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Big Album Releases for 2014: Taylor Swift, U2, and Maybe...Just Maybe...Adele?

Image courtesy of ABC/Richard Harbaugh; Eric McCandless/CBS (via ABC News Radio)
Image courtesy of ABC/Richard Harbaugh; Eric McCandless/CBS (via ABC News Radio)

A new year means brand new music, and there are some big names who will be putting out albums in 2014.  Among the most anticipated, according to Billboard magazine's Editorial Director Bill Werde , are new discs from Taylor Swift , U2 and -- if we're lucky -- Adele .

The follow-up to Taylor Swift's Grammy-nominated, best-selling album Red will likely see the light of day towards the end of 2014; Taylor's working on it right now, and Werde says a new album from the singer is always a big deal. 

"Everything she releases is a blockbuster smash hit that seems to galvanize tweens, and moms and, frankly, fans of music everywhere, simultaneously," he notes, adding that he's intrigued by the way she spoke about the project to him.

"I bumped into Taylor after the CMA Awards," he tells ABC News Radio. "And she was literally giddy with excitement about some of the progress she was making on her new album. I don't know that I've ever seen Taylor that excited about new music, so that has me certainly very curious."  On top of that, Werde says, he was told by the president of her record label that the singer has something really special in store.

"He was like, 'Yeah man, these songs are amazing,'" Werde recalls. "He had heard, I think, five or six new songs. He was like, 'They're so good. I don't want to play them for anyone yet.'  Because he doesn't want people to sort of jump in the direction that Taylor is going with her music."  The singer has hinted that she'll be exploring new sounds and new collaborations for this project, and Werde says he can't wait.

"When you have a great artist, who's a great songwriter, and has delivered success after success and you hear that they're possibly experimenting with some new directions, I think that's always really interesting," he adds.

Adele is another story.  Nobody actually knows exactly when the reclusive British superstar will be releasing the follow-up to her world-beating album 21, though there have been rumors about the project.   Ryan Tedder , for example, told an Australian newspaper that he's been working on new material with Adele and that she "sounds even better than before."

But, Werde tells ABC News Radio, " She hasn't said much about this album at all."  In addition to working with Tedder, Werde says, "We've heard that she's working with Florence and the Machine 's producers, which would kind of indicate a more contemporary sound, maybe a more bombastic sound. But we've also heard here and there that she might want to do something more acoustic. So I think your guess is as good as mine at this point!"

"Obviously, Adele has named all of her albums after the age that she is when she releases them. So there's 19. There ' s 21 ," he adds. "The running joke in the industry is whether this album is gonna be called 24 [or] 29 [or] 37 , because we're all sort of waiting for that next Adele album!"

As for U2, their last album, No Line on the Horizon , came out way back in 2009.  Since then, fans have eagerly been awaiting the Irish rock legends' next offering, their thirteenth, which is due sometime in April.  Billboard has reported that the plan is for the band to announce details of the new disc in a splashy Super Bowl commercial.  Danger Mouse , aka one-half of Gnarls Barkley , is reportedly producing the disc.

"There's been a lot of talk about sort of what their new album's gonna sound like, and it's always kind of an event when U2 releases an album," Werde tells ABC News Radio.

Noting that fans "got a little taste" of some of U2's new sound late last year when they released the song "Ordinary Love," from the Nelson Mandela biopic Long Walk to Freedom , Werde adds, "It was this really powerful, soaring, U2-esque kind of production, so I'm excited about where they're gonna go. Because I think U2 is just a band that has earned our interest over a very long and stellar career."  

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio