It's always exciting when new music comes out.  This year will feature a comeback or two and some other highly anticipated releases.  Who are most excited to listen to?


Carrie Underwood, Kenny Chesney, Alan Jackson and others will return as perennial favorites, while upstarts like Kip Moore hope to thrive for the first time. Along the way, we'll see if Lionel Richie's transplanted style can take root and savor the sweetness of heirlooms like Johnny Cash once more.

But our country garden will need some attention to reach its full potential, so in alphabetical order, here are 10 new albums due in the spring of 2012 to be on the lookout for.

Lee Brice, Hard 2 Love

After scoring 2010's most played song, "Love Like Crazy," and notching a No. 1 in 2011 as a songwriter with the Eli Young Band's "Crazy Girl," Lee Brice looks to cement his status in country with this year's Hard 2 Love. He wisely packed the project with weekend jams like "Parking Lot Party" and "Beer" but also added a few that tug at the heartstrings like "Ring in My Pocket" and his current single, "A Woman Like You." Here's hoping his "crazy" string of good fortune continues April 24.

Johnny Cash, Bootleg Vol. IV: The Soul of Truth

2012 would have marked Johnny Cash's 80th birthday, and his estate is celebrating by releasing the latest in the Bootleg series. This one is a two-CD set focusing on the Man in Black's recordings from the '70s and '80s, a period when Cash finally found stability in his personal life. As such, these songs explore his spirituality. With 51 tracks, fans will hear an entire unreleased 1975 album, the out-of-print Gospel Singer project, outtakes from the studio and collaborations with June Carter Cash, Rosanne Cash, Rodney Crowell, Jessi Colter and more. Bootleg Vol. IV hits store shelves April 3.

Kenny Chesney (title TBA)

Kenny Chesney is still riding a wave of success stemming from his last album, the platinum-selling Hemingway's Whiskey, but he's looking to follow it with another on June 19. The project has not been named yet but comes out just a few days before Chesney and Tim McGraw kick off the summer concert season with their Brothers of the Sun tour, which is sure to draw massive crowds to sun-drenched stadium parking lots across the country. The self-diagnosed workaholic has a big job ahead of him if he wants to top Hemingway's Whiskey, though. It spawned four No. 1 singles and a CMA award for "You and Tequila" with rock

Faith Hill (title TBA)
Faith Hill is not giving up too many details, but she has also promised a new album this spring. We do know it will be her first since 2005's Fireflies, and she's debuted three of the new tracks already. The pleading "Come Home" first appeared on the 2011 CMA Awards and has since risen to No. 26 on Billboard's country songs chart. And in February, she previewed two more for radio programmers at the annual Country Radio Seminar -- "Six Hundred Years," which has been described as a gospel-influenced wedding anthem, and "American Heart," an uplifting tune about strength and resilience.

Alan Jackson (title TBA)
Alan Jackson has seen his share of change in the two years since 2010's Freight Train was released. Most notably, he left his longtime record label, Arista Nashville, to start his own imprint, ACR (Alan's Country Records). We've yet to hear if that will lead to any big changes in his sound, but I wouldn't bet on it. If his first single from a new spring album, "So You Don't Have to Love Me Anymore," is any indication, the affable Georgian is still writing and recording the simple-yet-elegant country music he always has. As for when it comes out, Jackson's playing coy. "They say it's gonna come out in May," he joked during this year's Country Radio Seminar. "Maybe they're saying it may come out."

See the rest via CMT : News : 10 New Albums Blossoming This Spring.