Album News: Depeche Mode, the National, and More

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depeche mode (top)/ the national
WRITTEN BY
Melissa Goldstein

You know how it gets right before Christmas break. It's hard to get any work done. Still, there are some artists on our radar that we've been expecting new albums from. So here we check in to find out which bands have been naughty this holiday season -- and which have been nice:

Depeche Mode: Frontman Dave Gahan reports that the band's follow-up to 2005's Playing The Angel will be released in the new year. "We've completed the record. There might be a couple of bits and pieces we've got to clean up, but I feel really good about the fact that we're finished," Gahan told the LA Times. Verdict: Nice

The National: The band have been mum about the follow-up to their much beloved album, 2007's Boxer. But this week guitarist/bassist Aaron Dessner told Billboard.com that they were "pretty far into the process of writing." Hmmm...that could deserve a "nice," but it also sounds a lot like what you tell your mom about that Biology report you haven't started so she'll let you go to the mall. Verdict: Possibly naughty

The Rakes: After declaring their hometown London music scene "so dull right now -- like wading through a swamp of shit" (naughty!), the Rakes hightailed it to Berlin to record their third album, Klang. After those harsh words, they better have something to show for themselves. Well, they do. This week they announced a March 23 release date for the album and unveiled the first single, "1989." Verdict: Nice

The Ting Tings: Holy Lumps of Coal, Batman! These two aren't even pretending like they're getting their new album done. "It's not inspiring in hotel rooms. So we consciously made an effort to not write [on tour]," singer Katie White told BBC Newsbeat. "We have ideas and we have song titles and things we want to say but we've not actually turned them into songs yet." White did add, however, that the duo has carved out time to record in the future: "I think around April or May, we're trying to make some space to get recording on the second album." Verdict: Mildly naughty

Mark Ronson: Okay, no one's getting on Ronson's back about deadlines for his next album, because lord knows, the guy has been busy. But in the run-up to the February release of buddy Lily Allen's album, It's Not Me, It's You, Ronson played Allen's cover of "Womanizer" on his East Village radio show. Writing on her blog, Allen explained, "Mark Ronson asked me for something no one had heard to play on his radio show and 'Womanizer' was the only song I had as an attachment on my Blackberry and I couldn't get home to send him anything else in time." (We hate it when that happens!) "I had asked him to talk all over it so it wouldn't get ripped, but he didn't -- thanks Mark for getting me in serious trouble with my record company." [via Gigwise.com.] Verdict: Naughty. Very naughty.

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