Sade, Soldier of Love (Epic)
Release Date: February 8, 2010
Expected Production: Producer Mike Pela has handled the boards since the smoky vocalist’s 1984 debut Diamond Life and will be featured on her sixth studio effort.
Expected Collaborations: Sade’s longtime bandmates, which include steady guitarist, sax man Stuart Matthewman and keyboardist Andre Hale, once again share writing duties with the Nigeria-born Brit.
Why the Buzz? Sade’s first new studio album since 2000’s Lover’s Rock has all the classic, haunting, soul searching hallmarks of her previous releases, as well as a few curve pitches. The title track and first single “Soldier of Love” sounds like a Sade-led Portishead scoring a ‘60s-era Sergio Leone spaghetti western while the groove-heavy “Bring Me Home” is destined to become a freestyle favorite for underground MC’s.
Usher, Raymond vs. Raymond (LaFace)
Expected Release Date: March 2010
Possible Production: Ursh is getting help from old favorites like Jermaine Dupri, Sean Garrett, Rico Love, The Neptunes and Polow Da Don.
Expected Collaborations: Usher’s sixth set will feature a few rappers including Nicki Minaj (as heard on the leaked “Little Freak”), Plies on “Hey Daddy” and possibly Jay-Z.
Why the Buzz? In an era where most artists pray for a gold album, Usher cursed the fact that he only went platinum with his mild-mannered 2008 effort Here I Stand. But Mr. Entertainment’s single again, meaning that he’s cutting the monogamous lyrics loose and is back to macking like it’s 2004.