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It seems like it’s been slim pickins for new holiday music this year. The two I think are the best were featured on Sound Ideas this month. The first is Josh Groban’s “Noel” which pairs his absolutely beautiful vocals with both the secular and sacred Christmas classics. Despite some critics who wanted him to include other songs or didn’t like his version of “I’ll be home for Christmas” with messages from some of the troops in Iraq, I think it’s a great cd. The second new holiday album that is great is the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s “Spirit of the Season” featuring another incredible voice, Sissel. You just can’t beat the Motabs for that classic Christmas music. But beyond that, there’s nothing new this year that I think is really hot. The new Mannheim Steamroller is just more of the same. I suppose that’s alright if you really like Steamroller. Michael Buble` has a new Christmas cd out called “Let it Snow.” But it’s what’s called an EP with only 6 tunes, actually 5 since there are two versions of “Let it Snow.” So let me recommend a couple of favorites of mine that are on my ipod and in my cd player. The first is “Christmas Songs” by Diana Krall (and yes you don’t have to say it, I do love everything she does). It brings a great jazz flavor to those traditional holiday hits. Bette Milder came out with a great Christmas cd last year called “Cool Yule” which has both some fun stuff (the title track “Cool Yule” for example) and some more traditional sounds. Chris Isaak also came out with a cd that includes not only the regular songs but also an original Christmas tune titled “Gotta be Good,” not something that’s easy to do by the way. And finally “Now That’s What I Call Christmas” which is a great compilation of holiday songs including artists from Boys II Men to Nat King Cole. So I hope you find something you like. Merry Christmas!!!