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The Pop Fan's Most-Anticipated Albums of 2012?

Here’s a look at what might be taking space in your CD collection or filling up your MP3 player this year.

When the Christmas songs have faded away and everyone has already made their lists of the best albums of the year, a true music lover’s thoughts turn to all the new music that they’ll be hearing in the new year. With that in mind, let’s have a look at the upcoming albums that have eager fans talking.

1. Madonna (TBA) (March?)

Details on the pop princess’ upcoming album have been scarce, but it’s been rumored that she’ll perform its lead single, “Gimmie All Your Luvin’” during her Superbowl half-time performance. Despite dismal reviews and sales of her last album, 2008’s Hard Candy, the internet is all abuzz as to what she’ll offer up next.

Other female pop releases: Christina Aguilera (TBA), Pink (TBA), Lindsay Lohan Spirit in the Dark: Reborn (TBA) and Nelly Furtado T.S.I (Summer).


2. Justin Bieber Believe

After releasing a debut album, a concert film soundtrack, and a Christmas album, the reigning teen idol has screaming fans, a fawning news media, and jaded music critics examining his every move. His sophomore album will be released sometime this summer, and if his Times Square New Year’s Eve performance is any indication, expect a more mature sound.

Other teen releases: Willow Smith Willow: You Think You Know Me(April 3), Selena Gomez & The Scene (TBA), Miley Cyrus (TBA) and a possible Big Time Rush Big Time Movie soundtrack.


3. Nicki Minaj Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (February 14)

This follow-up to the new queen of rhymes debut hit will feature new tracks, three of which have already been leaked to the public. The big question is whether or not all those fans who bought the first album will go for this as well.

Other releases by women who rap: Lil’ Kim (TBA) and Missy Elliot (TBA).


4. Green Day (TBA)

The group has been debuting new tracks during recent concerts, including “Amy”, a tribute to Amy Winehouse. 2004‘s American Idiot turned them into comeback stars and made concept albums cool again, and its follow-up inspired a hit Broadway musical, leaving fans to wonder what’s next.

Other rock releases: Muse (TBA) (September?), Garbage (TBA), Soundgarden (TBA), and MGMT MGMT (TBA).


5. Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

After the unfortunate death of sax player Clarence Clemons, the Band reunites for a 17th album, which promises to land somewhere on Rolling Stone’s Best Albums of the Year list and get at least one Grammy nomination.

Other releases by rock legends: Fleetwood Mac (TBA), Black Sabbath (TBA), Aerosmith (TBA), The Beach Boys (TBA), Rush Clockwork Angels (TBA), and Leonard Cohen Old Ideas (January 31).


6. Lana Del Ray Born to Die (January 30)

Love her-or-hate her indie darling Lana Del Ray has gathered a lot of industry attention, but will the artist behind one of Entertainment Weekly’s picks for “Best Music Video of the Year” make an impact on the record charts?

Other indie releases: Sleigh Bells Reign of Terror (February 14), The Shins Port of Morrow (TBA), fun. Some Nights (TBA), and the Strokes (TBA).


7. Paul McCartney Kisses on the Bottom

Critics and fans adore his recent albums, citing them as a “return to form”, but what will they say about this upcoming release? The former Beatle and member of Wings covers the songs of his father’s era, '30s and '40s hits like “Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive” and “I’m Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter” (the lyrics of which inspired the album’s unusual title). Two original bonus cuts appear, including “My Valentine”, an ode to his new wife.


8. Adam Lambert Trespassing (March 20)

One of the most successful American Idols, Lambert’s debut mixed glittery power ballads with rock-pop dance floor anthems. Though he’s mostly been in the headlines for all the wrong reasons lately, this album could turn the male answer to Lady Gaga into a star as big as the Mama Monster herself.


9. Maroon 5 (TBA)

Given lead singer Adam Levine’s success as a judge on The Voice and his chart-topping duet with Christina Aguilera, “Moves Like Jagger”, rumors that the group are splitting up are inevitable. Will this be the swan song for one of the biggest bands of the new millennium?


Other releases by pop/rock giants: OneRepublic (TBA), Matchbox 20 (TBA), Paramore (TBA), and the Fray (TBA).

10. Jay- Z & Kanye West (TBA)

Watch The Throne was one of 2011’s most notable releases, but will this follow-up live up to the hype? In a year with other rumored solo releases from both Jay-Z and Kanye West, will fans simply grow tired of the two?

Other releases in hip-hop: 50 Cent (TBA), Ne-Yo The Cracks Of Mr. Perfect (TBA), Wu-Tang-Clan (TBA), and will.i.am #willpower (TBA).

(video from Watch The Throne)


11. Faith Hill Illusion (February 28)

The country queen has been silent lately. Since 2005‘s Fireflies, the genre has been invaded by a slew of new chartbusters, including Taylor Swift, Miranda Lambert, Lady Antebellum, and the Band Perry. Will this be her big comeback?

More country releases: Tim McGraw Emotional Traffic (February), Taylor Swift (TBA), and Dierks Bentley (TBA).


12. No Doubt (TBA)

After five successful albums and a greatest hits compilation, the band that introduced the word “ska” to a generation of alternative music fans reunites for their first album in over a decade. Also of interest is the return of lead singer Gwen Stefani, who became a solo smash in the late 00’s.

(No Doubt’s most-recent recorded performance, singing their last hit single.)


13. Ringo Starr Ringo 2012 (January 31)

His last album was a surprise hit, becoming one of his best-selling releases in a solo career of over forty years. Critics and fans are certainly curious to hear his next move.


Did I forget the album you’re most looking forward to this year? Comment below and tell the world!

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