This is the first in what I hope will become a regular series of posts from me. My original plan was to write one of these each week to spotlight a handful of albums that dropped that week. With the whirlwind of the new year, though, this is the first time I’ve gotten around to it, so I’ll be mentioning a few albums that came out during January, rather than just mentioning the albums that hit this week.

Notable Singles

Following are some of the notable singles (or, in some cases, 2-song EPs) that came out in January:

  • Ice CubeEverythang’s Corrupt
  • Bon JoviBecause We Can – Not bad. Pretty typical of the way Bon Jovi has sounded over the past few years
  • David BowieWhere Are We Now?
  • B.o.B.We Still In This Bitch (feat. T.I. and Juicy J)
  • My Chemical RomanceNumber Four
  • Alice in ChainsHollow – Just as deep and dark as 2011’s “Black Gives Way To Blue”, but a tiny bit heavier. I’m really looking forward to the full album.
  • OneRepublicIf I Lose Myself
  • Blake SheltonSure Be Cool If I Did
  • Bad ReligionDept. of False Hope* – Classic, typical Bad Religion sound. If you’re a fan of Bad Religion, you’ll probably like it; if not, I don’t expect this album to sway you into their corner.
  • Justin TimberlakeSuit & Tie (feat Jay Z)
  • Bullet for My ValentineRiot
  • Lil WayneLove Me
  • Flo RidaLet It Roll
  • 50 CentMy Life
  • ParamoreNow

* indicates that the full album also dropped during this period of time

Notable Albums

Not saying I listened to all of these albums, or that I even have any desire to listen to a lot of these albums, but I thought these were among the most notable albums released in January 2013.

  • Tron: Uprising
  • Dropkick MurphysSigned and Sealed in Blood – Still nothing even close to being as good as some of their earlier stuff, but if you’re into the newer Dropkick albums, you’ll probably dig this one, too.
  • GleeBritney 2.0
  • New OrderLost Sirens – Wait a minute. A new album from New Order? Is this for real? It appears to be. Not a bad listen. Pretty mellow and very reminiscent of the classic 80s synthpop sound from which New Order was originally born.
  • Yo La TengoFade
  • Ziggy MarleyZiggy Marley in Concert – He’ll never live up to his father’s legend, but this album does help showcase why Ziggy is a well-known artist in his own right
  • Bad ReligionTrue North – Great stuff from a classic band. There’s very little groundbreaking stuff on this album, but it’s a solid, enjoyable experience all the way through
  • TraptReborn
  • Gary AllanSet You Free
  • Justin BieberBelieve Acoustic
  • HatebreedThe Divinity of Purpose – Awesome and brutal. Another great release from one of my favorite hardcore acts

Other Interesting Albums

One of the reasons I love having an Xbox Music Pass is that it allows me to listen to new stuff I’ve never heard before. Following is a list of some of the albums I checked out simply because they looked interesting. It is entirely possible that some of these artists are super-mega-stars, but I’d never heard of them (yes, it’s okay to laugh at me for being so far out of the loop).

  • JusticeHelix – Personally, I wasn’t impressed by this album. A little too sweet and bouncy for my tastes.
  • Hollywood UndeadNotes from the Underground – I had no idea what to expect from this album, but I came out of it pleasantly surprised. It’s fairly rare anymore that I hear a new hip-hop album I actually enjoy, but this one has an interesting sound and flow that kept me listening.
  • Twenty-One PilotsVessel – a fun, poppy, electronic sound. A tiny bit like “fun.” with a bit of a hip-hop vibe and some nostalgic synthesizer. Not 100% sold on it yet, but it’s definitely one I’ll come back and listen to again before making a final decision
  • Capital Kingsself-titled – Not really my cup of tea, but if you’re into the top-40 dance-pop sound that’s blowing up from artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, LMFAO, etc., you might be into this. I checked out this album simply because it’s published on Gotee Records, the company that released many albums from G.R.I.T.S., my second-favorite hip-hop group of all time (just behind Public Enemy)
  • Love & DeathBetween Here & Lost – Heavy, gritty. A little like a unique mix between Korn, Atreyu and Five Finger Death Punch in one package.

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