You know that when the release schedule is moved from Tuesday to Monday, that something pretty major is happening, right? Well, the release of Taylor Swift‘s Red might be the most major musical happening of 2012, so if anything this year was gonna shift new releases up a day, this would be it. Swift’s fourth album is pretty much a guaranteed smash-or is it? Will her core country base be confused/pissed by her forays into dubstep and pure pop? If the success of “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is any indication, probably not, but…hey, you never know.

The release of perhaps the biggest selling first-week of the year hasn’t totally scared away the rest of the musical artistic community-there are plenty of other albums coming out this week. Not that anyone is gonna compete with T-Swizzle, mind you. I guess the closest thing to competition would come via fellow country/pop hit shit Lady Antebellum. On This Winter’s Night, is, as you would expect from the title, a Christmas album, and while it won’t pull Buble type sales figures, it’ll probably be one of this season’s bigger hits. On the hip-hop tip, newcomer Kendrick Lamar could also pull some big numbers potentially. The much-buzzed about emcee has the backing of Dr. Dre (still a tastemaker, somewhat unfathomably,) and his album, good kid, mAAd city, boasts contributions from the usual suspects (including Dre himself and Mary J. Blige,) making him a new-school rapper with (somewhat) old school appeal. Speaking of hip-hop, the legendary RZA is now a big-time movie director, and just as he put together some incredible acting talent in his movie “The Man With The Iron Fist” (like Lucy Liu and Russell Crowe,) he’s put together some incredible musical talent for the attendant soundtrack. Among the big names appearing here-The Black Keys and Kanye West. And of course, you know the Wu is represented lovely.

Singer/guitarist Gary Clark Jr. has also been much buzzed about, with comparisons to the God of all guitarists (Jimi Hendrix) floating through the blogosphere. Blak and Blu is the name of Clark’s album, and encompasses pop, rock, soul and blues in a way that not many modern musicians are capable of–at least not many musicians who get signed to major label contracts and get a full-on push from them.

Also in stores, new albums by Slipknot’s Corey Taylor’s side project Stone Sour, Journey guitarist Neal Schon and Harvard-educated singer/rapper Ryan Leslie. There’s also Viva Musica, a duets project that pairs the legendary Tony Bennett with a variety of Latin vocalists.

There seem to be more head-scratchers than usual on today’s schedule, including a new album by Billy Ray Cyrus (yeah, you know…Miley’s father) and holiday albums by flowing-robe types Polyphonic Spree as well as Colbie Caillat (which I’m voting as the worst album of the year despite not having heard one note.)

On the reissue tip? A 25th anniversary edition of Peter Gabriel‘s So (for which I’m holding my boombox up in tribute, despite the fact that 2012 actually marks the album’s 26th anniversary) and a two-CD collection of rarities from legendary composer and producer Giorgio Moroder. Bring out the disco balls and coke!

Y’all know the deal. Go to Pause and Play for a complete list of releases. Happy shopping!

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