This Week in Music: The week of the mixtapes and comebacks with Wale, Miguel and More

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We listen to new music every week, but finding out what’s new isn’t always easy. Below is a list of our favorite new albums and single that dropped this week so you can keep your head bobbing all through your commute and drum on your desk to the dismay of all your co-workers. Here are the best releases for the fourth of December 2014 – though since there’s very little by way of new music out this week, we’ve rounded up the top holiday albums from this year.

New Albums for December 23, 2014

That’s Christmas to Me


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This album should probably come with a warning about how catchy it is, so we’ll give you one here: This Christmas album from Pentatonix, the a capella group from The Sing-Off, will be stuck in your head long after the holiday season passes

Holiday Wishes

Idina Menzel

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Singer and actress Idina Menzel, whom you probably recognize as the voice behind Frozen‘s Let it Go, decided to take on the classics of the holiday season in her latest album. The album also features a duet with Michael Bublé.

Home for the Holidays

Darius Rucker

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Hootie and the Blowfish lead singer Darius Rucker goes solo on Home for the Holidays – save for a guest spot from Sheryl Crowe – and mixes all-time favorites with a couple original productions along the way.

Motown Christmas

Various Artists

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You might not thing of Christmas when you hear Motown music, but those soulful singers know how to add some extra spirit to the season. This record features work from the Temptations, Babyface, Anita Wilson, and plenty of others.


Earth, Wind and Fire

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Despite being together for over 40 years, Earth, Wind and Fire have never produced a holiday collection. That changed this year with the release of this record that features old time carols, modern classics, and foreign-inspired tracks.

Ellen’s The Only Holiday Album You’ll Ever Need, Vol. 1

Ellen DeGeneres

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Ellen DeGeneres is a reliable source for entertainment during the weekdays, and she’s grabbed some of her favorite musical guests – like Coldplay, Wham!, Stevie Wonder, and Lady Gaga – and put them together on a single album.

Holiday for Swing!

Seth MacFarlane

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You may not love Seth MacFarlane’s particular brand of comedy, but it’s hard to deny the guy has talent. And he knows how to put together a good cast: This album features drop ins from Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles.

Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever

Various Artists

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Grumpy Cat probably hates this album and critics sure hated the movie that accompanies it but when you can get KT Tunstall, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, the Bird and the Bee, and others to sing on the same album, it’s worth a listen.


Mannheim Steamroller

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Behind the composition of legendary jingle maker Chip Davis, Jr., the band lives up to its Steamroller name as it blends classical music and modern rock. The group definitely knows Christmas – this is its 30th year making Christmas music.

New Singles

Winter Wonderland

Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

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Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga may seem like they make an odd pairing, but the two have been putting out some great music together. They team up again to get you into the holiday spirit with their mix of new and old on this classic.

I’ll Be Home

Meghan Trainor

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Meghan Trainor is usually all about that bass but on a new collection of Christmas hits sung but some of the best voices in pop music, she’s all about being home for the holidays.

All I Want for Christmas is You

Trey Songz

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Trey Songz has made his name with catchy hip hop jams, so it might seem strange to see his name attached to Mariah Carrey’s classic song. But he proves that he has the pipes to hang on this track.

Happy Xmas (War is Over)

Flaming Lips and Yoko Ono

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The Flaming Lips team up with Yoko Ono to tackle this song, originally written and performed by John Lennon and Yoko. The protest song from the Vietnam era has stuck around and gets new life with the Flaming Lips.

Santa Tell Me

Ariana Grande

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As if you haven’t heard plenty of Ariana Grande this year, you might as well keep her in rotation during the holiday season. She released this song earlier in December to get fans into the spirit of the season.

Kiss Me Babe, It’s Christmas

Owl City

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Owl City blew up back when he released his song Fireflies. A lot of the trademark styles that he crowned with that track are gone here, most noticeably the autotuning of his voice, but not much is lost in the stripped down song as it still has plenty of charm.

Next page: Hot new albums and singles from the third week of December 2014.

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