Marah A Christmas Kind of Town (Yep Rock)
Elvis' are good, but, by God, at the moment this is the best Christmas album I've ever heard! Recorded during the holidays last year, both classics and originals are here with a glimmer of indie rock affectation; there are skits and not one but three versions of "Here We Come A Wassailing." The disc looks like a peppermint and the album art consists of a horde of Santas having brewskies at the pub, which can only mean one thing: Marah wants us to have a very merry and boozy Xmas.
Neil Diamond 12 Songs (Columbia)
I almost stuck this disc into the laptop I use, but right before I did I happened across a "Boycott Sony" button on the webpage I was looking at, and found out that Sony-BMG, who owns Columbia and Epic, have encrypted new albums with software that will, among other things, disable your CD burner. So, while this Rick Rubin-produced album is lovely, heartfelt, subtle and full of the superior songwriting you'd expect (though not as good as classic "Sweet Caroline" and "Red, Red Wine" Neil Diamond), buying it is a really bad idea. I'd recommend trying to pirate it from those dicks at Sony.
Eminem Curtain Call: The Hits (Interscope)
On one hand, Eminem is a misunderstood artist. On the other, he's the dude who imposed his pity party on us. On one hand, he overcame the struggles of the hood. On the other, he's a trailer park poseur. I can't completely write him off, but he's not the genius that many think he is, and to me, it's insane that he ever gained such notoriety. Oh well. He does have his moments, but I don't want this CD.
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