Arts

Albums: Five of the biggest comeback LPs to look forward to in 2019

We look ahead at some of the most hotly anticipated musical comebacks of the next 12 months, those that are confirmed and some that we're crossing our fingers for

Westlife, the most successful boyband of all time

Westlife

NOW that One Direction are on their extended hiatus, and Boyzone are calling time on their 25-year run, the Irish boyband have seemingly spotted the opportunity to make their much longed-for comeback years after splitting. The pop quartet, comprised of Kian Egan, Nicky Byrne, Mark Feehily and Shane Filan (former member Brian McFadden is not rejoining them), will release a new album in 2019, their first since their final record Gravity in 2010, alongside a 20th anniversary tour. The foursome recently signed a new record deal with Virgin EMI, and their new collection will include one track penned by Ed Sheeran. The Irish group is arguably among the most successful boybands of all time, with more than 55 million records sold worldwide and 14 UK number one singles, behind only Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Expect plenty of their timeless ballads and epic songs with key changes, perfectly complementing their "sitting on stools" stage performances.

Samantha Mumba

AFTER a long hiatus, Irish singer Samantha Mumba is returning in 2019 with her first new album in nearly 20 years. Mumba rose to fame in 2000 with successful debut album Gotta Tell You, which spawned a string of hit singles including Body II Body, Always Come Back To Your Love and, of course, the catchy title track. Mumba was arguably one of the hottest, brightest young stars of the early noughties, but never released a second album. She did release a Christmas EP in 2001, and a compilation in 2006, but this year will be her first new record since her debut. Mumba's music career might have been short-lived initially, as she ventured into acting, but she made a big impact overseas as well as in Ireland and Britain. She is said to have worked with singer-songwriter and producer MNEK on her new music, and she has told fans she is "so hyped" to be making her comeback this year.

ABBA

IT MAY sound like a dream come true, but there is a good chance Abba could be releasing a new album this year – their first in nearly 40 years. The Swedish pop legends have already reunited to create a number of new songs ahead of their digital avatar tour, and in October, Abba's Bjorn Ulvaeus dropped a hint that a record may be on the cards in 2019, too. He said "possibly" to the idea of a new album, although has also made it very clear the foursome would not ever go so far as to reunite on stage for a tour properly. Having shifted more than 400 million records worldwide since they arrived in the early 1970s, and with the likes of the Mamma Mia! films being such a huge success in recent years, there is no doubt that a comeback album from Abba would be one of the most exciting things to happen in music in this century.

The Cure

A WHOLE 10 years have passed since The Cure released a new album, but they will be back with fresh music in 2019. Frontman Robert Smith recently told US radio station SiriusXM that he has felt inspired by new, younger artists coming out, and added: "We're going in about six weeks' time (to the studio) to finish up what will be our first album in more than a decade. It's very exciting times for us all around." The new wave rockers have been touring and performing in recent years, with a line-up of appearances set for this summer on the European festival circuit as well as a headline tour, but this will be the first offering of new stuff for a sizeable chunk of time. The forthcoming new album will mark the 40th anniversary of the British goth rock group's debut record Three Imaginary Boys.

Rihanna

OK, so it has only been three years since Rihanna released her latest album Anti, but for an artist who had pretty much dropped a new record every year since 2005, that's a long gap. It's a comeback, in Rihanna terms. The R&B star went on a break from music in 2016, focusing on her acting career, starring in films such as Oceans 8 and Valerian and the City Of A Thousand Planets, as well as working on her Fenty beauty and lingerie brands. In 2018, Rihanna confirmed she was back in the studio working on new music with a more reggae vibe to it, much to the delight of her millions of fans, although she has yet to reveal details of its release date or its title. So far, the record – her ninth – is just being referred to as R9 by both the singer and her devotees. There are also rumours of a double album from the Barbadian star, and she has kept fans guessing. In October, she jokingly tweeted that she was feeling "attacked" after people kept asking her for more information. Watch this space.

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