Big in 2006?

Last year I predicted Thirteen Senses, Mylo, Lindsay Lohan, Ciara and Kaiser Chiefs would be big, and most of them have done pretty well. So now it’s almost 2006 and time to see what might be hitting the top 10 in the new year…

The Click Five
I’ve written about this instrument-wielding American boyband a few times on Into The Groove but I don’t think I’ve ever mentioned them here. They seem to want to be the Beatles, but their music shows that really they owe as much to the Backstreet Boys. I don’t know if they were signed as the American answer to Busted/McFly but they might as well have been. They’re releasing early next year and considering they’ve done really well in the US and the UK seem to have an endless appetite for this sort of thing at the moment, I think they’ve got a good chance.
Breakthrough single: Just The Girl (Out soon)
The new: McFly

Fall Out Boy
Continuing the instrument-wielding American boyband theme, this lot are a bit tougher but still quite jolly compared to a lot of current rock music. Their single, Sugar We’re Going Down was released to vague excitement earlier this year, but it’s sure to do better second time around – in fact I think it could be one of the big tracks of the next few months.
Breakthrough single: Sugar We’re Going Down
The new: Blink 182

José Gonzales
Proving once again that no-one writes better songs than the Swedes, this simple acoustic cover by Swedish indie-ist José of ace Swedish band the Knife’s biggest hit in their home country is already making waves in the UK. It’s on that lovely Sony advert with the coloured balls and getting play on Radio 1. It’s so nice it deserves to be a big hit and I do think it will be.
Breakthrough single: Heartbeats (9th Jan)
The new: Damien Rice (but much more interesting due to Swedishness)

Matt Willis
It seems to be all about the guitars in 2006 as the final member of Busted to release solo material takes his turn. Matt was the one I would have picked to have most success as a solo artist – although James and Charlie both brought something to the band, Matt represents them most accurately as a solo artist, being right in the middle of James’ teenage pop-rock and Charlie’s more serious emo-whatever. It could turn out that he’s missed the boat by waiting longer than the others, or his songs could yet be rubbish (although the chance of me liking them was never good), but I still think Matt will be the one to watch next year. He’s certainly the most likely to be “the Robbie” of Busted.
Breakthrough single: Hey Kid (27th Feb)
The new: Robbie Williams?

The X Factor contestants apart from Shayne aren’t allowed to release anything until March, but there’s little doubt that Chico will have his single “It’s Chico Time” ready for the shops by the end of the month. However, it will have been about 4 months since he left X Factor by that point, and knowing how fickle the British public can be, I’m not sure how much interest there’ll be. I do think he’ll get at least a top 10 with his first single, though.
Breakthrough single: It’s Chico Time
The new: Crazy Frog

Arctic Monkeys
More of those stupid guitars, but sadly it seems that if 2005 was the year for indie, 06 is the year for rock and the Arctic Monkeys, being somewhere in the middle, are clearly a step ahead of the rest. They are quite an obvious choice, what with having a no.1 single already, but a few weeks ago I would have said that they are set for one hit wonder status and little more. However, I’ve heard their follow-up single to I Bet You… a few times now as well as another track by them and I’m sad to say that they do sound like hits. Their album is bound to sell loads and they could easily be one of the biggest bands of 2006.
Breakthrough single: That’s been and gone!
The new: Kaiser Chiefs (but thinner and less jolly)

Not all of the guitar acts hoping for 2006 world domination are completely useless, and this group championed by Whatever’s Left and sounding a bit like The Killers and The Bravery do have some charm. Actually I just like them cos their video looks a lot like Melody Club’s, but they are quite fun with the trusty synthesizer in use.
Breakthrough single: Where’s The Pleasure (23rd Jan)
The new: The Killers

I wish I could add some more poptastic prospects, but I really can’t think of any new pop acts likely to be successful in the UK next year. However, the list of artists making a comeback is far less depressing, so here are some of the great acts releasing new albums in 2006:

Scissor Sisters
Little has been heard from the Scissor Sisters since their last single in January this year, apart from their performance on Live 8 and a few secret gigs in London and New York. I’m not sure what month the new album will be released but I should imagine it’ll be fairly early in the year as it’s nearly 2 years since the first one now. I can’t wait to see what they come up with – if it’s anything like as ace as the first one I’ll love it, and it’s always good to have some proper pop music on the radio, as these guys are one of the very few acts who can manage it these days.

Maroon 5
The first M5 album was one of my favourites ever, and it was fantastic to watch it become one of the biggest selling and most-played acts of 2004, despite the slight backlash against them since then. The 100% consistency of good songs on their first CD suggests little chance of them going wrong with the follow-up, and I’m sure I’d buy it anyway because they really are an excellent band and I will not be persuaded otherwise!

Britney Spears
Britney’s first post-natal album release is slated for November so we’ve still got a bit of a wait in store before we hear anything new from the princess of American pop. In the meantime, I’m sure there’ll be plenty of interesting stories to read about her in the gossip magazines and perhaps we’ll even hear something from “K-Fed” in the next few months – hopefully it’ll be as hilarious as Britney reportedly finds it!

There’s little chance of Robyn’s new album, due summer 2006, getting a UK release, but considering the immense aceness and cult popularity of her 2005 album, I’m sure plenty of people will be importing it and no-one will be more keen to hear it than me as I would name Robyn (the album) one of the best pop albums of this decade so far. It will be interesting to see who she works with this time – perhaps more songs with The Knife or Teddybears STHLM, or maybe she’ll work with another Swedish producer (Alexander Bard or Vacuum would be amazing) or even someone British – I’d love to hear what she comes up with combined with Xenomania or Richard X!

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