Pop Culturing: 5 of the Most Anticipated Albums of 2020

by Jason St. Amand

National News Editor

Saturday August 29, 2020

Drake in the music video for "Laugh Now Cry Later."
Drake in the music video for "Laugh Now Cry Later."  (Source:YouTube Still)

Though COVID-19 has disrupted a number of musicians' plans to release music (Lady Gaga, the Killers, Sam Smith, the Chicks, and more have all been impacted by the pandemic), 2020 has proven to be a phenomenal year for music. And, of course, there's still a few more months left in the year and the fall is usually when some of the biggest artists drop new music. Below are just five select albums to get excited about before we finally move into 2021.

Katy Perry — "Smile" Release: August 28

Katy Perry's sixth album "Smile" arrives Friday after a string of singles and her much-maligned 2017 LP "Witness." The release of that album marked a changing point in Perry's career; her 2010 album "Teenage Dream" was a juggernaut and spawned an impressive five-number one singles but during the last decade, Perry has struggled to capture the same kind of success. "Smile" is Perry's response to the reactions around her career, where she said she tackles depression and dark thoughts she had while celebrating becoming a first-time mother.

A.G. Cook — "Apple" Release: Sept. 18

After years of being out of the spotlight, producer A.G. Cook is releasing his second album of 2020 next month. Known for being the architect behind the quietly influential record label PC Music, and having produced a number of songs for Charli XCX, Cook is starting to become a solo act. Earlier this month, he released his debut album "7G" a 49-track, seven-disc effort where Cook shared sketches of tracks, skits, half-formed ideas and a few fully-formed pop songs. "Apple" seems to be a more traditional LP (it's only 10 songs!) where the avant pop star will surly turn out some unique gems. Most noticeably he's been working with more guitar, like on the excellent single "Oh Yeah," which ought to result in an interesting album.

BLACK PINK — "BLACKPINK: The Album" Release: Oct. 2

The K-pop girl group BLACKPINK has been dominating the music world for years, most notably in 2019 when they became the first K-pop girl group to perform at Coachella. Earlier this summer, the quartet dropped "How You Like That," the first electrifying single from their forthcoming debut album "BLACKPINK: The Album." Out this week, too, is their collaboration with Selena Gomez called "Ice Cream." (They also appeared on Lady Gaga's "Sour Candy" off her album "Chromatica.")

Kylie Minogue — "Disco" Release: Nov. 6

The latest trend in pop music is disco. Dua Lipa (more on her in a bit!), Doja Cat, The Weeknd, Lady Gaga, Victoria Monet, Kim Petras and more have released disco-inspire bangers. But enter the dance pop star Kylie Minogue, who is returning this fall with her 15th album, the appropriately named "Disco." It follows her 2018 country-inspired album "Country" and find Minogue going back to her glittery dance roots. So far, she's just released one single, the mid-tempo and dazzling "Say Something." Expect Kylie to include a number of throwback disco bangers, reminding fans why she's the reigning queen of disco.

Drake — "Certified Lover Boy" Release: 2020

Though it has no release date, "Certified Lover Boy" is set to be the sixth album by Drake. He's already released its lead single "Laugh Now Cry Later," featuring rapper Lil Durk. It's a return to form for the Canadian star, where he sings and raps about relationship problems over a woozy beat. Drake's new music comes after a previous 2020 release — "Toosie Slide," a cloying song that felt reversed engineered to go viral on TikTok. And though there aren't many details about his new album, "Laugh Now Cry Later" is indeed a promising sound for Drake and hopefully a departure of his wannabee bad boy phase.

Pop Culturing

This story is part of our special report titled Pop Culturing. Want to read more? Here's the full list.

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