A new year, a new crop of pop culture to consume. Sure, "The Hunger Games" is gonna be huge, and yep, Madonna will definitely make a splash with her follow-up to “Hard Candy.” But here’s the second part of my list of 12 releases that I’m personally shaking and crying over in 2012. Welcome to my brain, internet!
5. “Jesus Christ Superstar” on Broadway
No disrespect to my Sunday school teachers, but everything I retained from the Bible I learned from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s rock opera. What’s the buzz? Well, the creator himself (as in Mr. Webber, not … uh … the big guy upstairs) said that this particular production, which originated in Ontario, is “the best acted version of the show [he’s] seen in 40 years.” In other words, everything’s alright, yes. Everything’s fine. (Previews begin March 1, opening March 22; Jim plans on rocking “Heaven On Their Minds” at his karaoke birthday party January 20)
4. New music from Season 8 “American Idol” finalists!
Kris Allen and Adam Lambert – the top two from what I consider to be the most entertaining “Idol” season ever – both have new albums out this year. So far, we’ve only heard runner-up Lambert’s lead single, "Better Than I Know Myself." It has an infectious chorus and a radio friendly OneRepublic vibe. It’s a good start, but I’m even more excited for the full-length, Trespassing, which Lambert promises will be a darker, more electronic affair with co-writes and production assists from Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers and Bruno Mars, amongst others. You know you already have March 20 on your glittery calendar.
Meanwhile, Kris Allen is ready to follow-up the platinum success of "Live Like We’re Dying" with a new batch of tunes. Details are scarce thus far. All we know is that since his first album, he’s honed his skills on the road, from covering Radiohead and Chris Gaines (!) to debuting a new, impossibly cool rockabilly toss-off, he’s tweeted about listening to indie darlings Deerhunter, and his new stuff has the bigwigs at RCA Records publicly declaring their love for him. Bonus: Allen promised me he’d release this new collection on vinyl,
making him the first “Idol” champ to have a full-length on wax. [edit: Sorry, Kris. David Cook totally beat you to the vinyl game. You can buy a record of his 2011 opus "This Loud Morning" exclusively at his website store. Still, make a record for the vinyl nerds and get it in real record stores!] (Tresspassing out March 20; Kris Allen’s release date and title TBA)
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