I don't normally like doing this sort of thing because January is still way too early in the year to really know what to expect from the musical community. Hell, right now there are only five albums that I put on this list that have titles, one of which has already been delayed for three years. The remaining five are based on a combination of speculation and tentative dates set by band members in interviews. I highly doubt that this list will reflect my favorite albums of the year. That said... everyone else already made their most anticipated albums of 2012 lists and if there's anything I've learned about life it's that if you can't beat 'em... join 'em.
The Sidekicks - Awkward Breeds
I got into the Sidekicks kind of late into the game. So late, in fact, that I'm still really just discovering them. I still dig them though, and I'm looking forward to being on top of things this year and listening to this album when it comes out and not three years later.
fun. - Some Nights
I more or less missed out on the Format completely. It just kind of happened- I don't know how. But when fun. released their debut a few years back, I was on top of that like some metaphor that I don't feel like coming up with. I played it on my radio show every chance I got and I would tell everyone to check it out and tell them that it was essentially what all pop music should be. So naturally, a follow up will be exciting.
The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past
Ever since I first heard about the Menzingers I've been a casual fan, but in the past three months or so I've really come to appreciate them. I also really like the two songs that have been released so far. I'm expecting it to sound more like the mellow side of Chamberlain Waits, but I'm still expecting to enjoy it.
Cheap Girls - Giant Orange
Between The Sidekicks, The Menzingers and Cheap Girls, there are a lot of bands releasing albums this year that are heavily borrowing from 90's alt rock. Tom Gabel is producing this one, but I like this band enough that even if they went with an unknown producer, I would still be looking forward to hearing it. The lead single, Ruby, is promising so far.
The Ataris - The Graveyard of the Atlantic
If the Ataris take any longer to release this album, it wouldn't be far off to dub it their version of Chinese Democracy. A teaser 7" single was released little over a year ago, containing the title track and another song called All Souls' Day, and both songs are really good. I tried to listen to Welcome the Night but I could never really get into it, but even if only half the songs on the full length are in the same vein as the 7" then I would be happy enough. Kris Roe's acoustic album from last November was also a good listen and I hope that he sings his new songs with the same passion that he still has for his older works.
These next five albums are all tentative and there's no official information on them. But it's fun to hope that they all come out this year.
Green Day - Untitled (perhaps Cigarettes and Valentines)
Green Day could re-record their entire first album and I would still be excited about it. They could also re-record Kerplunk and I would line up for it. I'd draw the line there though, because I can only take so many re-recordings of albums. That said, the new songs that I've heard on YouTube so far all sound like Green Day is taking a step away from the big arena anthems and heading toward a straight forward rock sound. I imagine that whatever the end result is will pretty much be what Cigarettes and Valentines was supposed to be (although I also imagine that since Green Day's career has been revitalized since 2003, that it will be more successful than if it had been released when originally planned).
The Gaslight Anthem - Untitled
Not much to say about this one yet, but I haven't been disappointed by a release yet!
I liked Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace a lot outside of the title. Even if it's nothing ground breaking, I hope that the Offspring at least makes another album like that.
Based on early speculation, the next Bad Religion album may be their last before either a break up or hiatus. I think that's reason enough to look forward to it.
Motion City Soundtrack
My Dinosaur Life broke almost every rule I know about bands. When they released I Am the Movie, it was an incredibly strong debut. Sophomore effort, Commit This to Memory, has some solid songs, but overall it just didn't live up to the same level. By album three, Even If It Kills Me, I just lost interest in the band. So naturally, by signing to a major label and releasing a fourth album, the band shouldn't have even been on my radar. Except it was their best album yet. It's rare for a band to be able to do that and it's gotten me excited for the band all over again. Hopefully they can deliver!
Okay, 2012. Bring it on.