This was a better than average January, with critics fawning over the new Bruce Springsteen, a pretty good debut from White Lies, and the long-awaited (although a bit disappointing) return by Franz Ferdinand. Lily Allen has this months hottest release. Here's what's on tap for February:
The Fray - The Fray. Denver-based band that wooed the world a couple of years ago with "How to Save a Life" returns with their second album. "You Found Me" is currently climbing the top 40 and Hot AC radio charts.
50 Cent - Before I Self Destruct. A little over a year after his third album, Curtis (the one that went head-to-head with Kanye West's Graduation), Fiddy comes out with his fourth release. The rapper's hit power was waned a bit of late. Curtis had only one major hit, the Justin Timberlake collaboration "Ayo Technology," and this new album has yet to land a major hit single.
The View - Which Bitch? Scottish band The View, who scored a Mercury nomination with their 2007 debut Hats Off to the Buskers, return with album #2. I'm not hearing much buzz about this, surprisingly.
Lily Allen - It's Not Me, It's You. The buzz is deafening on this one. Certainly British pop singer Lily Allen's second album is the release of the month. This weekend, the album's first single "The Fear" looks set to top the UK's singles chart. The snippets I've heard are very promising.
Missy Elliott - Block Party. Finally this is supposed to be released, delayed almost a year now. No hit single in advance though, which isn't a good sign.
Morrissey - Years of Refusal. Morrissey returns with his 10th solo album.
Empire of the Sun - Walking on a Dream. Australian band Empire of the Sun serves up the sort of '80s-inspired psychedelia-laced pop melodies that propelled MGMT to stardom last year. They've already landed one important accolaide: making the BBC Sounds of 2009 top 10 at #4. I actually already have this album (I bought the Australian release), and it's pretty decent.
The Prodigy - Invaders Must Die. The Prodigy release their fifth album, the follow-up to 2004 release Always Outnumbered, Never Outgunned.
Erasure - Total Pop. In 1992, Erasure released Pop!, a collection of their hit singles to date. Now, 17 years later we get Total Pop, a two-disc set that features Pop! as its first disc and all their hit singles since 1992 as its second. Of course they haven't been as big during that time, but have a few notable hits like "Always," "In My Arms," and "Solsbury Hill."