While 2007 was the best year in music for me personally, I have only begun to dig in the crates for new music. Though many indie fans have complained that there aren't any big albums to look forward to in 2008 (Arcade Fire, The New Pornographers, Arctic Monkeys, The Shins, etc.) There should be more than enough music to file through and its likely that there will be many hidden gems in the pack (see Feist).
Here is what I'm looking forward to most:
#5 Dr. Dre "Detox" - Yeah, right. This should be filed with the infamous next Guns 'n Roses LP, but there is always hope. The good doctor is rumored to be collaborating with the usual Aftermath suspects (Eminem, 50 Cent, Eve, Busta Rhymes) and others including Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, Mary J. Blige, Lil' Wayne, newcomer Bishop Lamont, and producers J.R. Rotem, Just Blaze, and RZA.
#4 New albums by: Andre 3000 and Big Boi of OutKast, the Kooks, Nas, Tokyo Police Club, Klaxons, Royce Da 5'9", The Courteeners, Keri Hilson, The Black Kids, Emmy the Great, Gnarls Barkley, Eminem, Rhymefest, Lightspeed Champion, WALE, Girl Talk, & Adele (look out Amy Winehouse).
#3 Timbaland "Shock Value II" - The follow-up to the genre-twisting hit album in 2007. Scheduled to feature Akon, Gwen Stefani, Linkin Park, Jay-Z, Keri Hilson and more. I can't say it looks too groundbreaking (I'd love to see him work with Bloc Party), but worth checking out for the beats.
#2 Lil' Wayne The Carter III - Dwayne Carter has been rapping out of his mind since his last album. He has been featured on every remix you can think of (DJ Khaled's "I'm So Hood" and Wyclef's "Sweetest Girl" are a few favorites), has put out countless acclaimed mixtapes (The Drought Is Over series) and a buzz-worthy EP, The Leak. Much of the hype has been due to Wayne's growth as a lyricist. By dropping witty metaphors and personal anecdotes (the trippy "I Feel Like Dying") and political musings (George Bush aimed "Georgia...Bush") like its hot, he has shed much of the "Bling-Bling" persona. With production by Timbaland, Will.I.Am, Cool & Dre, Just Blaze and a possible reunion with Mannie Fresh, Lil' Wayne's The Carter III will be one of the most anticipated hip-hop albums of 2008.
#1 Lollapalooza 2008 Aug 1-3 - I've been dying to go for the past two summers, will I finally just pony up the dough? Will Perry Farrell continue to concoct a line-up worthy of past summers with the growing number of competitive festivals? Personally, I'm hoping for Radiohead, The New Pornographers, Girl Talk, Georgie James, Lupe Fiasco, K-OS, Rhymefest, The Black Kids, OutKast, Weezer, maybe even the Black Crowes.