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42 Most Anticipated Upcoming Fall Albums

Eminem, Nicki Minaj, Gerard Way, Foo Fighters and more are dropping huge records just in time for your end-of-year listening pleasure

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Summer may be drawing to a close, but music fans from every genre have so much to look forward to with an insane amount of megawatt releases heading their way this fall. From hip hop queens to punk rock screams, classic rock icons to K-pop dreamboats, we've got you covered with this list of the 42 (!!!) albums we're most looking forward to listening to as the leaves change and autumn rolls around.

Plus don't forget to check out our list of the fall's most anticipated tours!

By Jeff Benjamin, Hilary Hughes, Thomas Nassiff, Maria Sherman, Mark Sundstrom and Samantha Vincenty

1 / 42

Maroon 5, 'V'

Who: Maroon 5 (or What Adam Levine Does When He's Not On The Voice)

What: V, the aptly titled fifth LP from the LA rockers

When: September 2

Why We're Excited: After the explosive success of 2012's Overexposed—the record that shot "Payphone" to the top of the charts—it'll be interesting to see where Maroon 5 will go from here. Will they amp up the guitars? Will they continue to move in a poppier direction? Given that Gwen Stefani and Sia are involved already (on "My Heart Is Open") it's safe to assume the latter, but we can't wait to see how V turns out. — H. Hughes

2 / 42

Young Jeezy, 'Seen It All'

Who: Young Jeezy, head of Southern hip hop group United Streets Dopeboyz of America (USDA)

What: The rapper’s seventh studio album, Seen It All: The Autobiography

When: September 2

Why We're Excited: Jeezy has been teasing us with a series of mix tapes as of late (his twelfth hit last year!) and it’s time for something more. In September he revealed a new album was underway and that it would feature a series of A-list names like Ludacris, Future and Usher. Seen It All: The Autobiography arrives next month and is something of a return to the spotlight for Young Jeezy, who told Complex, “A lot of y’all know when I came in the game, I pretty much came in the game with my hands behind my back. 'Cause a lot of the sh-t I’d like to talk about or could’ve talked about probably would have got me in a lot of trouble. This is probably my first album where I can explain and let n-ggas know where I stand. In layman’s terms, the statute of limitations is over with." Sounds promising! — M. Sherman

3 / 42

Nick & Knight, 'Nick & Knight'

Who: Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and New Kid on the Block Jordan Knight

What: The boy band members' first duo album Nick & Knight 

When: August 2

Why We're Excited: As proven by the successful NKOTBSB venture, boy band fever is still as high as ever … even when the lineup is in their 30s and 40s. Nick and Jordan, popular members of their respective groups, have teamed up for a collaborative album they've deemed "sexy." Judging by the first single "One More Time," the album is going to be, yes, sexy... and also extremely catchy. — J. Benjamin

4 / 42

Interpol, 'El Pintor'

Who: New York indie rock gods Interpol

What: El Pintor, the band’s first album since the departure of bassist Carlos Denger

When: September 9

Why We're Excited: El Pintor (Spanish for the Painter) is more clever of a title than you’d imagine, in that it’s an anagram of Interpol. See what they did there? It’s the rock band’s fifth studio album and we’re sure it’ll be as consistently awesome as all their previous releases. It was mixed by the famed Alan Moulder, known for his work with My Bloody Valentine and Arctic Monkeys. Things are gonna get British! — M. Sherman

5 / 42

BANKS, 'Goddess'

Who: Rising alt-R&B artist BANKS

What: The Los Angeles singer's debut LP Goddess 

When: September 9 

Why We're Excited: For the past year, BANKS has been slowly revealing pieces of her first album that's shaping up to be a gorgeous, lo-fi affair of alternative R&B. From the spooky "Brain" to the warbly, woozy title track, this release from BANKS is a cool, refreshing breeze on the rhythm and blues landscape. — J. Benjamin

6 / 42

Ryan Adams, 'Ryan Adams'

Who: "Sweet Carolina" crooner Ryan Adams

What: Ryan Adams, his first record since 2011's Ashes & Fire

When: September 9

Why We're Excited: Adams began touring behind his self-titled record long before its release date, and the songs of Ryan Adams are beautiful and brutal in their lyrical complexity and arrangements. "My Wrecking Ball" is just as devastating as it is lovely to behold, and "Gimme Something Good" is as grabbing of a listen as the must-hear tracks from his Heartbreaker days. — H. Hughes

7 / 42

Jhene Aiko, 'Souled Out'

Who: R&B's rising princess Jhene Aiko

What: Her debut full-length Souled Out 

When: September 9 

Why We're Excited: After finding success with 2013 EP Sail Out, the 26-year-old stunner now has a full-length record to fully showcase her ethereal take on R&B. Despite snagging past collabos with Drake and Lil Wayne, Aiko keeps the set focused on her by only enlisting Common, rising hip hop collective Cocaine 80s and her five-year-old daughter (cute song alert!) Namiko. — J. Benjamin

8 / 42

Karen O, 'Crush Songs'

Who: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs' fierce frontwoman, Karen O

What: Crush Songs, her solo debut LP!

When: September 9

Why We're Excited: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs are fantastic, but Karen O's proven to shine as a performer under a number of different spotlights. She's worked with everyone from Ol' Dirty Bastard to Swans to Santigold, proving that she can step into and out of any genre with ease. Most recently, she collaborated with Spike Jonze and scored an Oscar nomination for "The Moon Song," her contribution to the Her soundtrack. Crush Songs could be her most personal effort yet, as the record was directly inspired by the "ever continuing love crusade" she experienced in her late twenties. — H. Hughes

9 / 42

Michelle Williams, 'Journey To Freedom'

Who: Former Destiny's Child member Michelle Williams

What: The singer's third gospel album (and overall fourth solo record), Journey to Freedom

When: September 9 

Why We're Excited: Curiously enough, Michelle's two gospel albums (2002's Heart to Yours and 2004's Do You Know) snagged better sales than her excellent dance-pop LP Unexpected from 2008. Her fourth solo venture looks to be a combo of the two sounds, best heard in the dancey praise track "Say Yes" featuring Beyonce and Kelly Rowland. — J. Benjamin

10 / 42

Chris Brown, 'X'

Who: Recently-released-from-jail singer Chris Brown

What: The R&B-pop star's long-delayed sixth album 

When: September 16

Why We're Excited: With almost a year-and-a-half of lead-in, Breezy showcased different sonic sides of himself from throwback R&B ("Fine China") to EDM that's both hard-hitting and heartbreaking (the title track). Look out for a slew of all-star features including Usher, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar and more. — J. Benjamin

11 / 42

Hostage Calm, 'Die On Stage'

Who: Connecticut's most outspoken punk quintet, Hostage Calm

What: Their fourth LP, Die On Stage 

When: September 16

Why We're Excited: In a time when many punk bands decline to offer any sort of political or societal stances, and when lyricism is more personal and introspective than ever, Hostage Calm is a group that proudly takes the microphone by the horns and turns it to face the rest of the world. Their terrific 2012 LP Please Remain Calm provided societal commentary on the recession of the late 2000s, and we can't wait to see what they offer with Die On Stage. The album name alone stands as a statement with its stark imagery, and if the band continues to successfully march forth in its path of power-pop with a punk mindset, they'll have another heavyweight record on their hands. — T. Nassiff

12 / 42

The Game, 'Year of the Wolf'

Who: Rapper (and Ed Sheeran collaborator!) The Game

What: Year of the Wolf, Game's sixth studio album

When: September 16

Why We're Excited: Originally titled Blood Money La Familia, Year of the Wolf is one The Game promises will be “another #1 album.” Hard to compete with that confidence! The rapper has shared two singles from the record, “Bigger Than Me,” which heavily samples indie rock band Polica, and “Or Nah,” which samples Too Short’s 1989 single “Don’t Fight the Feeling.” We like what we’ve heard, and we can’t wait for more! — M. Sherman

13 / 42

Girls' Generation - TTS, 'Holler'

Who: Girls' Generation – TTS, a splinter group of Girls' Generation

What: The trio's sophomore record Holler

When: September 16

Why We're Excited: For almost two years, Girls' Generation - TTS held the Billboard record for highest-charting K-pop album with their 2012 EP Twinkle. TaeyeonTiffany and Seohyun (aka "TTS") announced they're eyeing their return for September and we're expecting another bold, belt-heavy jam a la their debut single "Twinkle." — J. Benjamin

14 / 42

SBTRKT, 'Wonder Where We Land'

Who: Perpetually masked electronic producer SBTRKT

What: Wonder Where We Land  

When: September 23  

Why We're Excited: Jessie Ware and Sampha were standouts on SBTRKT’s self-titled 2011 debut, so we’re happy to see them on a tracklist that also features A$AP Ferg and Chairlift’s Caroline Polachek. Wonder Where We Land’s already out of the gate swinging with its bouncy first single, “New Dorp New York” with Vampire Weekend’s Ezra Koenig. — S. Vincenty

15 / 42

Pentatonix, 'PTX, Vol. III'

Who: The world's most popular a cappella group Pentatonix

What: The quintet's new EP PTX, Vol. III EP 

When: September 23

Why We're Excited: The group's PTX, Vol. II EP earned Pentatonix their first Top 10 on the Billboard 200 chart, and the band later landed an actual hit on the charts ("Little Drummer Boy" at No. 13 on the Hot 100) thanks to their rabid following. Their upcoming release boasts a wide-ranging set that includes covers like Ariana Grande's "Problem" and "Papaoutai" by Belgium pop star Stromae. — J. Benjamin

16 / 42

Jennifer Hudson, 'JHUD'

Who: R&B powerhouse Jennifer Hudson

What: Her third album, JHUD

When: September 23

Why We’re Excited: First off, this is Hudson’s first album in over three years. In the time that's passed since 2011’s I Remember Me, it felt like Hudson was known more as a Weight Watchers spokesperson (and for her subsequent weight loss) than music. Thankfully, that’s changed with the buildup for JHUD. The album’s lead single, the uptempo, Pharrell-produced, T.I.-assisted “I Can’t Describe (The Way I Feel)” definitely got our attention, letting us know J.Hud was NOT done with music. Her Timbaland-produced follow up, “Walk It Out,” was an instant favorite and a sure sign that this could be Hudson’s most radio-friendly album to date. Cementing our excitement, Hudson recently released R. Kelly duet “It’s Your World,” a retro R&B jam we are OBSESSED with! We’re already predicting JHUD will be our favorite Jennifer Hudson record when it drops next month. — M. Sundstrom

17 / 42

Hozier, 'Hozier'

Who: Irish folk-crooner Hozier

What: His major label self-titled debut

When: September 23

Why We're Excited: One listen through "Take Me To Church" and we're new members of the Hozier congregation. His voice is spectacular, his lyrics fearless and thought-provoking and his songwriting a fresh approach that forces folk and R&B to play nice with each other in the most fluid of ways. If the world isn’t clamoring to call this dude the next Bon Iver by the time Thanksgiving rolls around, we'll be shocked. — H. Hughes

18 / 42

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, 'Cheek To Cheek'

Who: Pop's latest odd couple, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

What: The duo's first joint album Cheek to Cheek 

When: September 23 

Why We're Excited: Gaga slayed us with her forward-thinking ARTPOP album, and less than a year later, she's going back to basics with an album full of standards with jazz legend Tony Bennett. It's been super-fun to hear a new side of Gaga's voice, and we're hoping for even more jazzy goodness (maybe some scatting?) on the full record. — J. Benjamin

19 / 42

Yelle, 'Completement Fou'

Kemosabe Records

Who: French electropop sensation Yelle  

What: Completement Fou, the trio’s third studio album

When: September 30

Why We're Excited: Hyper-charismatic frontwoman Yelle (born Julie Budet) and her bandmates have linked up with superproducer Dr. Luke. “Bouquet Final” suggests a slick, slightly more complex turn in their sound. With EDM and electropop acts like Disclosure and Chromeo cracking the Billboard charts, Yelle’s French flavor is poised to win the hearts and dancing feet of a mainstream audience. Listen to the title track below. — S. Vincenty

20 / 42

Jimmy Eat World, 'Futures' (Remastered)

Who: Arizona's emo-punk masterminds, Jimmy Eat World 

What: A remastered vinyl reissue of their 2004 classic, Futures 

When: September 30

Why We're Excited: Jimmy Eat World is unique in the sense that they have three–yes, three–albums that have arguably defined their career. You have the pre-fame gem in 1999's Clarity, the breakout album (with great lasting value) in 2001's Bleed American and the renowned fan favorite (and best-charting) opus with 2004's classic Futures. The latter-most of those LPs will get the remastered reissue treatment on vinyl this fall. While we're not entirely sold on the fact that Futures needs to be remastered, we won't turn down the opportunity to dissect album closer "23" in all its brilliance on 180-gram wax. Plus, the band will put their (gas) money where their mouth is by taking Futures on the road, performing the album in its entirety at those dates. — T. Nassiff

21 / 42

Steve Aoki, 'Neon Future I'

Who: EDM maestro Steve Aoki

What: The first installment of the DJ's two-part Neon Future releaseNeon Future I  

When: September 30 

Why We're Excited: The 36-year-old has crossed genres and turned heads with his innovative collaborations (he's teaming up with everyone from Weezer's Rivers Cuomo to Girls' Generation). His new record boasts tracks from the likes of Fall Out Boy, will.i.am, Machine Gun Kelly and more, and it's likely to be one of the most innovative dance records of the year. — J. Benjamin

22 / 42

Gerard Way, 'Hesitant Alien'

Who: My Chemical Romance frontman Gerard Way

What: Hesitant Alien, Way’s first solo album

When: September 30

Why We're Excited: My Chemical Romance broke our hearts last year when they called it quits, but frontman Gerard Way had something up his sleeve the entire time. Way made his solo debut at this year's Reading and Leeds Festival, revealing his true musical love to the world: Britpop. While Hesitant Alien will prove to be a far cry from MCR’s vampiric image, a world with Gerard making music is a pretty great one. Check out “No Shows," especially. — M. Sherman

23 / 42

Prince

Warner Brothers

Who: Pop/Rock/R&B icon and living legend Prince

What: ART OFFICIAL AGE, one of two new Prince albums on the way

When: September 30

Why We're Excited: Prince has been teasing a new album PLECTRUMELECTRUM with all-female rock trio 3RDEYEGIRL since January, but we were dumfounded when he announced a Prince solo album on top of that, due the same day. The best part? Along with the announcement came a new Prince track “Clouds” (below), which is everything we love about funky, classic Prince. The album contains previously released jam “BREAKFAST CAN WAIT” and ballad “BREAKDOWN.” We’re sad not to see last year’s aptly titled “GROOVY POTENTIAL” on the tracklist, but we dare not argue with The Purple One. While we’re sure the Prince & 3RDEYEGIRL project will be great, nothing gets us more excited than a new Prince (just Prince) album. — M. Sundstrom

24 / 42

Stevie Nicks, '24 Karat Gold - Songs From The Vault'

Who: An ethereal rock queen who needs no introduction beyond that, Stevie Nicks! (Oh, and she was in Fleetwood Mac. You may have heard of 'em.)

What: 24 Karat Gold — Songs from the Vault, her first solo effort since 2011's In Your Dreams

When: October 7

Why We're Excited: Stevie's been sharing snippets from 24 Karat Gold on her (brand new!) Instagram, and the record features never before heard material and songs written during her glory days with Fleetwood Mac. The artwork that goes along with the release includes some Polaroids snapped by Stevie at various points throughout her illustrious career. (Backstage moments through Stevie's fringe-framed eyes? Yes please!) — H. Hughes

25 / 42

Keyshia Cole, 'Point Of No Return'

Who: R&B songstress Keyshia Cole

What: Her sixth album, Point Of No Return 

When: October 7

Why We’re Excited: Keyshia Cole almost always delivers solid albums and we’ve been waiting for Point Of No Return since 2012’s Woman To Woman. Kicking the project off with two singles, the fun, tongue-in-cheek “Rick James,” featuring Juicy J, and the more "classic Keyshia" R&B ballad “Next Time (Won’t Give My Heart Away),” the new stuff immediately offered something for everyone. Most recently, Keyshia dropped the DJ Mustard-produced “She,” a modern, sexy song that feels like the female answer to Jeremih’s ‘09 hit “Birthday Sex.” Keyshia’s always been a singer’s singer, belting out heartfelt, unapologetically R&B gems, and we know we’ll be singing every word once again (at the top of our lungs) when Point Of No Return drops in October. — M. Sundstrom

26 / 42

New Found Glory, 'Resurrection'

Who: Pop-punk forefathers New Found Glory

What: The Florida act's remarkable eighth album, Resurrection 

When: October 7

Why We're Excited: Was New Found Glory supposed to last 17 years as a band? Probably not, but they've willed themselves into a long-lasting career. They used the public adoration of pop-punk acts like Green Day and blink-182 as a launching pad for their own career in the early 2000s, riding MTV airwaves to stardom by the middle of the decade. Ultimately, the South Floridians can be credited for kick-starting a hyper-aggressive, hardcore-tinged brand of pop-punk that has spread around the world. In turn, New Found Glory are considered founding members of the genre, and their eighth full-length album, Resurrection, promises to put them back on the map after the relative disappointment of 2011's Radiosurgery. The new LP will be the group's first as a quartet–following the booting of primary lyricist Steve Klein–and first on Hopeless Records. NFG has something to prove here.  — T. Nassiff

27 / 42

Flying Lotus, 'You're Dead!'

Who: Producer-musician-rapper Steven Ellison, aka  Flying Lotus 

What: You’re Dead!, the follow-up to the acclaimed Until the Quiet Comes 

When: October 7 

Why We're Excited: FlyLo’s fifth LP was supposed to be a jazz record, but the electronic innovator’s seemingly boundless imagination can’t be limited to one genre. Guests include Kendrick LamarSnoop Dogg and jazz legend Herbie Hancock. Plus the dizzying teaser video serves up the barely controlled audiovisual chaos that fans have come to expect from Steven Ellison’s live shows. — S. Vincenty

28 / 42

Weezer, 'Everything Will Be Alright In The End'

Who: Pop-punk giants Weezer

What: The band’s tenth studio album, Everything Will Be Alright In the End

When: October 7

Why We're Excited: New Weezer?! Who wouldn't be excited?! The too-cool-for-school power pop-punk group are at it again with their first album since 2010’s Hurley. Yup, a Lost reference… 2010 was weird. Everything Will Be Alright In the End promises to recall the band’s earliest days while reflecting their growth. Sounds kind of like a yearbook, right? — M. Sherman

29 / 42

Mary Lambert, 'Heart On My Sleeve'

Who: Mary Lambert, siren and "Same Love" singer (and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis contributor!)

What: Her solo debut Heart On My Sleeve

When: October 14

Why We're Excited: You know her from “Same Love,” but Mary Lambert is so much more than the woman behind Macklemore’s big hit. Earlier this year she shared “Secrets,” a single that’s just as inspiring as the song she’s best known for. It celebrates individualism and the power of accepting one’s vulnerability. How cool is that? If the rest of the record is half as catchy as “Secrets,” Lambert is sitting pretty from the start. — M. Sherman

30 / 42

Fences, 'Lesser Oceans'

Who: Seattle up-and-comers Fences

What: Their star-studded debut album Lesser Oceans

When: October 14

Why We're Excited: The Seattle rock band might exist in obscurity now, but not for long. Fences grabbed our attention when they shared “Arrows,” a straightforward guitar pop track featuring fellow Washingtonians Macklemore & Ryan Lewis. You haven’t heard the “Thrift Shop” stars like this before, but we’re willing to bet it will convert you! — M. Sherman

31 / 42

Jessie Ware, 'Tough Love'

Who: Ethereal Englishwoman Jessie Ware

What: The soulful songbird's sophomore album Tough Love 

When: October 24

Why We're Excited: Ware's Devotion only hit stateside last spring, but the 29-year-old stunner already has Album No. 2 ready to go. While we loved her debut, songs like the '80s-inspired "Tough Love" and "Say You Love Me," co-penned by Ed Sheeran, indicate that this new record might be even better. — J. Benjamin

32 / 42

Kiesza, 'Sound Of A Woman'

Who: Breakout house/pop singer Kiesza

What: Her highly-anticipated debut album, Sound Of A Woman

When: October 21

Why We’re Excited: The second we heard Kiesza’s soulful voice on her out-of-nowhere hit “Hideaway,” we were intrigued to know (and hear) more. Who? What? HOW?! The video for the infectious electronic/house jam has racked up an impressive 91+ million views on YouTube since February, and hit No. 1 on the UK singles chart in April. Kiesza’s interpretation of Haddaway’s ‘90s dance staple “What Is Love” further piqued our interest. And now her latest single “Giant In My Heart” has us beyond ready for a full-length release. Her debut should drop before the end of the year--hopefully sooner rather than later, so we can dance our way through the fall! — M. Sundstrom

33 / 42

Taylor Swift, '1989'

Who: America’s sweetheart Taylor Swift

What: 1989, the hugely anticipated follow-up to Red

When: October 27

Why We're Excited: IT’S NEW TAYLOR. EEEEEEE. The pop star revealed in a not-so-cryptic livestream earlier this month that her new album would be titled 1989, after the year of her birth, and that she’s leaving country music behind her. That’s right, this is going to be straight up pop music. The first single is “Shake it Off,” which channels the horns and joy of Pharrell’s “Happy,” so yeah, the rest of the record is going to be amazing. — M. Sherman

34 / 42

Lil Wayne, 'Tha Carter V'

Who: Young Money CEO/Rapper Lil Wayne

What: The Carter V, Weezy’s rumored final album

When: TBD

Why We're Excited: We’ve been waiting for this one for a while now, huh? Earlier this year Drake revealed Weezy’s (possibly final) record would drop on May 5. That obviously didn’t happen, but later the rapper let it leak that the album would come a few days before Halloween. That date was eventually postponed, and Tha Carter V's release is still TBD. Other than the endless stream of rumors surrounding The Carter V, the list of supposed collaborations are enough to get excited about: Future, Kanye West, Nas, The Weeknd, Meek Mill, Rich Homie Quan, Young Thug, J. Cole, Bun B, Game and Birdman, just to name a few. While it’s unlikely that all of these musicians will make it to the record, we’re betting a handful of them will make an appearance. Check out our complete guide here! — M. Sherman

35 / 42

The Flaming Lips, 'With A Little Help From My Fwends'

Warner Bros.

Who: Silly psych amigos-in-rock (and Miley Cyrus BFFs) The Flaming Lips

What: With A Little Help From My Fwends, a star-studded reimagination of Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

When: October 28

Why We're Excited: The Flaming Lips not only set about covering one of the most beloved Beatles records out there, they did so and invited a slew of their famous friends to get in on it. Miley Cyrus has previously joined the Flaming Lips onstage to perform "Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds," and their take on the psychedelic classic will be met with other Beatles standards featuring Tegan and Sara, Phantogram, Dr. Dog, J. Mascis and more. — H. Hughes

36 / 42

Foo Fighters, 'Sonic Highways'

Who: Foo Fighters, American rock mainstays

What: Sonic Highways, the product of their most ambitious endeavor yet

When: November 10

Why We're Excited: When Foo Fighters set out to record their eighth studio album, they did more than just hit a single studio, churn out some huge arena-ready rock anthems with a big-name producer and wait for the mixes to come back. They went on a cross-country journey, hitting iconic studios in the most musical cities in the United States and working with local musicians of note in New Orleans, Nashville, New York, Austin, Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, D.C. Sonic Highways isn't just a record, it's an experience and a documentation of a band's exploration and interpretation of American music, and a mini series covering their journey will air in the weeks leading up to the record drop on HBO. In short, we're damn impressed, and we wouldn't expect anything less from Grohl and Co. — H. Hughes

37 / 42

Eminem, 'Shady XV'

Who: Eminem and the biggest names from the Shady Records roster

What: Shady XV, a retrospective highlighting the label's first 15 years

When: November 24

Why We're Excited: For the first time since the inception of his label, Shady Records, Eminem is diving back into the archives and compiling a greatest hits compilation that features cuts from his catalog and those of his colleagues. 50 Cent, Yelawolf and D-12 will be showcased on the two-disc set, the fifteenth Shady Records release in its fifteen years, and it'll also feature new material, including this stunning Sia collaboration, "Guts Over Fear." — H. Hughes

38 / 42

Usher, 'TBD'

Who: Modern R&B vet Usher

What: His eighth studio album. The title is still TBD, but rumored to be UR

When: TBD

Why We’re Excited: Let’s get this clear: Usher defies the laws of pop physics. We can probably count on one hand any other R&B/pop singers who’ve been around this long and are still making hits. Usher’s been able to experiment with new sounds and still maintain a recognizable brand and core fanbase. The freshness of this era’s lead single, “Good Kisser,” instantly excited us, and the funky Pharrell-produced follow up “She Came To Give It To You” has had us bopping since it dropped last month. (The feisty Nicki Minaj guest verse is just one highlight!) Little more is known about the project right now, but between the just-released “Believe Me” and the tease of The UR Experience world tour, we expect to find out more sooner than later. — M. Sundstrom

39 / 42

Nicki Minaj, 'The Pink Print'

Who: "Bang Bang" beauty/Azztastic "Anaconda" vixen Nicki Minaj

What: The rapper and singer's third full-length album, The Pink Print

When: December 15

Why We're Excited: Have you even heard “Pills n Potion,” or “Anaconda”? Nicki Minaj’s next record will have the music superstar shedding her pink wigs, opting for a more natural look… both on her album and off it. Minaj has been pretty vocal about the new album, calling it a “classic” while discussing feminism in public more and more. Sign us up! — M. Sherman

40 / 42

Charli XCX, 'Sucker'

Who: British star on the rise Charli XCX

What: The singer’s first Neon Gold release, Sucker

When: October 21 December 16

Why We're Excited: Charli XCX has been just about everywhere recently, climbing to the top of the charts alongside Iggy Azalea with the massively popular “Fancy.” Her single “Boom Clap” caught the eye of pop music fans everywhere, a track she would later go on to perform on the VMAs red carpet. It truly seems like everything is on the up-and-up for the young British singer/songwriter. If her latest single, “Break the Rules,” is any indication, Sucker is going to rule. — M. Sherman

41 / 42

U2, 'TBD'

Who: Band-of-the-century contenders U2

What: The Irish quartet's lucky thirteenth studio album.

When: Before the end of 2014

Why We're Excited: That a band as legendary as U2 is taking five years to work on a new album must mean something big is looming. This is the longest the group has ever worked on a single LP, and they've spent time with producers Danger Mouse, Will.i.am, David Guetta, RedOne, Paul Epworth and Ryan Tedder, so sonically, it appears just about anything is in play. We've been repeatedly promised a 2014 release by the band, and although there has been more than one delay to date, we're still holding out hope for a release date before the year's ends. We already know what "Invisible" sounds like–listen above for the standard, shiny, sleek, aching rock you've come to associate with U2–and we're simply awaiting more info for the follow-up to 2009's No Line On The Horizon. — T. Nassiff

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Hilary Duff, 'TBD'

Who: The original Disney Channel queen Hilary Duff

What: The 26-year-old's as-yet-untitled comeback album 

When: TBD 

Why We're Excited: It's been seven years since the Duffster dropped her dazzling, dance-pop LP Dignity. But based off new singles "Chasing the Sun" and "All About You," the singer's ditched glossy synths for folky guitar and light percussion to fantastic (and feel-good!) results. — J. Benjamin

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BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS - DECEMBER 01:  Singer Rihanna and Prince Harry speak on stage at the 'Man Aware' event held by the Barb

Dec. 1: Rih & The Prince in Barbados

In Barbados Rihanna and Prince Harry raise HIV/AIDS awareness in hopes to fight HIV and AIDS stigma. Getting tested in front of cameras, the singer and the prince show us the importance and ease of the process. "It's so easy to get tested & know your status!” Rih tweeted afterwards. Today also marks the 50th Anniversary of Independence in Barbados.

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