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Everything You Need to Know About 2012’s Next Big Pop Albums

Lady Gaga / Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage

The first half of 2012 began with a pop-heavy bang. From Madonna’s controversy-fueled MDNA, Nicki Minaj’s genre-agnostic Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded, Justin Bieber’s mob-inspiring Believe, Adam Lambert’s history-making chart-topper Trespassing, and a little thing called One Direction, it’s hard to believe there’s more room in Poplandia this year. But there are still five and a half more months to go, so here’s a rundown on all the other massive pop albums heading your way before the new year:

• Album Name: The Truth About Love
• Status: Due September 18
• Album No: 6
• Album Producer(s): Greg Kurstin (who was nominated for a Producer of the Year Grammy in 2009 for his work on Lily Allen’s It’s Not Me, It’s You), as well as longtime collaborators Max Martin and Shellback, Billy Mann, and Butch Walker
• Additional Info: First single hook-happy “Blow Me (One Last Kiss)” is out already and has earned Pink a Billboard record (she now has more Top 10 hits on the Hot 100 than everyone but Beyoncé and Rihanna). The album will also get a Target-only deluxe edition. Its special guests include Pink’s one-year-old daughter Willow (awww), who played bells and bass, and Lily Allen. Pink has promised motherhood hasn’t softened her, and that she explores a variety of moods on the album, telling MTV News, “There’s a lot of humor and sarcasm always in my lyrics. There’s a song called ‘How Come You’re Not Here,’ which is sort of like the delusional side of me, where I’m like, ‘I’m awesome, why are you not here with me?’ And then there’s ‘The Great Escape,’ about how I feel the entire world is trying to numb themselves down, whether it be painkillers or anti-depressants.”

Lady Gaga
• Album Name: TBA, in September
• Status: Played for Interscope label execs, which would imply at least a demo has been recorded, unless Gaga sat at a piano and literally played through the entire record
• Album No: 4, if you count the Fame Monster EP
• Album Producer(s): Longtime collaborator Fernando Garibay, and likely also RedOne (who has worked, at least in part, on all past Gaga releases)
• Additional Info: Gaga has already debuted the exceedingly tragic song “Princess Die,” which may or may not be included on the album. She also told her audience in Perth recently (via MTV) that the album will feature “a tremendous lack maturity or sense of responsibility” — the opposite of Born This Way, she explained. No word on whether the album will actually drop by the end of the year, but that was her plan at the top of 2012.

Mariah Carey
• Album Name: TBA
• Status: Something is supposedly happening this summer; whether that’s a release date or Summer 2012 is the name of the album remains unknown (hey, she did name one of her albums Merry Christmas II You; any title is believable at this point). First single “Triumphant (Get ‘Em)” featuring Rick Ross and Meek Mill is going to arrive in early August.
• Album No: 14 (that counts both Christmas albums)
• Album Producer(s): At least Jermaine Dupri and Brian-Michael Cox (both of whom are Carey’s longtime collaborators)
• Additional Info: Hopes that she might debut some new music at last weekend’s BET Awards were dashed, and instead, she simply gave a speech tribute to friend Whitney Houston. She also has been rumored to be “in serious talks” for one of the quickly vacating judge seats on American Idol.

• Album Name: TBA
• Status: No release date announced, but it was originally slated for this May
• Album No: 3, if you count her Cannibal EP, which dropped just 10 months after her debut, Animal, in 2010
• Album Producer(s): She’s been working closely with longtime collaborator Dr. Luke. Possible guests on the album include Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney, her partner-in-glitter-crime Wayne Coyne and Iggy Pop, she tells Rolling Stone
• Additional Info: Last month, Dr. Luke leaked a 40-second snippet of a song he worked on with her, called either “Super” or “Supernatural,” judging by the Soundcloud and lyrics. “The first record was all me living in L.A., trying to pay my rent, have a really good time, and look good on nothing,” she told V magazine earlier this year. “But ever since then I’ve seen how many people my music can reach, and I’ve realized that I have somewhat of a social responsibility to make sure everything I say is positive. The underlying theme of this next record is warrior, with the positive message being that everyone has a warrior inside.” Judging by her tweets of late, we also wouldn’t totally rule out the Humane Society ambassador pulling a “Glory” and including some meowing from her recently rescued kitten, the adorable yet dubiously named Mr. Peep$. She recently told RS, “I want it to be a mix of what works on the radio and what I listen to in my spare time,” she says. “I’m on a steady diet of T.?Rex and Iggy Pop.”

Christina Aguilera
• Album Name: TBA
• Status: Currently still in the works, but a “club banger” single is allegedly dropping at the beginning of August
• Album No: 7
• Album Producer(s): At least Max Martin, who has never worked with Aguilera before (previous credits include — besides Pink, as mentioned before — Britney Spears, Backstreet Boys, and ‘N Sync) but produced aforementioned forthcoming single
• Additional Info: The album was announced last spring on Live! With Regis and Kelly and has been recorded while Aguilera has been judging (and orchestrating weird Nirvana cover battles) on The Voice. With the eventful, material-rife two years she’s had since her last record, we certainly hope it’ll be better than 2010’s Bionic.

Ellie Goulding
• Album Name: TBA
• Status: Rumored to be dropping October 30, but no official announcement has been made yet.
• Album No: 2
• Album Producer(s): The only confirmed collaborator thus far is Calvin Harris, but she’s also been in the studio with members of Swedish House Mafia and boyfriend Skrillex, according to Billboard.
• Additional Info: Goulding said in a recent interview that the sophomore record will be “very dark and very weird.” Considering Goulding has been dating an EDM king and covering the Weeknd and Active Child lately, who knows what kind of cray fruit this thing is going to bear?