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Bono and the rest of U2 will return with a new album in 2014.
New year, new sounds.
While 2013 seemed to have blown music’s wad by crowding so many superstar releases into the Fall – shoving in Beyonce and Justin Bieber in just the last few weeks – that clears the deck for some less hypey albums in early ’14.
Also, many big stars will be taking their new music to the road for the first time early in the year. Here’s a look at the albums and tours I’m looking forward to as 2014 gets going:
Brad Barket/Getty Images for Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars is headed for music’s equivalent of the end zone: The Super Bowl Halftime show on Feb. 2.
– Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings “Give The People What They Want” (Jan. 14th): Brooklyn’s most soulful belter, backed by one of its most in-demand bands, returns with their first disc in three years. It’s also the first since the good news that Jones successfully completed treatment for bile duct cancer.
– Uncle Tupelo “No Depression” (Jan. 28th): A double CD compilation from the seminal Americana band of the ’80s – the one that both gave name to, and kicked off, the “No Depression” roots-rock movement.
What will Miley Cyrus do next? We’ll find out on April 3 at the Izod Center.
– Mike Bloomfield “From His Head To His Heart To His Hand” (Feb. 4th): A comprehensive, 3 CD/one DVD box set compiling work from one of the first guitarists to spread Chicago electric blues to the world of psychedelic rock.
– Lake Street Dive “Bad Self Portrai ts (Feb. 18th): Boston’s Lake Street Dive soars on the wide and enveloping vocals of Rachel Price. At the special “Inside Lewyn Davis” neo-folk concert held at Town Hall in September, she opened her mouth and a star was born.
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Return Is High Note: Sharon Jones and The Dap-Kings is roaring back after the Brooklyn-based singer had bile duct cancer surgery last June.
– St. Vincent “St. Vincent” (March 4th:) The fourth album by this mercurial singer, and her first since releasing her invigorating collaboration album with David Byrne.
– Drive By Truckers “English Oceans” (March 11th:) The latest collection from southern rock’s sharpest story-tellers.
– Dan Wilson, “March”: The best song doctor in modern pop – who has collaborated with everyone from Adele to Pink – puts out his second solo CD. His first, “Free Life,” from seven years ago, ranked as one of the last decade’s most sensitively-rendered works.
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Rock icons Sir Paul McCartney and Sting will unite for a concert at the Garden in March.
– U2 (date TBD): Yes, sometime this year the Irish foursome will deliver their first album in five years. That makes it their first since the rudderless “No Line On The Horizon.” Let’s hope this one lets them find what they’re looking for.
James Keivom/New York Daily News
Kings of Leon, pictured performing at the 2013 Global Citizen Festival concert in Central Park last September, will be rocking the Garden on Valentine’s Day.
– Neil Young at Carnegie Hall (Jan 6, 7, 9 and 10): The American icon will play four shows over the next week. Ticket prices are sky high: $ 200 or $ 400. But, for that dough, you get 100% pure Neil – no filler. It’s an acoustic, solo show, a great way to experience Neil uncut.
– Global Fest at Webster Hall (Jan. 12th): The best-curated annual salute to music from around the globe. This year’s dizzying line up will present everything from post-modern Persian pop to Ukrainian punk-folk. It a world of sound jammed into five fast hours.
– Bruno Mars at the Super Bowl. (Feb. 2nd): Mr. Show Biz makes the perfect star of this annual, half-time salute to triumphalism and glitz.
– Kings of Leon at the Garden (Feb. 14th): Their new CD provided just the comeback these neo-Southern rockers needed after their previous, disappointing disc. Now let’s see if they can redeem themselves live.
– Sting and Paul Simon at the Garden (March 4th): Other than each of them owning apartments on Central Park West, it’s hard to find the connecting point between El Stingo and Rhymin’ Simon. Then again, they do both write intelligent songs and have an ear bent to the wide world outside themselves.
– Miley Cyrus at Izod Center (April 3rd): To twerk or not to twerk? That is the question for the first tour by Ms. Cyrus since her career-changing MTV moment. Expect Miley to find some new body movement, theatrical trick, or maybe even sound, to keep our tongues wagging.