Pop Quiz: What do Phoenix, Will.i.am and Michael Bublé have in common? Don’t scratch your head for too long – all three are dropping highly anticipated new albums today.
Phoenix’s 2009 breakthrough was one of the more surprising stories of the year: the French band went from indie darlings to radio kings on the strength of the perfect pop anthem, “1901”. Can they duplicate that success? Early indications point to yes. Rather than rush a follow-up to capitalize on their newfound fame, Bankrupt! is exactly what Phoenix wanted: progression without total departure from their well-known sound. The group set the Internet on fire with its performance on Saturday Night Live and are headlining festivals such as Coachella, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, the Beale Street Music Festival and Lollapalooza. We think Phoenix is just the type of “Entertainment” we need this summer.
Let’s just get this out of the way: in five years when we’ve moved past hashtags and Twitter onto whatever social media platform comes next, Will.i.am will probably cringe at the name of this album. That said, the Black Eyed Peas frontman is one of the most reliable hitmakers in pop today, and #willpower only cements that. You’ve no doubt already heard “Scream & Shout” featuring Britney Spears, but look out for “This Is Love” featuring Dutch singer Eva Simons – it’s inevitably going to be Will.i.am’s next monster hit.
The best crooner of his generation, Michael Bublé has the new album formula down to a science. Putting new spins on a handful of classics (teaming with Reese Witherspoon to cover Frank and Nancy Sinatra’s “Something Stupid”), mixing in a couple of originals (co-written with fellow Canadian Bryan Adams) and looking smooth while doing it equals a surefire number one hit. Bublé will be making English women swoon during a 10-show stint at The O2 in London this June.