Albums to look out for in 2015!

Happy New Year from the House of Black team. We hope you brought in the New Year well and have finally recovered from that hangover. Anyway let’s skip the small talk because there is bigger fish to fry! Like my anticipated albums list for 2015. There are quite a few artists I’m looking forward to, however these standout in my head.

Jazmine Sullivan
Reality Show
Now, just days away, after a short hiatus from the scene, Jazmine is serving her third studio album ‘Reality Show’. Lead single ‘Dumb’ feat. Meek Millz has grown on me, not to mention second single ‘Forever Don’t Last’, and new song ‘Mascara’, seem to have got my attention. I can also add the song ‘Masterpiece (Mona Lisa)’ is a good listen, premiering this at her London show back in March the crowd cheered in response to hearing it, it Is said to be on the album.

Jazmine graced the musical scene in 2008 with ‘Fearless’, and offered a great debut, that made everyone fall in love with her music. Lead single ‘Need U Bad’, and it’s angry successor ‘Bust Your Windows’, both showed her versatility from two love perspectives. Second album ‘Love Me Back’ was released late 2010 and has received universal acclaim from critics, and myself. An equal to her first, ‘Love Me Back’ has less anger, but more up tempo rhythms, making some real good songs.

Kendrick Lamar
The Legend that is K. Dot should be returning with his third studio album at some point during this year. I’m going to say early Spring, not because I have a heads-up, but because I am secretly hoping this is the latest time. Supposed lead single ‘I’ that was issued back in September has been nominated for ‘Best Rap Performance’ and ‘Best Rap Song’ at this years Grammy Awards.

A fan from his mixtape days, I can’t even remember how I discovered him. His second studio album ‘Good Kid, m.A.A.d City’ gained him worldwide popularity, as it was his label debut in 2012. Selling over one million copies it was nominated for seven awards at the 2014 Grammy’s; including ‘The Best Album of the Year’, ‘Best Rap Song, and Best New Artist’. Kendrick’s tales of Compton breathed life into what was a dying genre, let’s be real.

Frank Ocean
This year, some way and some how Frank Ocean needs to release a follow-up to his 2012 debut ‘channel ORANGE’, I am ready. With no insight to a date, month or year the time is now to be honest. Near the end of 2014 snippet song ‘Mesmrise’ was put online, and unknown whether it will be available in full, or appearing on his next album, I’m telling him it should.

Frank Ocean has stepped in and out of the limelight continuously for the past few years. Releasing his debut mixtape ‘Nostlagia, Ultra’ in 2011 lead single ‘Novacane’, earned him his rights as a new musician. His sound, vocals and writing made him one to watch, providing us with alternative R&B. His debut album ‘channel ORANGE’ shot straight to number one. With themes of unrequited love, he was a contender in the R&B arena. First single ’Thinkin Bout You’ earned him a number of new fans, singing about a relationship of regret and heartbreak, it was quickly followed by second single ‘Pyramids’ which is nine-minutes and 54 seconds of greatness. The song was recognized for its length and uses of genres on any one given song. Since then he has appeared and written for some big names in the industry. March 2014 he teamed up with Diplo, Mick Jones and Paul Simonon for the song ‘Hero’, for a converse campaign.

British Fashion Awards - Red Carpet Arrivals
Rihanna’s follow-up to ‘Unapologetic’ is going to be more anticipated than a Spice Girls reunion back in the early noughties [00’s]. Dubbed ‘R8’ by her loyal fanbase, Rihanna’s eighth studio album should be coming any moment now. All that has been said is… (as I write the blogosphere has been lit) Up until now, there has been no word on musical direction, sound or image for this era, however listening to this possible new single ‘World Peace’, she sticks to her Dance/Pop sound. Sounding like a mash-up , the song has a melody reminiscent of ‘Who’s that Chick’, with a build up on the chorus like ‘We Found Love’, while the production is similar to ‘Only Girl in the World’. Whether this will make it on the album is unknown. Along with the song titles previously mentioned we have understood Rihanna is a singles seller, not an album shifter.

While I’m not the biggest Rihanna music fan, I’m waiting. It took her seven attempts before scoring a number one album, despite selling millions worldwide, and having thirteen number ones under her belt. She released four albums in four years, and while that is good work ethic and turnover, two out of four was filled with musical trash. Which brings us to the present. Although the song ‘World Peace’ sounds decent by her standards, it could have easily been a leftover track from ‘Loud’, ‘Talk That Talk’, or ‘Unapologetic’, hence the comparisons to the songs named. After scoring a number one album and proving she can do it, Rihanna has set the bar for no one but herself. After years of recycled music, she has to prove it wasn’t a one-off. The time away should be used to perfect her craft she is expected to have an immaculate album after this two year wait, but she knows what she is doing. The wait within itself will make “The Navy” go ape-shit crazy when it is released buying copies in bulk, rocketing her to one on Billboard. I’ll stream it thanks. When the hair changes I guess it’s time, but remember you read it here first.

Emeli Sandé
Emeli Sandé has said that her second album will be arriving this year, and hopefully a tour will follow because The Royal Albert Hall just wasn’t enough for me. Her time away has been spent writing for others such as Alicia Keys for her last album, on songs like ‘101’ (one of my favourites), ‘Not Even the King’, ‘Brand New Me’ and Fantasia on ‘Side Effects of You’ plus many more. Although she hasn’t put anything out, it is clear Emeli is still got it through the writing on songs like the ones mentioned. I need this more than anything.

First effort ‘Our Version of Events’ [OVOE], became the sound of 2012. Singles such as ‘Heaven’, ‘My Kind of Love’, ‘Next to Me’ and ‘Read All About It (Pt. III)’ made her a household name, not to mention opening and closing the 2012 London Olympics. OVOE broke records surpassing The Beatles with the most cpnsecutoive weeks in the UK’s Official Album Chart Top 10 for a debut album. It was also the best selling album of 2013 for 47 weeks, until it One Direction released their third album.

Ms Adkins, one of the few celebs I know by name, but there is a reason. I am anticipating this third album like no ones business. No idea as to when this album will be coming, I can only hope it’s soon rather than later. I strongly believe you cannot rush art, hence why all the people in this list have taken some time to release a new album. The joys of a perfect album makes the wait well worth it.

Adele stepped on the scene back in 2008 with her first single ‘Chasing Pavements’, admittedly I had her down as a one hit wonder even though the song was great. It wasn’t until second single ‘Hometown Glory’ was released and I had high hopes for her career. First album ‘19’ was only the beginning, as second album ‘21’ released in 2011 rocketed her career to new heights. She showed that the digital era affecting sales is nothing but a myth. Entering the Guiness World Records as the first female to have two singles and two albums in the UK Top 5 simultaneously, and also the first album in UK chart history to reach three million in sales in a calendar year. She might not be black British but she is worth mentioning. And I’m waiting for it.

Krept & Konan
The hip-hop duo hailing from South London have promised to inspire us this year with their debut album. After they teased the collaboration with Rick Ross back in November, everyone has been waiting. But wait no longer. Just days away from the song’s full premiere the anticipation is building. I expect after the premiere of the song, the promotional ball will commence. I’m expecting an album title, and release date to be revealed in the next few weeks, striking while the iron is hot; it’s all eyes on them this Friday. Other than that, they have remained very tight-lipped, but let’s see.

As we’ve discussed previously, their previous efforts ‘Young Kings’ did really well. Being unsigned didn’t stop the pair’s mixtape from entering the UK charts at number 19, and the R&B chart at number 3. With their name all over, from South London to Los Angeles they have done extremely well so far.

-Stephen Paul


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