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Volume 9, Issue 3                                    University of Houston

Trends in 2006 can be expected
to continue in new year


by ELI JABBE
Breaking News

    The past year has brought intriguing material from several notable artists from a variety of genres. Veteran rock stars Red Hot Chili Peppers, who have been creating memorable albums for more than two decades, decided to take the ambitious route and release a double-disc album, Stadium Arcadium. While some of the songs were seen as superfluous, the album sold more than 6 million copies worldwide and was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammys.

    Another standout album that has been worth the anticipation is Nas’ Hip Hop Is Dead. It has solidified Nas’ place in music history and is one of his strongest albums in several years. The way he took a chance on the quirky “Who Killed It” is worth applause, and the song itself is worth the price of the album.

    One trend resurrected in 2006 was the artist working with one producer for the bulk of an album. For example, prominent producer Timbaland produced the majority of Nelly Furtado’s Loose and Justin Timberlake’s Future Sex/Love Sounds. Those were two of the most acclaimed albums of 2006, especially Timberlake’s latest album, currently at the 2.3 million mark in record sales in the U.S., is still selling a notable amount weekly despite the fact that it was released in September.

    The Neptunes did the same thing with two of last year’s most notable albums: Gwen Stefani’s The Sweet Escape and Clipse’s Hell Hath No Fury.

    Stefani’s single “Wind It Up” features another memorable Neptunes beat, just as “Hollaback Girl” did in 2005. This time, Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo decided to sample a song from classic film The Sound Music, which is odd for the Neptunes, who usually use original production in the majority of their work.

    For this year, expect the trend of producers working on entire albums to continue. Timbaland is releasing his latest album in the spring, and though he is nothing special when he’s on the microphone (except for when he sings), his production is legendary. What’s interesting is he is working with everyone, from Dr. Dre to The Hives. Timbaland Presents Shock Value is a highly anticipated album.

    Though it’s only a few days old, 2007 has already been interesting. Mos Def’s new album True Magic was released with no album cover or liner notes in a clear CD case. Apparently, Mos’ record label is recalling the album and releasing it again in the spring with an album cover and alternate track listing. 

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