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Ten of the most highly anticipated albums of 2019

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Ten of the most highly anticipated albums of 2019
L-R: Chance the Rapper (Julio Enriquez/Flickr), Kaytranada (Christian Bertrand/Shutterstock), Lana del Rey (Michael Kovac/WireImage), Carly Rae Jepsen (Debby Wong/Shutterstock)

If you thought 2018 was a great year for music, brace yourself for what’s coming in 2019. Chance the Rapper has two joint projects in the works, Ariana Grande’s Sweetener follow-up is on its way and Solange is set to drop her long-awaited fourth album—and those are just the confirmed releases. Here are ten of the most anticipated albums of 2019.

Ariana Grande

Sweetener is not even five months old, but Ariana Grande already has a new full-length, Thank U, Next, on the way. Ari actually said the album was supposed to be released before 2018 was over, but it was pushed back.

Although Thank U, Next isn’t even out yet, the album already has a number-one hit on the Billboard Hot 100 thanks to the title track, and a Top 30 hit with “Imagine.” While no release date has been set, Grande will be busy with a two-leg international tour from mid-March to mid-October, so fingers crossed for an early 2019 release.

Carly Rae Jepsen

It’s not a question of whether Carly Rae Jepsen will release a new album in 2019, it’s when. We already got the euphoric self-care anthem “Party for One” back in November, which showed a more grown-up version of the singer’s pure pop sound. “This song represents a lot of what this album is about for me which is romantic love but self-love too,” Jepsen explained.

The Canadian singer’s last two releases, EMOTION and its follow-up EMOTION: B-sides, were critically acclaimed, criminally underrated pop gems, so maybe this full-length can return the pop princess back to the top of the charts.

Chance the Rapper

Chance the Rapper’s last full-length, Coloring Book, arrived back in 2016. But it doesn’t seem like the Chicagoan has left the studio since. Apart from releasing a string of surprise singles last year, Chance also confirmed that he’s been working on the highly anticipated Good Ass Job with Kanye West. A joint project with Childish Gambino is also in the works. In an interview with Complex’s web series Open Late with Peter Rosenberg, the rapper revealed that the former will feature seven tracks while the latter will include more than 14.

Kaytranada

It’s been over two years since Kaytranada released his critically acclaimed debut, 99.9%, but he did confirm that a new full-length is on its way. The electronic artist took to Twitter in November, writing: “All the other songs will be out next year, when I’m gonna finish this LP I’ve been working on for the past year.” Although no release date has been set, Kaytranada has been hard at work in the studio since his debut, dropping two EPs last year, The ArtScience Remixes with Robert Glasper and the three-track Nothin’ Like U/Chances.

Kendrick Lamar

First, Kendrick claimed he isn’t working on a new album, then Polydor said that he’d be dropping one this yearit’s hard to tell whether a follow-up to 2017’s DAMN. is really on the way. However, come April, it’ll be two years since he last dropped a full-length, so a brand-new release isn’t out of the question.

While speculation swirls around the potential release, KDot hasn’t just been resting on his laurels. Last year, the rapper picked up five Grammys, made his acting debut in the television series Power and spearheaded the acclaimed Black Panther soundtrack.

Lana Del Rey

As soon as her Lust for Life era wrapped up in early 2018, Lana Del Rey spent the rest of the year drip-feeding songs in the lead-up to her new album, Norman Fucking Rockwell. First to arrive was the cruisy, folk-inspired “Mariners Apartment Complex,” produced by Jack Antonoff, followed by “Venice Bitch.”

Then, Del Rey continued to tease two other songs, one which features Machine Gun Kelly and another named after poet Sylvia Plath. She also debuted a new track, “How to Disappear,” at a recent Apple event in Brooklyn. If all goes according to the Del Rey’s plans, the new album is due out early 2019.

Lil Uzi Vert

Lil Uzi Vert has been teasing Eternal Atake, the follow-up to his 2017 debut album, Luv is Rage, for what seems like forever now. News of his sophomore LP first surfaced back in July when the emo rapper took to Twitter to explain the meaning of the album’s title, and in September, he released the six-minute track, “New Patek.” At a recent show in Philly, Lil Uzi even previewed another song off the LP and told fans that he was “finally done with that joint.”

However, the lead-up hasn’t been as smooth as he intended: Survivors of the Heaven’s Gate cult, whose aesthetics inspired Etemal Atake’s album art, allegedly threatened to sue the “XO Tour Llif3” rap star for copyright infringement. And last month Lil Uzi hinted on Shabazz PBG’s “Shells” that he might be having trouble with his current record label. Will Eternal Atake ever see the light of day? Only 2019 will tell.

Rihanna

Rihanna spent much of 2018 focusing on her other endeavors, turning Fenty Beauty and Savage x Fenty into massive successes in cosmetics and fashion respectively, as well as landing a lead role on Ocean’s 8. But the Barbadian singer looks set to finally return to music.

Replying to a comment on one of her Instagram posts asking for her new album’s release date, all Riri had to say was “2019.” It isn’t much to go by, but at least it’s some sort of confirmation. Moreover, if reports are to believed, the good girl gone bad will release not one, but two albums—one pop-oriented, the other, dancehall-influenced.

Solange

Last year, in an interview with The New York Times Style Magazine, Solange revealed that a new album was imminent. At that time she was still putting the finishing touches on an upcoming record that would arrive “into the world fully formed at some mysterious and unexpected moment,” according to NYT. It all sounds highly vague, but we’re not ruling out a 2019 release date just yet.

Here’s what we’ve gathered so far about album number four: It was recorded across various locations including Jamaica and New Orleans, it will feature “a lot of jazz at the core […] but with electronic and hip hop drum and bass,” and it’s expected to be more sensual than A Seat at the Table. We can’t wait.

SZA

Aside from almost permanently damaging her vocal cords and featuring on a couple of chart-smashing singles (this included “All the Stars” alongside Kendrick Lamar and Maroon 5’s “What Lovers Do”), 2018 was a relatively quiet year for SZA on the new music front. However, it looks like the R&B star might break her silence soon.

After casually sharing snippets of unreleased music on Instagram, the singer took to IG last month to write, “Lol HEARD U tho… I SWEAR the new is coming.” Although there’s no confirmation if any of the songs she’s previewed so far will appear on an upcoming full-length, one can definitely hope.

Who are you hoping drops an album this year? Let us know in the comments.

Also, check out our roundup of the hottest albums that arrived in 2018.