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23 Most Anticipated Albums Of 2016: Drake, Frank Ocean, Rihanna, Radiohead, Flume & More

by Ryan Middleton   Jan 5, 2016 18:30 PM EST

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A great year of albums has come and gone, but now it is time to look ahead to 2016 where some artists have hinted at potential LPs and others have been keeping us waiting for what feels like forever. Among the 23 albums that we chose are full-lengths from the likes of Kanye West, Rihanna, Frank Ocean, Flume, Radiohead, Sia, Steve Angello, The 1975, Drake and many more.

1. Kanye West - The Life Of Pablo: (Release: Feb 12)

Everyone thought that Kanye was going to drop his new album, first called So Help Me God, later changed to SWISH in 2015 after dropping three singles in the first three months of the year. However as time went on, despite the murmurs by various collaborators and friends about how great the LP is -- it became clear that Kanye wasn't done or ready to unveil the final product. Now after a Tweet on Dec. 13 asking for time and space to finish the album, we enter 2016 with a brand new Nike diss track "FACTS" and the knowledge that Yeezus is working on another LP, but the details are about as vague as they were entering 2015.

2. Rihanna - Anti:  (Release TBA)

Will this ever drop? First titled R8, now officially Anti, there has been seemingly endless rumors that the LP will drop one day, first Black Friday on Nov. 27 and then sometime in December. The delay appears to be taking a toll on the team as there are rumblings about Travis Scott's involvement. The beginning of 2015 saw her release singles "B*tch Better Have My Money" and "American Oxygen," neither of which were the smashes she is used to in the past. Entering 2016 there is lot of pressure to deliver a big album with a tour on the way. Fans hope she can deliver.

3. Frank Ocean - Boys Don't Cry: (Release TBA)

Oh Frank you cruel man. Fans have been waiting on this album to give them the soothing r&b they have been yearning for since 2012's Channel Orange. His brother rickrolled almost the entire internet claiming to release the album at the end of July. It is a sign that everyone is so eager to listen that they would fall for something as simple as that. Frank, just make this year the year that you release Boys Don't Cry.

4. Drake - Views From The 6: (Release TBA)

It isn't like we haven't had plenty of Drake in 2015 - actually he was arguably one of the most dominant artists last year. So the wait for new material has been quite painless. However all signs point to the fact that his two official mixtapes If You're Reading This It's Too Late and What A Time To Be Alive with Future were just the warm-up laps to his next big album Views From The Six. It is said to be on its way "very soon," so fans are waiting on potentially the biggest project yet from the superstar.

5. Radiohead - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Throughout 2015 Radiohead shared small updates about their ninth studio album. In October, Jonny Greenwood said that the album was done. Ever since then, fans have been waiting on the edge of their seat for the first LP from the group since 2011 The King Of Limbs. Little snippets of music have been heard online, including their sublime, orchestral theme song for the James Bond film Spectre that never got chosen. Nothing is confirmed for 2016, but all signs point to Radiohead releasing an album this year.

6. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - This Unruly Mess I've Made: (Release Feb. 26)

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis EXPLODED onto the music scene with their album The Heist and the singles in "Thrift Shop," "Can't Hold Us Down" and the movement-defining "Same Love." After touring nonstop in 2013 and 2014, they stepped away from the public eye, partially because Macklemore was dealing with substance abuse issues. However, as fans saw with the pair's single "Downtown," they were also cooking up some new music that is expected out in the beginning of 2016. Now that they are a known quantity to the world, we will see how they cope with the pressure of being on top and not the underdogs.

7. Katy Perry - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Katy Perry dominated the charts with her 2013 album Prism. She then dominated the touring numbers with her subsequent stadium tour around the world and electrifying and very memeable Super Bowl halftime show in 2015. There has been little noise about a new album, but her manager did confirm that an album would arrive by 2016. Expect another chart-topping affair to dominate the radio at some point this year.

8. Sia - This Is Acting: (Release Jan. 29)

Sia has entered totally uncharted waters with this new album. She has gone from a fringe pop star, who developed into one of the elite songwriters with a great voice that worked on hooks to a bonafide star of her own that has a rather unique performing style. This Is Acting will arrive on Jan. 29, so fans will be able to see exactly how she is coping with this, though singles like "Alive," "Bird Set Free" and "Cheap Thrills" are starting to indicate how it will sound. A bunch of the album was written for other artists, so hopefully it doesn't sound like castoffs, but Sia's voice should be strong enough to carry it.

9. Run The Jewels - RTJ3: (Release TBA)

Ever since Killer Mike and El-P released their breakout LP Run The Jewels 2, the rap duo have been touring around the world nonstop and become a face of the new crop of exciting artists in rap. The pair rehashed Run The Jewels 2 with a whole host of special guests and cat sounds on Meow The Jewels. Moving away from feline music, they have started recording Run The Jewels 3 with a whole new set of expectations to live up to and plenty of material to draw from in the world around them.

10. Gorillaz - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Over the course of 2015, the momentum has slowly built up to the return of Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett's project together. In October 2015 Hewlett confirmed that they were working together on the group's fifth album and expected it to arrive at some point in 2016. Most the group's success was in the beginning of the 2000s, so we hope they can recapture that magic on this still untitled album.

11. The xx - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Jamie xx, one third of the group, captured all of the headlines in 2015 with his debut artist album In Colour. There were whispers of the group working on a new LP, but in a recent Facebook post, they shared a picture from the studio indicating they would be working on new music all winter. With that dedication to a new album, we hope to see more music from the UK electronic group in 2016.

12. Flume - Skin: (Release TBA)

Flume has gone from being one of the best-kept secrets in music, representing Australian dance music to a global star. His 2012 self-titled album inspired a new generation of producers to create bright, synth-heavy "future bass" music. Entering 2016, Flume is finishing off his sophomore album Skin, with all signs pointing to it being released this year. He released the single "Some Minds" with Andrew Wyatt in 2015, his first solo single in two years and then teased several other unreleased songs in a BBC Radio One Essential Mix. He has described the album as sounding "bigger" and said it was close to completion.

13. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Over the past year and half, various members of the Red Hot Chili Peppers have been talking about a new album. Flea broke his arm on a ski trip in the beginning of 2015, delaying recording for six months, but they have been working with producer Danger Mouse on the new LP. This will be the first RHCP without Rick Rubin. They will have to adjust, but for the group's first album in five years, fans are exciting for some new material from the group, which is expected at last in 2016.

14. Lady Gaga - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Lady Gaga created such a powerful persona and streak of hits from 2008 to 2012 that her 2013 album Artpop was almost destined for failure based on her own lofty standards. Taking a step back and getting back to her musical roots, she worked with Tony Bennett on Cheek To Cheek, but all signs point to 2016 being the year that she returns to the dance-pop hits that dominated the radio like few other artists have.

15. Missy Elliot - Untitled: (Release TBA)

After being one of the most dominant female figures in rap for a decade in the late 1990s and early 2000s, Missy Elliot went quiet in the public eye for nearly another decade. Then she made an appearance during Katy Perry's Super Bowl halftime show and stole almost all of the headlines. Building on that momentum, she has been sharing pictures of studio time with Timbaland and Pharrell and then released the song "WTF (Where They From)." An album is expected at some point this year to cap off this resurgence.

16. David Bowie - Blackstar: (Release Jan. 8)

Most of the albums on this list are speculative or untitled projects, but the new album from David Bowie will be released on Friday, Jan. 8, the date of his 69th birthday. It will be his first LP since 2013's The Next Day. The album has already been well reviewed and the singles have shown an eccentric and textured approach to his new music.

17. M83 - Untitled: (Release TBA)

Producer Justin Meldel-Johnsen broke the news that M83 had completed a new album on Dec. 17. Then bandleader Anthony Gonzalez spoke to Entertainment Weekly about the LP, calling it "very epic" and "quite different." It will be the first album from the group since 2011's Hurry Up, We're Dreaming, which netted the hit "Midnight City." After some movie scoring and album reissues, fans will be happy to see new material from them.

18. Pusha T - King Push: (Release April, 2016)

Pusha T released one of the most highly touted hip-hop albums of the year with Darkest Before Dawn. Being released on Dec. 18 put it beyond most end of the year lists, but that has not diminished the momentum or excitement surrounding his music. Darkest Before Dawn was just the warmup to his biggest project King Push, which is expected to be bigger and bolder. In a recent interview, the rapper revealed that he expects it to be released in April.

19. Major Lazer - Music Is The Weapon: (Release TBA)

2015 was the year that Major Lazer went from being a niche electronic act that Diplo would occasionally focus on, to a global force with the most streamed song on Spotify. Diplo revealed that they have been working with Sia and The Weeknd on this new LP and one could probably expect more acts to get involved. There will be new pressure to deliver a big hit like "Lean On," but part of the group's magic is that they don't force anything and allow pop to come to them. We will see if this album, expected sometime in 2016, continues that trend.

20. Miike Snow - iii: (Release March 4)

After three years of no music from the Swedish electro-pop group, Miike Snow made a triumphant return to form with the DJ Premier-esque sounding record "Heart Is Full." They then hit fans with a dose of classic Snow in "Genghis Khan." Now fans are waiting on the edge of their seats to see what the Swedish songwriting and performing electro-pop trio have come up with this time. Consider our interest piqued as well.

21. Steve Angello - Wild Youth (Release Jan. 22)

It may seem odd to most people, but Steve Angello who just celebrated the 10th year anniversary of his own label and done just about everything as a live touring DJ, yet still has never released a proper artist album. He looks to change that with Wild Youth, an album three years in the making ever since Swedish House Mafia split up. He already released half of the album and it is unlike anything we have heard from Angello so far. Fans can't wait for all of the pieces to fit together on Jan. 22.

22. The 1975 - I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It (Release February 26)

The band were able to sell out headlining shows before releasing their debut album in 2013. Now they plan to release their second album, the mouthful I Like It When You Sleep For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It. If their two lead singles "Love Me" and "UGH!" are any indication, this album will capture all of the excess that could be a make or break for the LP. With an arena tour on deck, this needs to hit.

23. Blink 182 - Untitled (Release TBA)

The last bit of speculation on this list. The band has been in the process of recording new music at various points of 2015. Frontman Tom DeLonge parted ways with the group and was replaced by Matt Skiba. The new music is reportedly coming along and hopefully a completed album will be ready this year, though they aren't working with deadlines. It will be a test to see what this new batch of cooks can come up with.

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