I'm going from vacation last week to work travel this week. That doesn't leave me much time to catch up, so this won't be as pretty as it usually is.
Lady Gaga - Born This Way (May 23). Lady Gaga releases her second full-length album (third if you count Fame Monster as an album, which I think is reasonable). It's easily the most anticipated release of the year. The title track was an instant hit earlier this year, spending 6 weeks at #1 on the Hot 100, while the second single, "Judas," debuted in the top 10. Sure she's being dogged by detractors who don't like the cover and claim she's ripping off Madonna or offending the church--but that's the kind of controversy that makes big pop stars stand apart from the pack, along with top-notch production and hooks, which I expect she'll deliver in droves.
Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues (May 2). The folksy Seattle band, whose lushly layered 2008 eponymous debut was a big hit with critics, tee up their second album. The band has said this second album would be more psychedelic and less pop-based. The last time I heard a band say that was MGMT with their second album, which I didn't enjoy as much as their first, but I'm still hoping this will be good, having enjoyed their first album, as well as works by other similar artists like Bon Iver.
Jennifer Lopez - Love? (May 2). After being pushed back from April (and originally a year ago), this will finally, finally, finally see a release. If you're hoping it will include the two singles she released a year ago, don't hold your breath. Despite having been #1 dance hits, "Fresh Out the Oven" and "Louboutins" failed to connect with the mainstream, so they have been discarded. It does include Lopez's biggest hit in about 8 years, the international smash "On the Floor" with Pitbull, as well as her new single with Lil Wayne, "I'm Into You." Sporting production from big names like Tricky Stewart, RedOne and Stargate, Lopez is gunning for a hit with this one, which, ironically, she doesn't need as much these days, considering her burgeoning TV career on American Idol.
Stevie Nicks - In Your Dreams (May 3). Fleetwood Mac singer releases her seventh album.
The Cars - Move Like This (May 10). The notable '80s band returns with their seventh album.
Friendly Fires - Pala (May 16). British rock band releases their second album, the follow-up to their eponymous debut that offered up great songs like "Paris."
Moby - Destroyed (May 16). The bald wizard of techno returns with his tenth album, recorded late at night in hotels while on tour.
Mona - Mona (May 16). Buzz-generating American alternative band releases its first album.
The Pierces - You and I (May 23). New York sisters Catherine and Allison Pierce have been putting out albums since 2000, but make a ploy for mainstream success with this set, produced by Coldplay bassist Guy Berryman.
Matthew Morrison - Matthew Morrison (May 29). Glee star releases his debut.
Death Cab for Cutie - Codes and Keys (May 31). Seven appears to be the lucky number this month, as the alternative band releases their seventh album.