Did last month’s music calendar feel busy to you? It turns out there’s a very logical explanation for the crush of new albums that were released in September. The eligibility period for the GRAMMY® Awards ran from Oct. 1, 2011 through Sept. 30, 2012, so labels and artists rushed to get their albums out before the deadline. Muse actually exploited a loophole in these rules: They released their album on vinyl last Saturday- technically beating the deadline, but holding back CDs and digital downloads until today.

Muse, The 2nd Law

The lads from British rock band Muse are responsible for two of the most recognizable rock anthems of the last five years, “Starlight” and “Uprising,” so you might expect a similar sound from their new album. While Olympic theme song “Survival” retains familiar rock opera elements, Muse is not content to stick to arena rock stereotypes. “Madness” strips away the grandiose ambitions, pulsating with a reverberating bass line that one might expect on an M83 song. The band strays even further on “The 2nd Law: Unsustainable,” delving into dubstep and incorporating other EDM (electronic dance music) influences.  After you listen to the album, let us know what you think of Muse’s new direction.

Blake Shelton, Cheers, It’s Christmas

We haven’t even thought about our Halloween costumes, yet here we are: the first major holiday album of the year.  Blake may have his hands full on “The Voice” these days, but he’s taken a break from coaching to return to the studio. He roped in some heavy hitters to help him out too: Michael Bublé, Kelly Clarkson and Reba McEntire perform on original tracks while Shelton’s wife, Miranda Lambert, guests on “Jingle Bell Rock.” (Vote for Miranda for the 2012 Eventful Fans’ Choice Award!) Are you excited about Blake’s album, or is it simply too early in the year for Christmas music?

Make sure to check back next week when Ellie Goulding and The Wallflowers release their new records!