Santa isn't the only one who sits on a throne of lies this holiday season: With Christmas passed and New Year's Eve just a few days away, it's looking increasingly unlikely that those artists who've been hinting at 2015 album releases — cough, Frank Ocean, Rihanna and Kanye West, cough — will deliver before the ball drops. In memoriam of all the music moments that could have been, here are five musical acts that have left us feeling not mad, just disappointed this year.
1. Frank Ocean
Back in April, the Grammy-winning artist Tumblr-teased fans that his sophomore album, Boys Don't Cry, might be on the way: Posing in the picture with two stacks of magazines featuring the same title, the artist captioned his post "I got two versions. I got twooo versions..." and shared it on his website (now BoysDontCry.co) as well. There, he added the [mis]leading hashtags #ISSUE1, #ALBUM3, #JULY2015, #BOYSDON'TCRY. At the time, Billboard got confirmation from an Ocean representative that a magazine and an album to follow 2012's Channel Orange were slated for July. But the summer came and went with only a spectacular-if-frustrating Rick Roll from Ocean's brother, Ryan Breaux, to show for the wait. The artist himself has been more or less silent, save for one Tumblr roasting of Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Political opinion, however, does not an album make. Boys don't cry, but Frank Ocean's fans sure do.
Speaking of artists who haven't released a new album since 2012: Rihanna herself said that her eighth LP would arrive in 2015, but so far, no dice. Last week, we heard whispers that she might be releasing her latest album, ANTI, on Christmas Day, but as of Dec. 28, it's still a no-show. While Rihanna has debuted ANTI's cover art and dropped a handful of singles this year — "Bitch Better Have My Money," "American Oxygen" and "FourFiveSeconds" — she has not released the full album, nor has she confirmed that these songs will even appear on it. We do know, however, that she's collaborating with Kanye West, Paul McCartney, Sia and Charlie XCX on the new material.
"It's not done!" she told NME in an exclusive September interview. "To me it's never done until it's done. Until the final moment." The final moment of 2015, perhaps?
3. Kanye West
To be fair, Kanye does have more important things to focus on — his newborn son, Saint West, for instance — than dropping a new album. West announced his Yeezus follow-up, Swish, back in 2014, and has remained cagey when it comes to the details. He told Vanity Fair in September that he wasn't particularly concerned with getting the album out quickly; that he was busy with other projects and with his family; that he was more invested in the quality of his new material than anything else. Still, Kanye's celebrity friends get to listen, so it must be close to ready. Close enough to make the end of the year deadline? Probably not.
4. James Blake
Maybe the reason Kanye hasn't debuted Swish is that he's been wrapped up in work on James Blake's forthcoming album, Radio Silence, also unlikely to drop before 2016. Some predicted an April release for the follow-up to 2013's Mercury Prize-winning Overgrown, but April was many moons ago, and no news has surfaced since. Radio silence indeed.
In September, the Canadian artist told Fader that his upcoming album, Views from the 6, would be arriving "imminently," by which he apparently means "sometime next year." The turtlenecked tease has given us much to be thankful for in 2015 — surprise mixtape If You're Reading This It's Too Late in February, hit single "Hotline Bling" over the summer and another surprise mix tape collaboration with Future, What a Time to Be Alive, in September — but it doesn't look like a new album will be one of them. Drake likes surprises, so maybe his fans have something to look forward to this week; realistically speaking, though, Views from the 6 is probably dropping in 2016. A video tweeted by Daily Rap suggests that Drake's latest album could be coming in mere weeks' time, on Jan. 6. Something to look forward to?