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2010: Countdown To The Comeback Of Good Music

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Neo-Soul and R&B. Remember when there was more than enough good music to fit into those two genres? When the sound of Toni Braxton or Maxwell made you want to simply chill? When going to the record store to pick up the Miseducation of Lauryn Hill was exciting? When music not only had a good beat and great vocals, but it made you feel and it spoke to your situation? Yeah, where the hell did that music go? When did R&B get replaced by Auto-Tune, and when did neo-soul turn into pop? Yes, it's true, everything evolves, but nostalgically speaking--E. Badu's 1997 single "On and On," Deborah Cox's 1999 "Nobody is Supposed to Be Here," or Angie Stone's 2001 anthem "Brother" are all tunes you just can't forget. With that said, we are happy to report that 2010 might be the year in which "good music" makes a resurgence. Yes, the past few years have been challenging, to say the least, for the music market, but no longer will real music fans have to suffer as they did in 2009. The artists who plan to drop albums in 2010 are all artists who consistently put out good music and have decided to come off their hiatus. Here's a countdown to the nine most anticipated albums from artists making a comeback: 9. Goapele, Milk and Honey: Coming in at #9 is the underrated and over-talented Goapele, who wowed us in 2004 with her album Even Closer. Since 2009 she has focused her energy in composing her newest album, Milk and Honey, released later this year. The lead single with the same name makes good use of her breathy vocals and urges us to just lay back, relax, and let her blow our mind.  8. Faith Evans, Untitled: After reading Faith's book, Keep The Faith: A Memoir, her story made us miss her on the music scene even more. The ex-wife of the Notorious B.I.G, Evans possesses a gentle but powerful voice that gave us the hits "Soon As I Get Home" and "You Used to Love Me." Evans, who recently confirmed she will premiere her own reality show, Keep the Faith, with E1 television, to chronicle her return to the music industry as well as her juggling a career and her family. With the show set to air later this year, Evans told AllHipHop.com in a statement: "2010 is shaping up to be an amazing year for me." We can expect Faith's sixth album to release after the reality series ends later this year and prove real vocals can't be denied. 7. Janet Jackson, Untitled: With the loss of her older brother Michael, and the breakup of her seven-year relationship with Jermaine Dupri, undoubtedly 2009 was an emotional roller coaster for Janet Jackson. However, producer Rodney Jerkins, who is working with Janet on her newest project, confirmed with MTV News that all the raw emotion will be put in her newest album. Tentatively set to release the second quarter of this year, closely after her appearance in Tyler Perry's sequel of Why Did I Get Married, in theaters this April. The single "Nothing," which has already been confirmed to be on the movie soundtrack, will give us a preview on how well Janet will bounce back. 6. Monica, Still Standing: Monica is no longer the teenager asking the fellas not to take it personal. After her reality show, Still Standing, premiered on BET last October, it is evident Monica has become a grown, grounded woman. Her newest album, also Still Standing, is expected to hit stores March 23. Throughout the airing of the show, it was apparent Monica will not be held down.  The video for her current Missy produced single "Everything" samples Deniece Williams' "Silly." Although some of the production is a tad sketchy, Monica always delivers vocally. 5. Marsha Ambrosius, Last Night and Early Mornings: Floetry made us say yes, but when it was confirmed that Marsha and "the Floacist" Natalie Stewart broke up, we all said no. This is why we are ecstatic to hear the songstress, who is the queen of the rift, is back this year with a new album, Last Night and Early Mornings. In the works since 2008, this London born, Philly girl insists this solo album will allow her to "tell the truth." While the date is not yet concrete, her twitter accounts the album as coming "sooner," but definitely debuting this year.  In the meantime, Ms. Ambrosius teases us with her mixtape Yours Sincerely, featuring a duet with Glenn Lewis on the calming track "This Love," available for download now. 4. Usher, Raymond vs. Raymond: Let's face it, Usher's previous album, Here I Stand, left us dazed and confused; a letdown to say the least. His stellar 2004 Confessions album stayed in our CD changers for months, and now a baggage-free Usher is back!  Raymond vs. Raymond plans to explain his struggle as a man dealing with the two dimensions of his personality. His hit single "Papers," hitting its peak at #2 on the Billboard charts, has everyone on edge waiting to see if this R&B heavyweight can redeem himself this March. 3. Jill Scott, Light of the Sun: Jill Scott doesn't stop. In 2010, the new mother is set to release two new films, a cartoon series, a new addition to her Ashley Stewart intimate apparel line, and is appearing on the all-woman music Lilith Fair tour. On top of that, add the fact that she is working on her sixth album, slated for a spring/summer 2010 release. The Light of the Sun is the follow-up to Scott's gold-certified 2007 album The Real Thing. We can expect an album that expresses the changes in her professional and personal life, packaged in a 45-minute poetic experience. 2. Amy Winehouse, Untitled: No jokes, please. Say what you want about the eclectic, borderline strange Winehouse--homegirl can sing. Her album Back to Black in 2007 gave the music industry what it was missing. The LP sold 10 million copies and won five Grammys in 2008. Her label, Island Records, has confirmed Winehouse is recording and plans on putting out a project this year. If she sounds half as good as she did on her previous two albums, continues to channel her inner Lauryn Hill, we anticipate one of the biggest albums of the year. 1. Erykah Badu, New Amerykah Part 2: Return of the Ankh: One of the most creative artists of our time is back with her follow-up album to New Amerykah Part 1: 4th World War is set to release in March. The album boasts tracks that expose the obvious--the Badu we know and love never left.  Her refreshing single, "Jump in the Air," featuring Lil Wayne made its video debut last week, and Badu fans will fall in love with the jazzy track "Out of My Mind Just In Time," where Erykah sings about unabashedly being "an undercover over-lover, recovering from a love I can't get over." On Part 2, Badu takes it back to '97, expect hit after hit; no skips. Read more:
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