Rihanna -- Unapologetic, Nov. 19

  • Rihanna's developed quite the constant CD release schedule, this being the fourth November in a row that she's released a new album. Last year's Talk That Talk spawned two top-five Billboard hits, and her first single off the new album, "Diamonds" has already made it to No. 4. The album title, Unapologetic, could refer to anything from the fact that Rihanna doesn't write any of her own songs to the fact that she's allowing Chris Brown to be on the album.

Ghostface Killah -- Twelve Reasons to Die, Nov. 20

  • Rap release dates almost always get changed, and there are rumors that Ghostface's new album may have been pushed back to avoid conflict with RZA's Man With The Iron Fists soundtrack. But if it comes out this year, Twelve Reasons to Die should be worth picking up, as Ghostface might be the most talented rapper of Wu Tang Clan -- and alongside the likes of Method Man, GZA and Raekwon, that's saying something. He also seems rejuvenated based on his awesome verse on Kanye's "New God Flow," even though nobody still has any idea what he's talking about.

Alicia Keys -- Girl On Fire, Nov. 26


  • Alicia Keys hasn't done much high-profile work since 2009, when she released her last album and was featured on Jay-Z's "Empire State of Mind." Since then, she's had a baby with Swizz Beatz (who's as annoying and less deserving of that as it gets) and she recorded Girl On Fire, which hopefully is a return to form for the exceptionally talented Keys.

Bruno Mars -- Unorthodox Jukebox, Dec. 10

  • You know that song on the radio that sounds like The Police and that you want to hate because it's a shameless ripoff of The Police but that you just can't because it's so annoyingly catchy like a Police song? That's probably "Locked Out Of Heaven," the lead single from Bruno Mars's sophomore effort Unorthodox Jukebox, which promises to be a mish-mash of rock, funk, neo-soul, reggae, hip-hop, doo-wop, New Wave and any other genre you can name. Pretty sure Tyler, the Creator will still hate it, though.

Big Boi -- Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors, Dec. 11

  • While Andre 3000 seems content dropping a few unimpressive guest spots a year, the other member of OutKast is actually putting out good music of his own. Big Boi's last album Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty is one of the best hip-hop albums to come out in the last few years, so it's fair to expect a lot from his next album, Vicious Lies and Dangerous Rumors. This album will feature, among others, A$AP Rocky, UGK and Big K.R.I.T. -- who needs Andre with that kind of lineup?

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