Now that we're spent so very much of the end of 2017 remembering the best from the year that was, it's time to look forward at what's to come in the new year. Here, Billboard shivers to consider some of the LPs we're due over the next 12 months -- big-ticket pop stars making their hotly anticipated returns, indie favorites following up their critically acclaimed breakthroughs, icons from the past deeming to grace us with their presence once more, and so much more that we know (and don't know) about. These are the 40 albums we most hope to be looking back fondly on next December.
Camila Cabello, 'Camila' (Jan. 12)
No longer titled The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving., the recently rechristened Camila is easily one of the most-anticipated pop albums of early 2018. Cabello's first LP since splitting with Fifth Harmony already has one bona fide hit in the No. 2-peaking Billboard Hot 100 smash "Havana" and may have another on the way in the similarly smoldering "Never Be the Same," but whether the breakout singer can make the leap to true pop superstardom will likely be up to her imminent solo debut.
Tune-Yards, 'I Can Feel You Creep Into My Private Life' (Jan. 19)
It's been since 2014 since we last heard from Merrill Garbus, the brilliant singer/songwriter/producer/musician responsible for one of the more impressive ongoing winning streaks in indie rock. Her fourth LP with her Tune-Yards project is due later in January, and from the lead single -- the off-kilter, bass-led groover "Look at Your Hands" -- she hardly seems at risk of falling off anytime soon.
Fall Out Boy, 'M A N I A' (Jan. 19)
Fall Out Boy have long served as one of the model success stories for a rock band surviving the transition to a pop-dominated alternative scene, but they hit a snag in 2017, scrapping their new album and pushing back its release to 2018, explaining "The album just really isn't ready, and it felt very rushed." Time will tell if the ensuing M A N I A -- now scheduled for later this month, and leaning even further into the band's contemporary pop instincts with advance singles "The Last of the Real Ones" and "Hold Me Tight or Don't" -- was worth the unexpectedly extended wait.
Justin Timberlake, 'Man of the Woods" (Feb. 2)
Justin Timberlake barely gave pop fans a chance to get readjusted to the post-Holidays real-world before hitting them with the first pop bombshell of 2018: He'd be releasing his fifth solo album two days before his halftime set at Super Bowl LII, the rootsier Man of the Woods. The LP's dramatic 60-second trailer (as well as its lead single, "Filthy") has been met with a mix of excitement and trepidation, but the combination of JT, The Neptunes and Timbaland has never let pop fans down before, so betting against it in '18 is still risky at best.
Franz Ferdinand, 'Always Ascending' (Feb. 9)
The title may be a little optimistic for a band whose commercial peak is now over a decade in the rearview, but Scottish dance-punks Franz Ferdinand never stopped making irresistible singles or consistently compelling albums. The February-due Always Ascending, produced by Philippe Zdar of French house duo Cassius, seems unlikely to mark an exception to this, and the percolating title-track lead cut is their most glittering disco confection of the decade.
Brandi Carlile, 'By the Way, I Forgive You' (Feb.16)
Longtime folk and Americana favorite Brandi Carlile has peaked higher on the Billboard 200 albums chart with each of her five studio LPs, most recently hitting No. 9 with her 2015 album The Firewatcher's Daughter. February's By the Way, I Forgive You seems likely to continue the trend, as evidenced by the set's heart-rending lead single "The Joke," and by the fact that Carlile's cult of fans has now swelled to encompass everyone from Adele to President No. 42.
Judas Priest, 'Firepower' (March)
Well over 40 years into their recording career, metal gods Judas Priest are still going strong, with legendary frontman Rob Halford referring to March's Firepower as "some of our best work -- without a doubt" in a 2017 interview. One reason longtime fans can be hopeful about Halford's words -- the band recorded the set with longtime producer Tom Allom, guiding hand behind such classic '80s Priest LPs as British Steel and Screaming for Vengeance.
Kacey Musgraves, 'Golden Hour" (Early 2018)
Few Nashville singer-songwriters get the mainstream media attention as Kacey Musgraves, owner of one of the sharpest pens and most penetrating voices in all popular music -- although radio programers have not yet been so enamored with her old-fashioned country confessionals. We'll see if the trend continues with Golden Hour, which Musgraves says will expand her sonic palette to include the diverse influences of Sade, Neil Young and the Bee Gees, and which she summarizes as "trippy."
Charlie Puth, 'Voicenotes' (Early 2018)
The rapidly maturing Charlie Puth emerged as one of top 40's most reliable singer/songwriter/producers in 2017, thanks to unavoidable radio mini-masterpieces like the Pop Songs-topping lite-funk rumbler "Attention" and its even friskier follow-up "How Long." The next step for Puth is a full-length LP as delectable as those singles, and while we were originally scheduled to find out if Puth was up to the task in January with sophomore LP Voicenotes, the album's exact release date appears ambiguous at the moment.
Belly, 'Dove' (May 4)
Alt-rock '90s band Belly were often overshadowed in their mid-'90s heyday -- sometimes even by their members' other bands -- but affection for the underrated Boston quartet remains strong, and should extend to May's post-reunion effort Dove, the quartet's first album in 23 years. Fans hoping to hear transmissions from the new set at this year's Coachella and Governors Ball festivals would be advised to save their money, though: That's the other Belly on those posters.
Ariana Grande, TBD (TBD)
Perhaps no pop comeback in 2018 is more highly anticipated than that of Ariana Grande -- who hasn't been gone that long since 2016's Dangerous Woman, but who found herself at the epicenter of a 2017 tragedy that many artists would be understandably unable to find their way back from. However, Arianators have reason to be hopeful: Grande ended last year with a short Instagram post of a computer playback of her harmonizing with herself, with the tantalizing caption: "See you next year."
MGMT, 'Little Dark Age' (TBD)
A decade ago, MGMT seemed like they were destined to spend the next 10 years as the biggest act in indie-pop, a status they quickly demonstrated they had no interest in holding with a handful of increasingly esoteric, experimental LPs with little of the stadium-sized sparkle of alt smashes like "Time to Pretend" and "Kids." The duo might not be recapturing that with the upcoming Little Dark Age, but at least their pop mojo is back with the darkwave throb of the album's title track, MGMT's most neon-lit dance-floor transmission since "Electric Feel."
Underground pop icon Charli XCX spent 2017 gifting fans with two new mixtapes, the glorious Number 1 Angel and Pop 2 sets, which re-established her (after a couple of years of arguable false starts) as one of the genre's most reliable artists. So is that third LP finally coming in 2018? Hopefully, if she decides that releasing an album is even still a thing: "It still definitely works for some artists, but I don’t know if it works for me anymore," she told EW in December. "So who knows what'll happen."
A Perfect Circle / Tool, TBD (TBD)
For alt-metal fans, most if not all of the last decade has been spent in wait of a new project by one or both of Maynard James Keenan's most famous outfits, Tool and A Perfect Circle. No luck in 2017, but signs are encouraging for 2018 -- Tom Morello says he's heard the new Tool album and describes it as "epic, majestic, symphonic, brutal, beautiful, tribal, mysterious, deep, sexy and VERY Tool," while fans have already heard signs of life from A Perfect Circle, most recently the Jan. 2-released, multi-part skyscraper "Disillusioned."
SOPHIE, 'Whole New World' (TBD)
Future-pop purveyor SOPHIE captured headlines in 2017 by coming out as trans in the video for "It's Okay to Cry," but she should've captured just as much attention for the song itself, a minimal (until maximal) pop ballad with a chorus towering enough to be Celine Dion-worthy. Fans can look forward to more of the same -- or, perhaps more realistically, more of the completely different -- with the genius producer's upcoming Whole New World LP, her first since 2013's underappreciated PRODUCT.
Cardi B, TBD (TBD)
No rapper's rise in recent memory has been as meteoric as Cardi B, who sent each of her first three Hot 100-charting singles to the top 10 in 2017, and may have a fourth on its way with the 21 Savage collab "Bartier Cardi." Can she capitalize on all that momentum with an insta-classic debut LP, to complete her transformation from viral sensation to potential all-time great? As the rapper herself would say, let's find out and see.
Rae Sremmurd, 'SremmLife 3' (TBD)
The original SremmLife in 2015 scored five hit singles, was ultimately certified Platinum and made Rae Sremmurd a household name. SremmLife 2, released a year later, earned the duo their first Hot 100 No. 1 (and the Billboard staff's favorite song of 2016) and made individual stars out of members Slim Jxmmi and Swae Lee. To continue the series' momentum, SremmLife 3 might have to cure lupus or solve the remaining zodiac cryptograms or something.
Migos, 'Culture II" (TBD)
The most remorselessly productive outfit in rap has barely given themselves a second to breathe following the massive success of last year's Culture album, but Culture II is already expected in 2018, with a pair of scorching singles (in the Cardi B/Nicki Minaj collab "MotorSport" and the Pharrell-helmed "Stir Fry") already tabbed for the new set. If the Mig do it for the Culture again in 2018, you can bet the rest of the hip-hop world will still be biting like vultures.
The 1975, 'Music for Cars' (TBD)
No small task to follow up one of the decade's most ambitious (and ambitiously titled) alt-pop albums in the Billboard 200-topping I Love It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, but U.K. quartet The 1975 have never shied away from going one bigger, and they've already thrown down the gauntlet for upcoming LP3 Music for Cars. “If you look at third albums, OK Computer or The Queen Is Dead" -- said frontman Matty Healy, referring to the unanimously acclaimed masterpieces by Radiohead and The Smiths in an Apple Music interview -- "that’s what we need to do."
Arctic Monkeys, TBD (TBD)
With their last album, 2013's AM, U.K. modern-rock greats the Arctic Monkeys finally broke through to the U.S. mainstream, becoming one of the biggest bands in the States thanks to coarsely suave nocturnal anthems like "Why'd You Only Call Me When You're High?" and "Do I Wanna Know?" Then for a long time, nothing happened -- frontman Alex Turner busied himself with side project The Last Shadow Puppets, but the Monkeys have been little heard from. That should change in 2018, at least according to bassist Nick O'Malley, who revealed that the band had been recording LP6 at a "secret location" -- to a motorcycle magazine, appropriately enough.
Courtney Barnett, TBD (TBD)
Australia's pre-eminent musical modern-life commentator tided fans over waiting on the follow-up to 2015's Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit with last year's ultra-chill Kurt Vile collab LP Lotta Sea Lice. Next year, hopefully LP2 will arrive in earnest for Courtney Barnett, and she recently told Zane Lowe that the album's close, though there is one major holdup: “I’m trying to come up with a title for my new album... It’s all one sentence thoughts, you know, trying to come up with something clever."
Mitski, TBD (TBD)
Acclaimed 2016 masterwork Puberty 2 marked Mitski's arrival as perhaps the most incisive voice in rock, and it's hard to think of a singer-songwriter who'd be more welcome to hear from again at the onset of 2018 than her. Fans shouldn't expect the Mitski that returns to be the same one that recently left, however. "I think it’s different," she told Stereogum of the music she was working on in 2017. "I always have strong urges to sabotage myself. Whenever someone says they like something about my music, I tend to not want to do that anymore."
Pusha T, 'King Push' (TBD)
Pusha T's underrated King Push: Darkest Before Dawn album from 2015 was billed as "The Prelude," but nearly three years later we've still yet to get the main event. Among the many reasons longtime fans of the Clipse alum and G.O.O.D Music president have to look forward to the album: It's entirely produced by longtime producer partner Kanye West, with the rapper telling fans at September's Made in America festival, “We’ve just been locking in, getting this album perfect for y’all.”
My Bloody Valentine, TBD (TBD)
After a two-decade absence, Shoegaze paragons My Bloody Valentine made a surprisingly warmly welcomed return to recording with their mbv album in 2013 -- a nice enough experience that the band is planning a much shorter wait for their fourth LP. The band recently told Pitchfork of their plans to return to touring and the pressure it put on them to have a new album out soon, putting the odds at an unnervingly optimistic "100 percent" that the new set would be out in 2018.
Carly Rae Jepsen, TBD (TBD)
Doesn't feel like it's been three calendar year since Emotion, does it? Helps that Carly Rae released a set of LP leftovers in 2016, and the indomitable "Cut to the Feeling" single last year -- not to mention that her devotees haven't stopped rocking the real thing in the first place. Nonetheless, enthusiasm would no doubt be at a Foreigner-level fever pitch for a new CRJ LP in 2018 -- and news that she's been working with Robyn producer Patrik Berger on the "80 songs" she's already written for the set should do little to quell that.
Vampire Weekend, 'Mitsubishi Macchiato' (TBD)
Of all the albums in this preview this one perhaps feels the most tentative -- it's been five years, it's unclear to what extent producer/multi-instrumentalist Rostam Batmanglij is still part of the group, all the members have done solo LPs, and that album title might just be a bad joke by frontman Ezra Koenig. All that's for sure: If Vampire Weekend does decide to finally release an album this year, it'll be as exciting a release as we get in 2018 alternative.
Post Malone, TBD (TBD)
The follow-up to ascendant sing-rapper Post Malone's 2016 set Stoney has already been delayed multiple times, which would normally be a pretty bad portent of how things are going. In Posty's case, however, it might be as simple as him wanting to wait until his old stuff stops spinning off hits -- not only is "Rockstar" still No. 2 on the Hot 100 after an eight-week reign on top, but Stoney ballad "I Fall Apart" is still hanging around the top 20, and Fate of the Furious soundtrack contribution "Candy Paint" has unexpectedly climbed into the chart's top half.
Liam Payne, TBD (TBD)
Liam Payne's trap-influenced, Quavo-featuring solo bow "Strip That Down" was a top 10 hit on the Hot 100 last year, but subsequent releases "Get Low" and "Bedroom Floor" found less chart success. Now, it may be up to Liam's solo debut to recapture a little of his early momentum -- a similar situation to the one his One Direction bandmate Louis Tomlinson finds himself in, a couple singles after his first top 40 bow with "Back to You." Which of their two debut LPs will drop first in 2018, and save their creator the indignity of being the only 1Der on the block without his own solo album?
Celine Dion, TBD (TBD)
Now two decades removed from her "My Heart Will Go On" supremacy, Celine Dion's brand of near-operatic pop divadom is rarely seen in the 2018 scene -- making it the perfect time to come back and show all the young'n pop stars that grew up listening to her how the cinematic power ballad is really done. As with Shania Twain's long-awaited 2017 comeback, it might be a little late for Celine to take over top 40 radio again, but hey, that Shania album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and was actually way more fun than it had to be.
Jack White, 'Boarding House Reach' (TBD)
Considering how it feels like he never really goes away, it's a little stunning to think that it's been four years since the 21st-century rock practitioner last released an album -- but indeed, that's about how long it'll be between 2014's Lazoretto and 2018's eventual Boarding House Reach. Hard to tell exactly what to expect form the album from the rapidly dial-changing "Serving Portions" teaser for the album, but considering he'll be headlining at both Governors Ball and Boston Calling this summer, let's hope there's some festival-sized ragers in there somewhere.
Pistol Annies, TBD (TBD)
Feels like Miranda Lambert might take an understandable minute to unburden herself from The Weight of These Wings, her masterful 2016 double-LP, so fans will be more than happy with the next-best thing to that set's follow-up: Another album from her Pistol Annies supergroup! Lambert promised a new album from the trio in 2018 -- which also features the similarly brilliant country singer-songwriters Angaleena Presley and Ashley Monroe -- in her Billboard cover story from July.
Toni Braxton, 'Sex & Cigarettes' (TBD)
Love, Marriage & Divorce, Toni's collaborative album with Babyface, basically set the modern-day standard for grown-person R&B back in 2014. Now it's time for the inimitable soul great to make her solo comeback, with the intriguingly titled (and long-awaited) Sex & Cigarettes. “I’m excited to be doing what I love doing,” she told The Insider of the upcoming set last year. “I feel like I’m older, I want to say what I feel, I don’t want to be censored.”
Tinashe, 'Joyride' (TBD)
Will 2018 be the year? Fans have been waiting for Joyride, Tinashe's official LP follow-up to her 2014 future-classic Aquarius, since she announced it in 2015, but three calendar years, one similarly titled mixtape and a whole lot of features and one-offs later -- still no Joy. It's been a much tougher last three years for Tinashe than we all likely anticipated from her blazing mid-decade breakout, but her talent is considerable enough that we'll be ready for her official comeback whenever she is.
Troye Sivan, TBD (TBD)
Viral Australian star Troye Sivan enjoyed a well-earned pop breakthrough from late 2015 into 2016, with first full-length Blue Neighborhood debuting inside the top 10 of the Billboard 200, and single "Youth" even giving him his first top 40 hit on the Hot 100. Emerging as one of the most compelling young artists in '10s pop, hopefully Sivan's next album will be the one to officially catapult him to superstardom -- and based on his recent tweets, it might be dropping in the not-distant future.
Major Lazer, 'Music Is the Weapon' (TBD)
Remember them? Wasn't long ago that Major Lazer rode a Justin Bieber collab to their biggest Hot 100 hit to date, and though they enjoyed a slightly smaller radio profile in 2017, Diplo & Co. never stray from pop's center for too long. Now that the trop-house sound they helped popularize has officially run its top 40 course, it's about time for the outfit to return with some big names in tow to let music's mainstream know what's coming next.
Travis Scott, 'Astroworld' (TBD)
Finally making good on one of his two long-promised projects at the end of 2017, with the Quavo teamup Huncho Jack, Jack Huncho, Travis Scott's fans can now resume grumbling about when Astroworld, Scott's purported follow-up to 2016's chart-topping Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight, is finally gonna materialize. The perfectionist rapper/producer has set his sights high for the project, telling Billboard in his recent cover story: "My next album is gonna have Stevie [Wonder]... Well, I'm trying. We're talking."
Zayn, TBD (TBD)
Speaking of One Directioners gone solo, Zayn is likely the first up to his sophomore album, following the Billboard 200-besting Mind of Mine from 2016. The last year saw Zayn test the waters with both huge commercial ballads ("I Don't Wanna Live Forever," "Dusk Till Dawn") and smaller pop slitherers ("Still Got Time"), but the ultimate direction of his LP2 remains something of a mystery. “I feel like my songwriting definitely developed,” he's offered of the set. "I feel like the songs are a bit more organized, where I felt like, before, that Mind of Mine was a brainstorm."
Twenty One Pilots, TBD (TBD)
The most surprising mega-success story of 2016 was from this Columbus, Ohio, alternative duo, who scored fluke crossover hit after fluke crossover hit until there was no longer anything fluky about 'em. Twenty One Pilots mostly took it easy on the new-music front last year, but considering how massive and virtually unprecedented their success was two years ago, you can't imagine they'll be waiting much longer to make their return -- a comeback they may have teased on Instagram over the summer, or not.
Rihanna, TBD (TBD)
She owned 2016 by releasing an album at the beginning of the year. She owned 2017 without releasing an album at all. We may be hoping more than anything at this point, but the #R9 rumors are already spreading, and we'll happily stoke 'em until the real thing arrives.