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Riffs: Call it a comeback: Artists we miss. And others we'd like to miss, if only they would leave.

taylor swiftTaylor Swift's not going anywhere. But should she? (Toni L. Sandys/TWP)

By Allison Stewart

The first week sales figures for his upcoming album will tell the tale, but Kanye West's Swift-ian diss at last year's VMAs seems to be largely forgotten. West handled the fallout as well as could be expected: he had the good sense to go away for a while, to record a new disc and pretend to humble himself and make everyone forget why he annoyed them so much in the first place.

As Gawker.com recently pointed out, the extended hiatus is part of a time-honored musical tradition, one that these days, aware of their ever-shortening fame windows, fewer artists are taking advantage of.

Click Track has compiled a list of pop stars in desperate need of a fame sabbatical, and those who've been away long enough. Of course, there's always a chance a comeback will go awry and remind us of why we were tired of someone in the first place (see: Rourke, Mickey), but it's a chance we're willing to take.

HOW CAN WE MISS YOU IF YOU WON'T GO AWAY?

1. Taylor Swift
We love you, Taylor. And your new song sounds kind of great, if overly familiar. And we know it's been two years between albums, which is usually a decent enough layover. But between the award show appearances (how many awards shows does country music even have, anyway?) and the magazine covers and the residual effects of KanyeGate, it's like you never went away. And for an artist as ubiquitous as you, that's not good.

2. Katy Perry
We know. She just got here. And "California Gurls" is the undisputed Song Of The Summer. Her new album isn't even out yet but already, we're pretty much done. Is it her endlessly milked engagement to fellow ubiquitous celeb Russell Brand? Is it the fact that, SOTS aside, her level of celebrity seems greater than her actual success might indicate is necessary? Is it her cold, dead eyes? Yes!

3. Justin Timberlake
He's everywhere. Among the things he's recently been moderately good at:
Commercials. So many, many commercials. Doing features where features should not logically exist. Trying to make adorable protégé Esmee Denters happen. Playing the same callow twentysomething in movie after movie.
Restaurateuring.

(After the jump, the should-be comeback kids.)

COME BACK! WE'RE SORRY ABOUT ALL THOSE THINGS WE SAID


If only the sign was true...

1. R.E.M.
After spending the better part of the '00s being terrible, R.E.M has cleared the decks for a comeback. They've dissed the albums everyone knew were bad anyway, and have reportedly gone "old school" on their next one.

2. OutKast
It's been since four years since OutKast's last release (the "Idlewild" soundtrack, which may not even count), seven since they last issued a proper. After countless left-turns and solo projects that probably took longer than they planned, they need to make a comeback album before people forget about them. Because that thing people always say, about how everyone will forgive a long absence as long as it results in a great album? Not true.

3. Justin Timberlake
Remember when he used to make albums, and they were pretty good? He should do that again some time.

By Allison Stewart  |  August 5, 2010; 2:45 PM ET
Categories:  Riffs  | Tags: Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, OutKast, REM, Taylor Swift  
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Next: Clicky shuffle: Random songs for Friday morning

Comments

Definitely agree about Outkast, and I think there's a decent chance they could get back together and maybe even make some good stuff. A year or two ago Lil Wayne would have firmly gone in the category of please go away--these days I think Drake is about to take over that title.

Posted by: agl132 | August 5, 2010 3:04 PM | Report abuse

REM did release an album and do a great tour two years ago, so they haven't been gone that long. Next year, probably Merriweather again.

Cage the Elephant needs to go away for a bit. Too much play.

Aerosmith should come back...when they have a new album. Even if it's only an ok album, new Aerosmith is new Aerosmith.

Posted by: EricS2 | August 5, 2010 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Aerosmith was definitely on my long list. And you're right about REM-but it's not that it's been a long time since they've been around, just a long time since they've been GOOD, was how I looked at it.

Posted by: Allison Stewart | August 5, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Lady Gaga seriously needs a break - to stay relevant and to avoid being hospitalized for exhaustion or a nervous breakdown. I'm one of the first to run to the dance floor if "Bad Romance" comes on, but when every album you release is just the same as the first one with one or two different songs, it might be time to go away for a bit until you actually have something new.

Posted by: Aloe9678 | August 6, 2010 3:26 AM | Report abuse

90% of the bands one hears on DC101 should go away. Actually, most of them already have, a loooooong time ago.

If anybody can recommend a good source of new music, please post here. A third interesting category for this post could have been "bands that are already out there and should not go away but they will because most people have never had a chance to hear them and never will".

Posted by: MyPostID27 | August 6, 2010 8:55 AM | Report abuse

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