Most Anticipated Albums of 2013

Your picks include U2, Britney Spears and Arcade Fire

bono britney spears win butler

Leigh Vogel/Getty Images; Jason Merritt/Getty Images; Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace

A few days before we learned that David Bowie would be releasing an album in March, we asked our readers to vote on their most anticipated album of 2013. We warned that it's very hard to look forward in the music business; albums tend to appear almost out of nowhere, and long-planned albums can get delayed for years.

With that said, we do know that many superstars (including U2, Beyoncé, Arcade Fire, Lady Gaga, Eminem and Black Sabbath) are planning to put out new music sometime this year. Click through to see which albums you can't wait to hear. 

arcade fire

Michael Buckner/Getty Images For J/P Haitian Relief Organization and Cinema For Peace

4. Arcade Fire – Title Unkown

Over the past year, Arcade Fire have let their fans closely monitor the making of their fourth studio album. Every couple of days, Win and Regine upload the latest demos to their website, and a live webcam broadcasts from their studio 24/7. As soon as a song is done, they post it on Facebook, and fans vote whether or not it should be on the album. Fans have even been allowed to submit their own songs, and the six best will be covered by Arcade Fire on the album. Actually, none of that is true. Imagine the exact opposite of that scenario, and you'll have some idea of the secrecy surrounding this album. We know that Arcade Fire have been working on the disc up in Canada for quite some time, and that James Murphy will be involved to some degree, but beyond that it's all a giant question mark. 

david cook

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3. David Cook – Title Unknown

As hard as it is for many of them to admit, most American Idol winners peak the minute they win the show. With a few very notable exceptions, their fame begins dwindling the minute the janitors start wiping up the confetti in the studio. We all remember Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood from the early seasons, but somewhere around season five it gets a little fuzzy. Most people have stored David Cook in the fuzzy part of their brains. He's from season seven, when he beat David Archuleta, best remembered as the little Mormon kid with the crazy dad. Cook was like a one-man Nickelback, and a small but devoted cult formed around him. The cult wasn't big enough to prevent him from being dropped by RCA, but it was enough to get him high on this list. He has a new album out this year. 

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2. Pearl Jam – Title Unknown

Pearl Jam have kept a relatively low profile these past couple of years. Sure, they released a documentary and played some huge shows to celebrate their 20th anniversary, but they haven't released a new album since 2009, and they haven't done a real American tour since early 2010. During that time, Eddie Vedder has focused on his solo career, drummer Matt Cameron reunited with Soundgarden and Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard have worked with their side bands. They have been picking away at new Pearl Jam songs, though. "[We're] maybe halfway there," Vedder recently told Rolling Stone. "We're taking our time." A new album much later in the year seems like a strong possibility, but don't be shocked if it winds up being 2014. 

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1. U2 – Title Unknown

Most bands would see No Line on the Horizon as a hugely successful album. It sold millions of copies and the supporting tour was the single biggest tour of all time. But U2 aren't most bands. It didn't generate any real hit singles, and they saw the sales as highly disappointing. (In hindsight, "Get On Your Boots" shouldn't have been the first single.) The fact it hit right around the time Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark was going through just about the worst press beating in Broadway history didn't help matters. Even in the midst of a sold-out stadium tour, U2 seemed like they were in free-fall. In the past, U2 have responded to a "failure" by "dreaming it all up again." That meant the club-ready sounds of Achtung Baby after the rootsy Rattle and Hum, and it meant the back to basics approach of All That You Can't Leave Behind after the electronic sounds of Pop

This time around, it seems like their move is to dump their longtime producing team of Daniel Lanois, Brian Eno and Steve Lillywhite in favor of Brian "Danger Mouse" Burton. He helped the Black Keys score huge hits in a market that has very little interest in rock & roll, and U2 clearly hope he can use that same magic on them. U2 has been working feverishly on this material ever since the 360 tour ended in the summer of 2011, and not a single note has leaked out. Nobody knows what it sounds like. When asked about the project, Bono merely says, "U2's gotta do something very special to have a reason to exist right now." We're excited to hear what they come up with. 

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