A lot of folks have been complaining about the dearth of music releases so far in 2009, and I’d be inclined to agree. I can’t remember a year in recent memory when we’ve gotten to April and I’ve only bought maybe 5 new albums (Franz Ferdinand, The Fray, Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Hicks). However, this week’s Billboard album charts features a cornucopia of new albums-12 new ones in the Top 20, actually. It’s the highest number of new releases to land in Billboard’s Top 20 since…well, since ever.

Leading the pack is the 30th (!) installment of the “Now That’s What I Call Music series”, which debuts just short of 150K. It’s amazing that this series continues to sell when iTunes playlists exist. Right behind is Miley Cyrus with the soundtrack to the “Hannah Montana” movie, and R&B vixen Keri Hilson debuts at #4 with “In a Perfect World…”. Look for this one to stick around for a little while. Allegedly, it’s knee-deep in hit singles. This may end up being my 6th new release purchase of 2009.

Other debuts in the Top 20 include Papa Roach (yes, they’re still around), at #8, untalented Dipset-affiliated rapper Jim Jones at #9, coountry singer Martina McBride at #10, bone-crunching metal outfit Mastodon at #11, future one-hit wonders Blue October at #13, faded Houston MC Slim Thug at #15, songwriter/half of Big & Rich John Rich at #16, Eric Church (I don’t know who he is either) at #17, and Yanni at #20. Yes, Yanni is still making music.

The glut of debuts means that there are some pretty prestigious drops on the chart. Taylor Swift’s “Fearless” falls out of the Top 10 for the first time since its’ release last fall. Static-X, however, gets the award for biggest drop on the chart, sliding 16-69 with their latest album.

In a chart like this, it’s weird for an older album to actually move up considerably, but Adele’s “19” does. The Grammy winner for Best New Artist and her Gold album shoots from 41-23 on this week’s chart.

The holdovers in the Top Ten include the “Twilight” soundtrack, which holds at #3 thanks to the recent DVD release of the film, Kelly Clarkson, who slides to #5 after two weeks at #1, U2 slides 2-6, while Lady GaGa drops two spots to #7.

Speaking of Lady GaGa, she becomes the first artist in 10 years (since Christina Aguilera) to hit #1 with her first two single releases. again showing that the American music buying public has no taste whatsoever. “Poker Face” climbs to #1, unseating Flo Rida’s “Right Round” after 6 weeks on top. There are two new songs in the Top 10. Miley Cyrus climbs 11-8 with the appropriately titled “The Climb”, while Ciara shoots up 17 spots to #10 with “Love Sex Magic”, a collaboration with Justin Timberlake. With T.I.’s “Dead & Gone” at #4 this week, JT joins GaGa as artists with two songs each in the Top 10. Collaborating with Timberlake seems to be kind of a golden ticket these days, as Timbaland, Madonna, 50 Cent, T.I. and now Ciara have all scored Top 10 hits featuring the former ‘NSync-er.

Next week’s #1 single may be lurking just inside the Top 40. Black Eyed Peas’ “Boom Boom Pow” inches in at #39, but it’s digital release will catapult it into, at the very least, next week’s Top 10 and it just may unseat GaGa at the top of the chart, although the fact that Lady G performed on “American Idol” last week could keep her at the top. Anyway, here’s this week’s Top 20 album charts. Watch out next week, when Keith Urban, Prince, Flo Rida, Bow Wow and a passel of others debut in the Top 20 of the charts, leading to another round of mega-drops.

Top 20 Albums

01-“Now That’s What I Call Music 30”-Various Artists

02-“Hannah Montana Movie Soundtrack”-Miley Cyrus/Various Artists

03-“Twilight Soundtrack”-Various Artists

04-“In a Perfect World…”-Keri Hilson

05-“All I Ever Wanted” Kelly Clarkson

06-“No Line on the Horizon”-U2

07-“The Fame”-Lady GaGa

08-“Metamorphosis”-Papa Roach

09-“Pray IV Reign”-Jim Jones

10-“Shine”-Martina McBride

11-“Crack the Skye”-Mastodon

12-“Fearless”-Taylor Swift

13-“Approaching Normal”-Blue October

14-“Love vs. Money” The-Dream

15-“Boss of All Bosses”-Slim Thug

16-“Son of a Preacher Man”-John Rich

17-“Carolina”-Eric Church

18-“Dark Horse”-Nickelback

19-“Hazards of Love”-The Decemberists