In a business where release dates shift for multiple years before an LP actually drops, it's tough to really get excited for an artist's new album. But we're starting the new year off with an optimistic attitude—2010 is gonna be filled with some fuckin' amazing albums. Halfway through January, we've already seen a few solid releases (Vampire Weekend's Contra and Kanye's Storytellers), but the best is yet to come.

To let you know what's in store for 2010, we rounded up all the albums we're expecting this year (key word being expecting—forget pipe-dream releases like Detox), including everything from the psychedelic indie rock of Yeasayer to Drake's long-awaited debut. See who made the cut with Complex's 25 Most Anticipated Albums of 2010...


#25: Beastie Boys Hot Sauce Committee, Pt. 1

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Nas, Santigold
WHAT WE KNOW: The iconic NYC trio's first proper album in 5 years was originally supposed to drop last fall, but was delayed after MCA was diagnosed with cancer. Expect the boys to build on the retro style of To The 5 Boroughs for an album they described as "strange" and "bizarre" in a BBC interview. After their Nas duet "Too Many Rappers" got a good buzz going last summer, we're eager to see what they drop next.


#24: Nicki Minaj TBD

RELEASE DATE? Third Quarter
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Polow Da Don (rumored), JR Rotem (rumored), Young Money
WHAT WE KNOW: Fresh off a hit mixtape and some song-stealing verses on the Young Money album, our recent Hot Complex is easily the most buzzed-about female rapper in a decade. She recently took a break from touring to focus on finishing her debut, and teased the fact that she might leak a single called "Married In The Club" (nope, no sign of it yet). With mixtape records like "I Get Crazy" and "Itty Bitty Piggy" still getting burn, expectations for her debut are high.


#23: Pac Div Grown Kid Syndrome

RELEASE DATE? Summer 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Swiff D, The Neptunes (rumored)
WHAT WE KNOW: These three Cali kids had everyone bumping their Church League Champions mixtape last year (even Diddy...in the lambo!), and their new mixtape "Don't Mention It" should be dropping any day. Their official debut is now slated for some time this summer—expect more futuristic boom-bap goodness from in-house producer Swiff D, along with whatever came out of that week they spent in Miami with Pharrell.


#22: Common The Believer

RELEASE DATE? Summer 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Kanye West, No I.D.
WHAT WE KNOW: Right around the time Common's last LP, Universal Mind Control, dropped and people didn't like it so much, due to its dance faux-future feel, he began talking up his next endeavor: an entirely No I.D. and Kanye West produced album. While no details have leaked, Common has clearly made the best music of his career with these guys so The Believer will hopefully recapture that magic.


#21: Hot Chip One Life Stand

RELEASE DATE? February 8, 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: N/A
WHAT WE KNOW: The kings of British electropop never disappoint, so we're expecting their fourth album to bring them even more mainstream exposure than their 2008 album Made In The Dark (are we the only ones who want them to cross over?). In fact, the new LP leaked last week, led by the single "One Life Stand," and from our first listen, it seems like their most pop-friendly album to date.

• CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN (ALBUM #20 - #16)

 

#20: The-Dream Love King

RELEASE DATE? May 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Tricky Stewart, Los Da Mystro
WHAT WE KNOW: His first two albums—2007's Love/Hate and 2009's Love Vs. Money—were R&B masterpieces (LVM was our #2 album of 2009), so it's pretty safe to say that the third installment in the trilogy will be more of the same (which is a good thing). Love King—Dream's supposed "final album"—was being mixed last weekend, so expect a lead single to leak any day now.


#19: Justice TBD

RELEASE DATE? "Early 2009"
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: N/A
WHAT WE KNOW: Three years ago, their gritty electro-house debut peeked its head up into the mainstream and warmed a hell of a lot of indie rock and hip-hop kids to dance music for the first time. But after touring, releasing a live album and a handful of dope remixes in '08, the duo went radio silent. Last summer, Billboard reported that they would be a part of the relaunched Elektra Records roster, with a new album in "early 2010." Whenever it comes out, we're expecting something next-level. "We are at the beginning of knowledge about production and music-making," Xavier de Rosnay told Pitchfork about their new material back in '08. "It's changing every two months."


#18: Gorillaz Plastic Beach

RELEASE DATE? March 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: De La Soul, Mos Def, Snoop Dogg, Lou Reed, Barry Gibb, Bobby Womack
WHAT WE KNOW: Our favorite animated band is ready to take over 2010 with their first new album in 5 years and a headlining performance at Coachella. It's gonna be hard for Damon and Jamie to top the success of their first two—which sold a whopping 15 million combined—but it will no doubt be another genre-bending mix with mass appeal. Damon premiered some rough demos on Radio 1 last January, before going off to record with the Syrian National Orchestra. The requisite eclectic guest list was announced, and Mos Def said a track he's on is "one of the greatest thing's I've ever done." Okay, we're excited.


#17: B.o.B. The Adventures of Bobby Ray

RELEASE DATE? May 25, 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Eminem, Lupe Fiasco, T.I., Rivers Cuomo, JR Rotem
WHAT WE KNOW: It seems like we've been waiting on B.o.B.'s album for years (listen to Shake's excellent compilation Should Have Been The First Album to hear all the hits he's made in the meantime) but it looks like his debut is finally dropping at the end of May. After sorta changing his name, aligning with Grand Hustle, and dropping a pop-friendly single "Nothin' On You," all the stars finally seem to be aligning. He's been working with everybody, and he's one of the most versitile artists in hip-hop, so it's hard to say exactly what will end up on the finished product. Expect the unexpected.
LISTEN: "Nothin' On You" f/ Bruno Mars


#16: Ghostface, Raekwon & Method Man The Wu-Massacre

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: RZA, Inspectah Deck
WHAT WE KNOW: If there's one thing we learned from the fuckery of 8 Diagrams, its that a Wu-Tang reunion is a bad idea. Luckily, Raekwon went a long way towards repairing the Wu brand last year with his shockingly good Cuban Linx sequel, setting the stage for another dream Clan fan project: The Wu-Massacre. Let's face it, Rae, Ghost and Meth have always been the crew's real stars, each as lyrically sharp as they are charismatic, so an album with all three should be an easy win for Def Jam. P.S.— they're looking for a group name!
LISTEN: "Meth Vs. Chef Pt 2"

• CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN (ALBUM #15 - #11)

 

#15: Yeasayer Odd Blood

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: N/A
WHAT WE KNOW: Their 2007 debut put this Brooklyn crew on the indie map, but their stock rose last year thanks to work on the Bat For Lashes album and a high-profile performance at the Guggenheim. Fortunately (for us, anyway), their sophomore LP Odd Blood leaked back in December, and it's pretty clear that they have the talent to back up the hype. No matter what your normal listening habits are, we guarantee you'll fuck with their irresistible mix of psychedelic electro-rock. Odd Blood is definitely worth picking up when the official version drops next month.


#14: J. Cole TBD

RELEASE DATE? Late Spring/Summer 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: No I.D., Syience, Pharrell
WHAT WE KNOW: Roc Nation's marque act has been busy since dropping his mixtape The Warm Up this past summer; between promoting his "Lights Please" single, touring with Jay-Z on the Blueprint 3 tour, making records with vets like Reflection Eternal and Mos Def, and stealing the show on Wale's "Beautiful Bliss." His debut will feature production from himself, No I.D., and his characteristic deep, hard-hitting rhymes. Pictures recently surfaced of him working with Pharrell. Cole's rhymes over Skateboard P beats? Yessir, indeed.


#13: T.I. TBD

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Jim Jonsin
WHAT WE KNOW: The high-drama of T.I.'s legal troubles over the last few years were played out perfectly in the music (and marketing) of his last album Paper Trail, an introspective step forward that hinted at the next phase in Tip's career. He toned down the tough-talk, completely removing any references to guns, and remarkably, it worked—Paper Trail was Tip's most commercially successful album to date, and one of his best. Producer Jim Jonsin recently revealed that Tip is working on the follow-up while staying in a halfway house, and we have no doubt that he'll be coming back with a bang...just not from a gun.


#12: Jay Electronica Act II: Patents of Nobility

RELEASE DATE? First Quarter
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Just Blaze, Nas, Mos Def, Eminem (rumored)
WHAT WE KNOW: He's dropped only two songs in the last 12 months, but we can't front, they're good enough that we're literally chomping at the bit waiting for more. Long teased, Act II is something between an EP, a mixtape and a video art project, but will certainly be a compelling piece of rarely heard lyricism. Add to that the best beats Just Blaze can craft, and appearances by Nas and Mos Def (and possibly even Eminem... to hear Jay tell it, at least), and you have an effort that should occupy real rap fans' iPod's for the rest of the year.


#11: Lupe Fiasco Lasers

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Soundtrakk
WHAT WE KNOW: Lupe keeps getting better and better and all signs point to Lasers being his best full-length to date. There aren't a lot of hard facts about the effort available, but his mixtape Enemy of the State proves his lyrics are better than they've ever been, and between his Twilight joint and his Japanese Cartoon material it's clear that his palatte is expanding with his ear. An early single "Shining Down" leaked last summer, and now it seems another leak called "I'm Beaming" is getting a proper single release.

• CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN (ALBUM #10 - #6)

 

#10: LCD Soundstsyem TBD

RELEASE DATE? April 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: N/A
WHAT WE KNOW: Little has been said about UK dance-punk group's new album—so far we have the faux title: 'Internet Sensation!' and the band's cover of Alan Vega's "Bye Bye Bayou" (which will not appear on the album) to hold us over. We do know recording has taken place in LA and New York with work from members Al Doyle, Pat Mahoney, and Gavin Russom. Most recent word from front man James Murphy (as told to NME) is that the new album is "definitely better than the other two" and will have a "wider palette of sound" than the group's self-titled debut and wildly influential Sound of Silver album.


#9: Kid Cudi Cudder: The Revolution of Evolution

RELEASE DATE? Second Quarter
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Kanye West, The Neptunes, Snoop Dogg
WHAT WE KNOW: Party time, excellent! See, it's like this: Kid Cudi's life has changed and his new album will reflect it. Where MOTM was maudlin, thoughtful and self-deprecating, Cudder will be buoyant and exuberant. And where MOTM had barely any guests, and was produced mostly by his in-house team, Cudder will feature the likes of Snoop and beats by The Neptunes. Yeah. That happens when you score a number one record, fuck mad hoes, and cop a crib in Tribeca. Trust us. We know.


#8: MGMT Congratulations

RELEASE DATE? Spring 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Sonic Boom, Dave Fridmann, Chemical Brothers (rumored)
WHAT WE KNOW: Having ridden to improbable success in 2008, the boys from Brooklyn (by way of Boston burbs) are ready to follow up the album that spawned anthems like "Kids" and "Time To Pretend." But don't a hit parade—in fact, they have no plans to even release singles from their sophomore album. "We've been talking about ways to make sure people hear the album as an album in order," Ben Goldwasseer recently told NME. "Not just figure out what are the best three tracks, download those and not listen to the rest of it." Early rumors had them working with the Chemical Brothers, but all recent reports say the album was created with their old producer Dave Fridmann, along with Spacemen 3's Peter Kember (aka Sonic Boom).


#7: Lil' Wayne Tha Carter 4

RELEASE DATE? 4th Quarter
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Deezle
WHAT WE KNOW: During last summer Universal said this record would be released in the 4th quarter of 2009, after Rebirth, so clearly there are songs recorded. But with Rebirth's release at a standstill due to lack of interest and the Best Rapper Alive 'pon lock for most of 2010, we're thinking Universal, and more importantly their shareholders, are gonna force this LP's release by the end of the year. The big question is, will it be a frankenstein of the rap records he's made post-Rebirth, or will he scrap everything when he gets out of jail and put together an entirely new LP reflecting his presumably changed world view?


#6: Santigold TBD

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Pharrell, Diplo, Switch, Spank Rock (rumored)
WHAT WE KNOW: Santigold has been busy as hell since her '08 debut blew up, battling informercial jeweler Santo Gold over her name, touring with Coldplay, and popping up in a million commercials. While we haven't heard any of the new music, she's been producing for Devo, co-writing for Christina Aguilera's upcoming Bionic album, and working with everyone from the Beastie Boys to Basement Jaxx. Last summer she told Nylon about some potential producers, but we're still waiting for more concrete info on the album that could really take her to the next level.

• CLICK HERE TO SEE THE REST OF THE COUNTDOWN (ALBUM #5 - #1)

 

#5: Young Jeezy Thug Motivation 103

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Kanye West (rumored), Drumma Boy (rumored), Tha Bizness (rumored)
WHAT WE KNOW: Young Jeezy is like Ghostface, Redman, Too Short and AC/DC before him: Every album hits basically the same notes, and is basically a great listen, too. A year ago Jeezy teased that he'd done 7 songs with Kanye West behind the boards, which might indicate a slight change in sound, but then the two records he's leaked thus far have been straight back to the trap. However it breaks, though, Jeezy has a consistent track record and shows no signs of chasing crossover hits.


#4: M.I.A. TBD

RELEASE DATE? Summer 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Blaqstarr, Rusko
WHAT WE KNOW: M.I.A.'s whole world has changed since her anti-crossover album Kala crossed over, thanks to the Grammy-nominated, boundry-smashing anthem "Paper Planes." She's had a baby and hunkered down with Baltimore producer Blaqstarr for most of her third album (which is rumored to be titled Mission.Impossible.Area), which will include the recently-leaked track "Space Odyssey" and a song called "I'm Down Like Your Internet Connection" that reportedly features an actual Verizon customer service employee on the hook. "Paper Planes" might have been a pop radio fluke, but you can bet whatever she does will be one of the year's most original albums.


#3: Eminem Relapse 2

RELEASE DATE? First Half of 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Dr. Dre, Just Blaze
WHAT WE KNOW: Our current cover star is extremely focused and has moved on from the punchline driven shock-rap that dominated Relapse, for a more enduring, emotive sound. Working for the first time in years with outside production, courtesy principally of Just Blaze, we expect Em's attention on the intricacy of the rhymes, and the candor of the sentiment. Given Em's vocal appreciation of T.I.'s Paper Trail, and Blaze's involvement, perhaps he's sitting on a "Live Your Life" meets "Lose Yourself" type anthem.


#2: Kanye West TBD

RELEASE DATE? 3rd Quarter
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Kid Cudi, Consequence, Common, Mr. Hudson, Drake, No I.D., Tony Williams
WHAT WE KNOW: Rap! That's what we expect from Kanye's much-anticipated follow up to 808s & Heartbreak. If his last LP embodied the emotional rollercoaster he went through in '07 and '08, it seems likely his forthcoming effort will address his chaffing discomfort with the mainstream (yeah, you MTV.) with aggressive and dangerous RAP! Never a slouch on the mic, since 808s release 'Ye has made a pointed effort to blaze all of his cameo verses, so we're expecting some very forcused, very articulate vitriole on a variety of topics, along with his usual memorable one-liners, etc... Recorded mostly in Hawaii (so far), it seems 'Ye has surrounded himself and all of his key collaborators (Kid Cudi, Consequence, Common, Mr. Hudson, Drake, No I.D., and Tony Williams) in seclusion. There haven't been indicators of where 'Ye's taking the beats these days, but each of his albums has been one-half departure, one-half evolution, so we're imagining tracks in the vein of 808s with a decidedly more aggressive, hip hop edge.


#1: Drake Thank Me Later

RELEASE DATE? March 2010
PRODUCERS/COLLABORATORS: Boi-1da, 40, The-Dream, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Sade
WHAT WE KNOW: He absolutely owned 2009 with a classic mixtape and a slew of guest appearances, so expectations could not be higher for Drizzy's long-awaited debut. By sticking with his trusty in-house producers and sprinkling in a few superstars, he should be able to match the perfect balance of punchlines and R&B that made So Far Gone such a hit. At this point, 2010 is his to lose.

RELATED:
• Complex's Top 25 Albums of 2009!
• Complex's Top 100 Albums of the 2000s!