my most anticipated albums of 2005:

Comp - My Thoughts (Chocolate City/Def Jam)
The first Baltimore MC to be signed to a major label since one hit wonder B Rich, Comp is carrying the hopes and dreams of one of the most slept on cities in hip hop on its back. His talent is still somewhat unproven, but having met him, I can say that he's got charisma and a good head on his shoulders for a 19-year-old kid. Being at the bottom of a big big label's list of priorities means there's no telling when his album will finally drop, but I'll continue to chart his course on Gov't Names.

Kanye West - Late Registration (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
Kanye hit a home run with his first album, so there's a lot of pressure on the follow up to deliver. A lot of people are sick of him already, and he didn't bring his A game on most of his outside productions and guest verses over the past year, but I feel like that's because he has so much invested in his solo career, so I hope that means he's ready to top himself.

The Posies - TBA (Rykodisc)
Since the Posies' last album, Success, and initial attempt at breaking up in 1998, they've released a rarities box set, a best of, 2 live albums, and an EP of new material, and have staged a handful of tours. But finally the on again off again Posies are a going concern again, and they have their first full length album of new material in 7 years in the can and ready to go. I'm so much more excited about this than anyone has a right to be.

Jon Auer - Songs From The Year Of Our Demise (Pattern 25)
Although Jon and Ken Stringfellow have always made roughly equal contributions to the Posies, Ken has been much busier in the years following the band's initial run, releasing 3 solo albums while Jon's been steadily working on and delaying his first for what's felt like an eternity.

Brendan Benson - Alternative To Love (StarTime International)
This is dropping March, and based on the single "What I'm Looking For", which you can download here, and the version of the title track that appeared on the Metarie EP, this should be at least as good as Lapalco. This time around, BB's chief collaborator was Jack White instead of Jason Falkner, which means there will probably be a good amount of hype behind it (MTV News already ran a story calling BB the "New Loretta Lynn"). But considering that the first time I saw Brendan live was when he headlined at Fletchers a few weeks after opening for the White Stripes at the Recher and the place was practically empty, you never know exactly how much that connection will help him.

Peedi Crakk - TBA (Roc-A-Fella/Def Jam)
Given the current state of the Roc, this is another debut that may be stuck in label limbo for a while, but Peedi's resume of guest appearances so far ensures this will be worth checking it out, even if it continues in the State Property tradition of stalling at gold.

Cex - Invisible Sidis
2004 was the first year since his career began that Cex hasn't released an album, and considering that I loved one of the albums he released in '03 (Being Ridden) and didn't consider the other (Maryland Mansions) even worth checking out based on what I heard, I'm not sure how excited I am about this. But considering that his backing band on this one is going to be Nice Nice, the band who completely upstaged him when I saw open for him in '03, I'm hopeful about the results of their collaboration.

Nels Cline
He's got a list of some of the releases he's got coming in '05 on his website, and I'll probably buy at least half of them, especially the Thurston/Lee and Zeena Parkins collabos.

Other artists that I'm not entirely sure are putting out new albums this year but I'm hoping they will: Carla Bozulich, Grand Buffet, Two Dollar Guitar, Lake Trout, and Chris Lee. Plum Drank from Gel & Weave also put together an amazingly long list of hip hop albums dropping this year.

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i need to put PARAGRAPHS to that list as well ;)

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