One of my favorite things about a new year is wiping my music slate clean. I can leave those over-played, over-twerked tracks from the year before (ahem, “Blurred Lines” and Miley’s EVERYTHING) behind me and focus on a brand new year of tunes. Because I’m not very good at waiting, I’ve done a little research into what’s slated for 2014, and I have to say it looks like a promising year for the charts (and our gay ears.) Here are some of my most-anticipated picks:
Taylor Swift / any day now
While no release date has been confirmed, it is said that the Queen of Shocked Faces' next album is ahead of schedule and could pop out at any time. (A copy-cat, Beyoncé-style surprise release, perhaps?) Red producer Max Martin is back to lend his synthergy to Taylor's next venture,which means we may be hearing a new "I Knew You Were Trouble" in our very near future. I wouldn't hate that.
Adele / 24? / spring
A few weeks ago, Adele's publicist confirmed via Twitter that the British belter is ready to saunter out of the nursery with some new music. There is little known about the new work, except that it will be an intimate, more stripped-down affair. "It won't be a big production," Adele told Q Magazine in 2011. "I want it to be quite acoustic and piano-led. I want to write it all, record it all, produce it all and master it on my own. I think it'll take a lot longer because I want to do it this way." It was also confirmed that Adele has recorded a cover of INXS's lovelorn '80s ballad, "Never Tear Us Apart." I don't know about you guys, but I can totally hear it in my head already. Another year of having our gay heartstrings ripped out is upon us.
Kylie Minogue / spring
Get ready, my fellow Kylie divas, it was just announced that Ms. Minogue will drop her new single, "Into The Blue," in March. It will be the jump-off for Kylie's 12th studio album, the first offering on Jay-z's Roc Nation record label. The "Get Outta My Way" chanteuse says "'Into The Blue' is very special to me as it encapsulates a lot of what I've been feeling. I can't wait for it to be out there." Here's hoping we get a lot of songs reminiscent of last year's sexy single "Skirt."
Lana Del Rey / Ultraviolence / spring
Now, I'm gonna be honest and say I'm not a huge queen for Ms. Lana "of the sea." I can't shake the feeling that behind all the pain and misery Del Rey is just a girl from the valley named Tina, but girlfriend does have a huge gay following. If she releases more remixes like the insane Cedric Gervais rework of her "Summertime Sadness," you can put me on the misery train.
Frank Ocean / late-spring
Out-and-proud R&B hit-maker Frank Ocean is set to release the followup to his mega-successful 2012 album, Channel Orange, in late spring. The sensual crooner has hinted that the Beatles and the Beach Boys will influence his next set. Get ready to make some some babies!
U2 / late-spring
Rumors are swirling that everyone's favorite rockers from Ireland are set to make a big announcement regarding their 2014 album during this year's Super Bowl. The album will be the group's first since 2009's No Line On The Horizon, and will reportedly feature a different kind of sound for the band, as producers RedOne, David Guetta, Danger Mouse and (sigh) will.i.am have signed on to take the production reins. I'm forecasting this to be the group comeback of the year.
Madonna / late-2014
It's been reported that the Material Mom has been in the studio working with "Get Lucky" superstars Daft Punk. Then, as of like yesterday, news dropped that Madge has asked Adele to lend a hand, too. Her task? To create a much-needed "grown-up" song for the superstar. Maybe Madonna can call the album 55.
Nicki Minaj / late-2014
Hip-hop's reigning nightmare, er queen, is set to release a new collection of beats later this year. Little has been said about Ms. New Booty's new record, but its rumored to be bringing Nicki back to her hip-hop roots. If this means more "Beez In The Trap" and less "Starships," I can't wait. No more of that Roman crap, please. Somebody needs to murder that creepazoid, Hannah Montana-style.
Rihanna / late-2014
Rihanna may have been all over the place last year, but one place she managed to avoid is the album charts. That is all about to change in 2014, as she is getting ready to make it rain with new music. I'm sure we can expect some more of those ratchet romps and disco ditties that we queens have come to love from our girl RiRi.
Mariah Carey / The Art Of Letting Go / sometime this year?
Mimi's latest adventure has been pushed back more than Joan River's face, so who knows when — or if — it will actually come out. Even though Nicki Minaj's archenemy did score a hit last year with the doo-wop-tinged single "#Beautiful," the follow-up title track didn't do blip on the charts. Pull it together, Mariah, or we will be letting go.