Very few artists have achieved a clean comeback. Nine times out of ten it requires a new label, a fresh look and a great single—naturally excluding the genius of Scooter Braun. This makes a comeback extremely difficult. Unfortunately, many of whom were once household names only resurface with when they're diagnosed with a rare disease or when someone puts on a classic hits Spotify playlist at a house party.
Based on recent evidence, though, there's actually no better time to attempt a comeback than right now. We've been primed for them. In 2015 Justin Bieber did a massive 180 from pissing in buckets and abandoning Monkeys to becoming the global golden boy–literally just by saying "Sorry." This year Britney Spears returned to the VMA stage in 2016 for the first time this year since the infamous 2007 performance MTV called a "meltdown." We've even seen a very buff Craig David recover from 'Bo Selecta' to claim his first number one on the UK charts in 16 years.
In fact, there are many artists whose early stuff was just so damn good it would be a crime to let them retire into obscurity. It's time to come back to us, guys; it's a matter of public interest.
Soulja Boy (Tell 'Em)
Who can forget the beautiful piece of rap music that was "Crank That?" It could be 10am on a Tuesday and hearing "YOOOOUUU" from the office Sonos would have you leaping into double fist Superman formation. The whole-freakin'-world knew that damn dance. Better yet it was pure Soulja (DeAndre Cortez Way), who wrote, recorded and self-published 'Crank That' online. Dude almost got a Grammy off of it.
It's been pretty quiet in camp Soulja Boy ever since. Even though his next two albums gave us "Kiss Me Thru the Phone," "Pretty Boy Swag," and that banging duet with Snoop "Pronto," nothing could quite eclipse–or even match–the scale and effect of "Crank That." He's still releasing King Soulja mixtapes (the latest came out last month) in a never-ending hustle to remain active, even though he had just released the ironically-named album Better Late than Never in June. At this rate we'd rather his comeback attempts come even later—like a lot later—to give Soulja some much-needed time to invest in a release that actually bangs.
Riding on the success of the Spice Girls-gen, The Sugababes successfully maneuvered themselves into their big shoes to become the number one British girl group of the mid 2000s. When Heidi Range (Atomic Kitten-alum) came onboard 2001 is when they really started getting into the good stuff like tracks "Round Round" and "Push the Button."
Were they the best of them? Not really. Did they suffer odd and racially-geared line up changes? Sure. But the Spice Girls clearly aren't really coming back, and the Pussycat Dolls were only ever Nicole Scherzinger anyway, so here we are.
Unfortunately, heaps of alleged shit went down that led to their final split in 2011. The Sugababes' drama was pretty much daily tabloid fodder. In interviews since, each member has contradicted another's statements as to whether they've broken up forever. Regardless if anyone's prime for a comeback though, The Sugababes could make one hell of a pop record.
The Nelly Furtado Effect is simple. It's grinding in the club to 'Maneater', then shimmying, in the heat of the moment, over to that weird pole in the middle of the dance floor. It's performing a duet to 'Promiscuous Girl' with your friend who's not really your friend (they just happen to know Timbaland's verse). It's also staring melancholically out the bus window to 'All Good Things'.
If any of these activities are things that you do, you may officially rejoice in unison as Nelly Furtado, is in fact slated for a comeback for 2017. We had Furtado on our list of artists we'd love to see a comeback from, and then learned, because God is good, that the artist has an album, The Ride, in the works. Who knows what's in store. Perhaps an alternative record? Perhaps 15 certified club bangers? Timbaland may not be producing, but any kind of fresh Furtado is good Furtado.
In the world as we know it, you can't step into your local gay bar without hearing the song "We Be Burnin'' and we've got to say, that's a blessing. Jamaica's Sean Paul, whose second album Dutty Rock, and feature on Beyonce's "Baby Boy" achieved him stratospheric success in 2002.
Since then, though, we've had some great comebacks from Sean Paul. "Temperature" in 2005? Dream result. "She Doesn't Mind" from 2011? Don't mind if I do. Wasn't even mad at the unfortunately-spelt "Got to Luv U" featuring Alexis somebody. Unfortunately the most we've heard from Sean since then was his appearance on Sia's track "Cheap Thrills" in February and while it was excellent, frankly it's just not enough. Our hopes are high though, as he signed with Island Records in June of this year.
Come on back to us, Sean. You know you want to.
The Bedingfields (Natasha and Daniel–we'd like both, but we'll take either)
No parents have given us a better musical offer than the Bedingfield clan (other than perhaps Katherine and Joe Jackson and probably many others). You may recognise Natasha Beddingfield from the The Hill's theme song "Unwritten," which resurfaced recently in the form of an extremely talented ginger kid parked at the traffic lights. "Unwritten" wasn't the only unquestionable banger to come out of Natasha. "These Words"—which had your sunbathing older sister singing "IloveyouIloveyouIloveyouIloveyou" along with the her portable boombox—was pretty flawless pop.
The same woman made us pretend to breakup with our imaginary boyfriends in "I Bruise Easily." And remember the biggest soundtrack-to-movie-montage song of all time "Pocketful of Sunshine?" No real idea as to where she is now, but apparently she collabed on a song called "Unicorn" in March. Natasha, please give us a great record and live out your full, Craig David-esque potential.
Daniel, on the other hand, well his blurry Wikipedia picture pretty much says it all. "Gotta Get Thru This" (there seems to be a pattern emerging with the word 'thru') was good, "If You're Not the One" was better. The most we've seen of Daniel was a stint hosting New Zealand's X Factor, which is nothing to be proud of. Dan… where are you?
Remember Goodshirt? That really good Kiwi band with that great song "Sophie" where the chick gets all her stuff stolen while she listens to Goodshirt? It was really great! The Goodshirt trail pretty much goes dead after 2012, but "Sophie" is still a classic. Where are Goodshirt now? We may never know. What we do know is that they should come on back to us.
Yeah, yeah. Chris Brown never left, we know. He's very successful, yes. We're also aware he's made some really bad decisions and is hated by a hell of a lot of people.
Though his past leaves a lot to be desired, Chris Brown isn't going anywhere. He's also a very talented performer. Kid's released seven studio albums over the past 11 years, and despite everything, he's managed to score hit after hit. "Run It!"? Yes. "Kiss Kiss?" Yes. "Forever?" Yes. "Loyal?" Yes. "Five Hours?" Still YES. Not to mention the many, many features like Omarion's "Post to Be," 50 Cent's "No Romeo No Juliet," Pia Mia's "Do it Again," Kid Ink's "Show Me" and so many more. What he's missing is a redemption story. We need the good-boy-turned-bad-turned-good-again thing.
In short, we need Chris to go away, lay low for a while and return to us. We need him to pare back on the Instagram diatribes. We'd also like him to stop singing about how he's going to wake us up just to "fuck [us] back to sleep. But we'll leave that up to him. We need Chris to make an album full of bangers, while maintaining a bit of humility. Basically we need Chris to do a Justin. You can do it, pal.
The Original Blink 182
A pre-Matt Skiba Blink 182 was a great Blink 182. It was the golden era of pop-punk, with banging tunes and the visuals to match. Tom DeLonge reformed Blink 182 after drummer Travis Barker's plane crash (how 00s was that?!) and we refuse to believe that won't happen again. REFUSE.
Although chances of this happening are looking pretty slim, especially considering Tom DeLonge is full-time committed to searching for aliens (he even emailed the Clinton campaign about it). So alas, while we've been pining for Tom to come on back so Blink 182 can make a real comeback, Tom's out in a field somewhere with a tinfoil hat looking for UFOs. All we can really do is to go on and rack up the views on this bad boy and pray Skiba learns to pronounce "I miss you" properly in the meantime.
Like Nelly Furtado, Shakira's currently working on her next studio album. While she's always been a firm fixture in the Latin American charts, since "Hips Don't Lie" (apparently one of the best selling singles of the 21st century????) it feels like the rest of the world just hasn't seen the Shakira we know and love. Sure there was 'She Wolf', plus a couple of duets with Beyonce and Rihanna, but we know Shakira is capable of a whole lot more and the time is now. Shakira's comeback is imminent.
Avril, Avril, Avril. Here's an example of an artist destined for great things, but the more she tried to move with the times, still stays firmly stuck in 2002. Nevertheless she was pretty damn hot for a second there, making bold moves like swapping out the 'ate' in skater to an '8' in 'Sk8r Boi'. She skated, she didn't really care about anything. In a the whole sequin-wearing midriff-baring era of the early 2000s she emerged as the anti-pop star. Though she did pretty well with that yelly track "Girlfriend" in 2007 (the one where she raps/chants in the middle) no number t-shirts with ties screen-printed on top was going to return Avril to her former "I'm With You"/"Complicated" glory. These were very, very good songs.
Plus she's only 32. She recently split up with Chad Kroeger. And she's reportedly recovering from Lyme disease. Great things are destined to happen.
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