The past couple of weeks have brought forth the announcements of several upcoming albums. While you certainly know that Britney Spears and Lady GaGa have albums coming out this spring, and some of you may have even heard rumors about Madonna getting set to go through another album cycle, here are three records by popular artists that might score high on your “want” list and score different levels of excitement on my personal “want” list.

Lenny Kravitz Black & White America: I love Lenny. I had “Let Love Rule” on cassette single (word!). Although his output over the past 22 years has been somewhat inconsistent, I still check in every time he announces a new project. The title of Lenny’s new album references his biracial background, and it’s reportedly very soul and funk-influenced. Soul/funk Lenny does pretty good stuff (and it’s somewhat less generic than rock ‘n roll Lenny), so I’m psyched.  His last project, 2008’s It is Time for a Love Revolution, wasn’t a huge seller, but I thought it was quite a good album. First single “Come On & Get It” will be available on iTunes as of Sunday February 20th.

While we’re talking about black rockers, it should also be noted that TV On the Radio have a new album coming out this spring. The critically-adored indie rock outfit’s new set is called Nine Types of Light. I dig these guys, even though I think they’re a tad bit overhyped. Dear Science grew on me, and I thought Cookie Mountain was OK, and Dave Sitek’s side project Maximum Balloon was pretty good too. TVotR will also be touring soon, and they’ve got a date at Radio City Music Hall on April 13th.

On a different tip, Kelly Clarkson has announced details surrounding her fifth (fifth!!) album. The set doesn’t have a release date yet, but Kelly has announced that the album is complete. She says that the album is influenced by a pretty diverse array of artists, including Prince, Tina Turner, and Radiohead. This is kinda scary, to be honest. While Kelly is a quite talented vocalist, the references she’s pulling out for this new project are more than a little odd. It should also be noted, that her last album, 2009’s All I Ever Wanted, kinda sucked. She mentioned that she will not be bringing pack songwriter Dr. Luke for this release. This was the guy who wrote her biggest hit single, “Since U Been Gone”, and has gone on to write and produce hits for Ke$ha and Katy Perry and (insert random anonymous pop chick here). Given Kelly’s notorious clashes with label head Clive Davis as well as Davis’s “all hits-all the time” approach, I wouldn’t be surprised if Kelly wound up reneging on that statement. Anyway, this is just the tip of the iceberg on releases, as they look to be coming fast and furious for the rest of the year (and not a moment too soon, as the field of releases has been scarily barren so far in 2011).

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