Tony Bennett: 2019 albums preview
One thing's for sure: musicians will be releasing albums in 2019. (Oops, forgot about the spoiler warning, there. Sorry.) Another thing is guaranteed: You will care about a few of them and not really ever think about the rest, for the most part.
That might be this writer's way of saying that the following list of records that are scheduled to drop in 2019 isn't really a comprehensive list of what LPs will rule the charts next year. This isn't going to be a place where we consider how much the new Rihanna album will be streamed on Spotify, or where we ponder the question "Will Ariana Grande address the failure of her several-month relationship to 'Saturday Night Live' cast member Pete Davidson on her forthcoming release?"
No, the upcoming Backstreet Boys, Avril Lavigne and Jennifer Lopez albums are not going to be covered here. Reason being: Your music writer doesn't care about that kind of stuff. Actively loathes it, to be perfectly honest. Nope, the person typing this column out is a rockist. It's just the way it is. Sure, there's a dearth of diversity here, and that stinks. But you can't fake interest in things. Classical fans don't get excited about the new Xiu Xiu record that's coming, Kanye fans aren't likely getting pumped for the next Megadeth LP, and the person writing this column doesn't really care that Lana Del Rey is about to put something new out. So it goes.
Heck, even the albums we're about to talk about are likely not even going to be that great. Take Weezer, for example — their long-rumored "Black Album" is set for a March release (as Matt Damon noted in the totally bizarre recent 'SNL' sketch that found him debating the band's recent output with Leslie Jones, who was correct to say that only their first two albums matter). The first two singles "Can't Knock the Hustle" and "Zombie Bastards" sound basically like Jessica Simpson songs from 15 years ago. Pop. Trash. The record will surely be terrible. It's too bad, because Weezer had a decent run a few years back, but they've clearly lost the plot. Again. It will be fun to laugh at, though. For a minute.
Pearl Jam will likely release a disappointing record in 2019. The group surprise-released the profoundly boring song "Can't Deny Me" in March of 2018, saying that it was the first taste of a new record that never appeared. The band, who spent the '90s doing great stuff, has only knocked out decent tracks here and there for the last 15 years, and their records are coming out with less regularity as they commit more to performing in baseball stadiums. At this stage, it's been six years since they plopped "Lightning Bolt" into the marketplace. Their next record is probably their last chance to do anything of worth artistically.
Tool is in the same predicament. It's been about 13(!) years since their last effort, "10,000 Days," which was only sort of good enough to pass muster. They've always been a pretty overrated band, but their albums before that had plenty of meat on them. The prog-metal group is said to be currently wrapping the recording of their comeback LP — if it's anything other than sad and weak, it's likely the group will be hailed as heroes.
After a 2018 with only one release (the enjoyable "Space Gun"), Guided by Voices are coming back with three in the new year: "Zeppelin Over China," "Warp and Woof," and "Rise of the Ants." Given that the current lineup of the band is one of their most inspired, some of this stuff will surely be primo.
The new Motorpsycho album "The Crucible" will likely be, as well. The latest LP from the Norwegian lifers follows 2017's "The Tower," which was another astounding platter from a band 30 years in to their journey. Look for that in February.
We can't forget the new Thom Yorke, Tim Heidecker, Neil Hamburger, L7, Raconteurs, Bob Mould, Le Butcherettes, or King's X albums, either, right? Or local releases from people like Coyote or Ingeborg von Agassiz, both of whom have announced records?
There's lots on the way — good, bad, and what is bound to be ugly. What you're interested in is your business. Keep an eye on this column to see if your favorites get a bit of ink. And always feel free to drop us a line if you yourself are putting something out, or if you'd like to see someone covered. 2019 awaits.
Tony Bennett reviews albums for the News Tribune. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.