Some folks never learn.

There are three albums coming out today that, in any given week, have the capability to top the charts. Instead of spreading these releases out over a period of time, someone will have to settle for a lower-tier debut, which will garner them less press, which will probably result in less-than-strong sales over the long run. Now, for our contenders:

Josh Groban‘s Noel still kicks ass every year. It’s one of the best-selling Christmas albums of recent years, and even though the follow-up non-holiday album, Illuminations, performed below expectations, it’s still expected that Josh’s new joint, called All That Echoes, will sell strongly. We are less than two weeks from Valentine’s Day, after all. Echoes finds Groban moving slightly away from his typical granny-pop escapades into something that more resembles mom-pop. Production is handled by Rob Cavallo, who’s been behind the boards for smashes by the Goo Goo Dolls and Green Day. While it’s fair to assume that Josh won’t be rocking out with his cock out, this might also give him a little appeal beyond the blue-hairs.

Tim McGraw has been one of the most successful male artists of the past 20 years. A constant presence on the country charts, he’s also done fairly well for himself in the crossover realm. A messy split with Curb Records (his home since the early Nineties) probably stunted sales of 2012’s Emotional Traffic, but ol’ Timmy is now off the sauce (if the headline on the cover of this week’s People is to be believed) and on the Big Machine label, home of a singer you might know named Taylor Swift. Actually, Tay-Tay (whose first hit single was called “Tim McGraw,”) is one of the guest artists on Tim’s new Two Lanes of Freedom album, as is “American Idol” judge/Nicole Kidman arm-candy Keith Urban.

Now 45

Does the world really need more “Now That’s What I Call Music” compilations?

Back in the day, if you wanted all the hit singles on the radio in one place, you had to make yourself a mix tape. These days? Just buy a Now That’s What I Call Music disc. The 45th edition of the venerable compilation series contains the latest hit singles by Ne-Yo (“Let Me Love You (Until You Learn To Love Yourself,)” Ed Sheeran (the Grammy-nominated “The A Team,”) and Kelly Clarkson (“Catch My Breath.”) T-Swizzle also makes an appearance here, with the ubiquitous “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” Soon, Taylor Swift will be on 2 of every 3 albums that comes out EVERY week.

Other noteworthy releases this week include:

Joe Budden | No Love Lost
Harry Connick Jr. | Smokey Mary
Eels | Wonderful, Glorious
Frightened Rabbit | Pedestrian Verse
Mick Hucknall | American Soul
Jim James | Regions of Light and Sound of God
Jewel | Greatest Hits
Matt Pond | The Lives Inside the Lines in Your Hands
Richard Thompson | Electric

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