To be sure, it has been a slow year for new releases. There has been no dominant album to rule the charts, with a menagerie of No. 1 debuts from varied artists that go on to sell less and less each week.
Looking ahead the picture gets a lot better, especially in May when both Tool and the Red Hot Chili Peppers return from long breaks with new works. In the case of the Peppers, it is the 28-track double album Stadium Arcadium, a risky gambit in the era of singles and $.99 downloads.
Also that month, the genre- and mind- bending Gnarls Barkley drops a full album, St. Elsewhere, to follow the buzz track "Crazy."
If you are looking for something to buy now, check out the UK's Rock Kills Kid Are You Nervous?, Junkie XL's Today, Royksopp's live Night Out, Morrissey's Ringleader of the Tormentors and Italian hardcore outfit Lacuna Coil's Karmacode.
Junkie XL - Today (Apr. 18)
Aphex Twin - Chosen Lords (Apr. 18)
Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea (Apr. 18)
The Secret Machines - Ten Silver Drops (Apr. 25)
Gnarls Barkley - St. Elsewhere (May 2)
Tool - 10,000 Days (May 2)
Charlatans - Simpatico (May 2)
Ministry - Rio Grande Blood (May 2)
Mobb Deep - Blood Money (May 2)
Red Hot Chili Peppers - Stadium Arcadium (May 9)
Snow Patrol - Eyes Open (May 9)
Angels and Airwaves - We Don't Need To Whisper (May 23)
Primal Scream - Riot City Blues
Ice Cube - Laugh Now, Cry Later
The Futureheads - News and Tributes
Kelis - Kelis Was Here
Keane - Under the Iron Sea
Dashboard Confessional - title TBA
The Dogg Pound - Cali iz Active
Albums by Outkast and Pharrell Williams have been postponed out of projected spring street dates, with Amazon still reporting Pharrell's debut release as January 2010! Clearly a mistake but perhaps by not much.