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This was a big year for reunions. It was hard not to get nostalgic whether you’re a fan of hip hop, rock or pop music; there was something for everyone! Not all reunions were mega-successful, though, and we’ve decided to break down the good, the bad and the questionable in reunions this year.
Hip hop duo Outkast made their triumphant return this year after an eight-year hiatus. They first made their return to the stage on the biggest stage of all, as a headlining act at this year’s Coachella Music Festival. Soon after, they would embark on a summer-long tour that found them making stops at nearly every music festival on the circuit, including prime spot at Drake’s annual OVO Fest. Their performances never disappointed: André 3000 and Big Boi tackled all their hits including Ms. Jackson, Hey Ya! and The Whole World, but despite rumours, Outkast have no plans to work on new material together.
Canadian indie-rockers The Constantines reunited to celebrate the 11th anniversary of their album, Shine A Light. This marked the first time the band had performed together since 2009 and similar to Outkast, the band went on tour all summer to celebrate their reunion. Their live set was heavy on songs from Shine A Light and was a highlight of this year’s Field Trip festival held in Toronto by Arts & Crafts Records, the last label The Cons were signed to before going on hiatus.
Indie-pop weirdos The Unicorns became a cult hit after their short-lived career (they were only a band for four years), but the demand was definitely there for a reunion of some sort especially as the 10-year anniversary of their album Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? approached this year. Thankfully, the Montreal band gave us an equally short-lived reunion with a slew of opening slots for Arcade Fire in Los Angeles and Brooklyn (fun fact: at one point, Arcade Fire opened for The Unicorns!) and a grand finale in their hometown at POP Montreal. Super fans will happily tell you of this magical experience while others who attended were probably just confused by the band’s retro screensaver projections.
Death From Above 1979
While Toronto duo Death From Above 1979 properly reunited back in 2011 at Coachella, the band finally decided to release a new album together this year, transforming the reunion into a full-fledged comeback. The album, The Physical World, is the perfect continuation from their 2004 classic, You’re A Woman, I’m A Machine, and DFA1979 continued touring worldwide, now performing new hits such as Trainwreck 1979.
Remember O-Town? The D-list boy banders from the early 2000s who perpetually stayed in the shadows of bigger acts like N*SYNC, Backstreet Boys and even 98 Degrees reunited this year and returned with a new album called Lines & Circles. All of that is mildly promising, seeing as how acts like BSB and New Kids On The Block have continued to succeed in recent years, but here’s the part that sucked all the fun out of this reunion: their best member, Ashley Angel Paker, was not part of it. We know what you’re thinking: What’s the point then? We don’t really know.
S Club 7
We were really excited about this one. S Club 7 was a highly underrated pop group that belonged in the same era as O-Town and their hits like S Club Party and Reach are still staples on our playlists, but when we saw this reunion performance, well, we slowly reconsidered everything we once believed in. Paul can no longer “get down on the floor,” Jo has somehow lost her voice and those cheesy dance moves and lyrics has lost almost all of its charm now. Sigh, guess the party’s really over.
Although Foo Fighters technically never broke up, frontman Dave Grohl did announce in 2012 that the band were on a break. Grohl quickly followed that up with news in 2013 that the band was writing new material for their eight album, though…so much for a break. So Foo Fighters’ new album Sonic Highways isn’t really a reunion, but alas the three year gap does count for something. Unfortunately, reviews for the new album have been mixed, if not a bit more negative than positive with The Guardian stating that it’s “a high-concept tour with middling music”.