What to await in 2008

Jeffrey Yerger

Man, what a year 2007 was! So many things happened: people went to jail, “The Sopranos” came to an abrupt end (“don’t stop!”) and pop stars shaved their heads for no particular reason, but more importantly, music continued to roll on as it does.

Sure, there were some disappointments, but there were quite a few brilliant albums produced in 2007.

The Shins, Kings of Leon, Radiohead and Linkin Park all come to mind when I think of the pleasant surprises of 2007.

So what can we expect out of 2008 – more mayhem or more rock? The future looks promising, but can it live up to the hype-machine that was 2007?

Let’s take a look at what we can look forward to in what could turn out to be a very good year.

U2 made some cameo appearances in 2007, with the re-mastered “Joshua Tree” album release, as well as the new innovative 3D film “U2-3D.”

So what have they been doing when they’re not getting involved in politics or singing in the movie “Across the Universe”? Well, they’ve been recording their next album, which they plan to release this October.

“World music this is not,” Bono says, though U2 fans will “feel the difference.”

He continues, saying, “It’s not like anything we’ve ever done before, and we don’t think it sounds like anything anyone else has done either.”

That’s a pretty bold statement coming from U2’s legendary front man, but would you expect anything different?

Chris Martin and his band Coldplay are in the midst of mixing their new album, which Martin has described as “the greatest piece of music ever made.”

While that may be a bit of sarcastic humor, they certainly are trying hard to give some credibility to that statement.

U2 may have a run for its money as the biggest act in the world this year, as Coldplay’s long-awaited new album is expected to be released sometime around May or June, with a tour to follow, of course.

On Feb. 5, Hawaiian singer-songwriter Jack Johnson will be releasing his new album “Sleep Through the Static.”

According to Johnson, this album will feature more electric guitar work, as opposed to his previous acoustic albums.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famers R.E.M. have a new album coming out early this year as well, which they have titled “Accelerate.”

And what about Third Eye Blind? Remember them? Well they’ve been in the studio for quite some time, recording their fourth album, which, according to singer Stephen Jenkins, will be very political.

I guess it really is a semi-charmed kind of life for them.

Of course, we can’t forget about hip-hop artists on the other side of the music spectrum.

Dr. Dre has been on the down-low in recent years, but apparently that may not be so for long. The hip-hop legend is going to be releasing his first new album in years, “Detox.”

Needless to say, Aftermath has been pretty busy lately with 50 Cent’s “Curtis” and now with the promise of a new Dre release, but the label is about to get even busier because Eminem is making a comeback of his own.

The most controversial rap artist told New York City’s Hot 97 radio station back in September that a new album is on the way.

“For a while, I didn’t want to go back to the studio,” he said. “I went through some personal things. I’m coming out of those personal things, [and] it feels good.”

Get ready people, the real Slim Shady is about to stand up once again.

This new year is sure to be full of surprises, and maybe Christmas will come early this year for many music lovers.

For instance, the band who invented the meaning of the word “guitar-riff,” AC/DC, has been rumored to be releasing a new album for a couple of years now. However, things seem to be getting a move on.

As of January 2006, rhythm-guitarist Malcolm Young confirmed that AC/DC has been in the studio recording some of its hardest riffs in nearly a decade.

British legends Oasis also have an album in the works, recording its follow up to 2005’s “Don’t Believe the Truth.”

It is said that the album should be released sometime around August of 2008, but Lord knows when the two Gallagher brothers get in the studio together, a sibling fight may very well push the date back further.

Finally, producer Rick Ruben has his hands full as he is producing Metallica’s new album.

Recently, anti-Napster drummer Lars Ulrich talked to Revolver Magazine about the new album.

“This stuff is certainly a lot more dynamic and a lot more varied than the last couple of go-rounds,” he said.

Sounds like this could either be a masterpiece in the making (a la “Master of Puppets”), or will it become an album that will never see the light of day (a la Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy”).

As much as there will be a lot of hype regarding new albums from big bands, as well as their tours and festivals to follow, the biggest name that will be on everyone’s mind this year is, of course, Led Zeppelin.

The band’s reunion show in December of 2007 in London has sparked so much interest and rumors (as if there weren’t enough already), it’s hard to believe there isn’t some steroid controversy involved.

Indeed, it was the reunion of a lifetime, but will the rock gods bring the mighty Led Zep back for one last world tour?

Well, it’s looking good, according to Jimmy Page, who mentioned that they are getting back together to jam in September. Patience is a virtue, people.

Bring on the new year!

We’ve got plenty to look forward to: new presidents, new beginnings, new music and lots of tours, as well as any other crazy things that will probably happen (just as long as it doesn’t involve any member of the Spears family).

So, keep your New Year’s resolution, and make 2008 a great one.