Who fired Amanda Palmer? Actually, no one. The singer-songwriter and keyboardist is still with the Dresden Dolls; she's just taking a break to release her debut solo set. Who Killed Amanda Palmer? is as bold, dramatic and quirky as the cabaret-punk of the Dolls duo, though it also includes songs that register as soft and intimate. (9/16)
D.C.-based Thievery Corporation will release its fifth album, Radio Retaliation, and the duo calls it a ''more overt political statement'' than previous sets, though truth be told Eric Hilton and Rob Garza have never been shy about their liberal leanings. (9/23)
Jennifer Hudson worked with an all-star team of producers for her self-titled debut. From Ne-Yo to Timbaland to Missy Elliot, Hudson and her label are working hard to ensure Hudson makes as big of a splash in music as she has in film. (9/30)
Ani DiFranco continues her decade-long tradition of releasing an album a year. Red Letter Year will actually be the feminist folk-rocker's 20th release since 1990, and Billboard reports it's one of her ''cheeriest, funkiest and most collaborative to date.'' (9/30)
Metro Washington's own Rich Morel will release the third album from his eponymous band, this time separating the rock and dance elements he usually combines to create two discs. Rock comes first on The Death of the Paper Boy, which focuses on ''11 new songs about the things that bring you down,'' Morel says. But you'll certainly be up for his own dance remixes of disc 2, or ''Disc-O.'' And it's all assembled in a stunning album package. (10/14)
Nearly two years after originally scheduled, The Cure will release 4:13 Dream, its first set in four years. ''''I've gone through so many revisions, probably more than all of the other records put together,'' lead singer Robert Smith told Billboard, which reported the album features songs both effervescent and gritty. (10/14)
Pink returns with Funhouse, a set on which the singer worked with, among others, Swedish super-producer Max Martin, responsible for her recent hits ''Who Knew'' and ''U + Ur Hand.'' (10/28)
Five years after her last set, Dido will finally release her long-delayed third album. And just as before, Safe Trip Home was co-produced by the British chanteuse in collaboration with her brother Rollo Armstrong, as well as - no joke - regular Kanye West producer Jon Brion. (11/4)
After appearing at last month's Democratic National Convention, Fall Out Boy will campaign with the nonpartisan Rock the Vote until Election Day, when the band will release its fifth album, Folie a Deux. Despite all the politicking, the record is reportedly only subtly tinged with politics. (11/4)
By year's end, we should see new albums from some of hip-hop's finest, including Kanye West, Ludacris, Missy Elliott and Ciara. Grace Jones is also expected to release her first set in 19 years. Jones' album is scheduled for release at the end of October worldwide, but no U.S. release date confirmed. And we may also really, truly hear a long-awaited new album from Whitney Houston, the first all new set in six years and the first since her divorce and Being Bobby Brown sideshow. That could come as early as November.
And then there are several noteworthy greatest-hits sets to come in time for holiday shopping, including the Chemical Brothers's Brotherhood (out now); Bette Midler's Jackpot: The Best Bette (9/23); Tina Turner's Tina! (9/30), which will include two new songs and several live recordings never before released; Sarah McLachlan's Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan (10/7), which will also include two new songs; and Christina Aguilera's Keeps Gettin' Better - A Decade of Hits (11/11), to be sold exclusively at Target.