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Music round-up: December 2011

Jude Mason

Rmusic.jpgIt's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.  As usual, I've been mainlining festive music since the middle of November and there's a few decent new ones this year to keep the whole family happy. My favourite is A Very She & Him Christmas from (unsurprisingly) She & Him, the quirky duo featuring Indie hero M Ward and new US sweetheart, Zooey Deschanel.  Quirky enough to be cool and approachably sweet enough to not scare off your mum, it's a great addition to the Yuletide and would go well in anyone's stocking.  

For the pre-pubescents in your family there's Justin Bieber's Under The Mistletoe, which finds our young heartthrob going a long way to show that he's still going to have the chops after his voice has broken. For your dad there's Carole King's A Holiday Carole, and for mum it's that nice Michael BublĂ©.  BublĂ©'s voice was made for Christ-mas and while he's arguably just this decade's rat pack crooner, Christmas is great festive cocktail jazz.
There are also plenty of non-festive stocking fillers. Mylo Xyloto from Coldplay isn't going to change anyone's opinion. If you like them, you'll enjoy this, and if you're one of their legion of haters then you won't. Move along.

Florence & The Machine's sophomore effort, Ceremonials, is every bit as good as Lungs.  Roots Manuva's 4everevolution is passionate and challenging hiphop. French Christian dance monkeys Justice feel more mainstream than ever on Audio Video Disco, but I think that's because the rest of pop music has been aping their style since 'D.A.N.C.E'.

But what I'm really hoping for is the 20th Anniversary reissue of U2's Achtung Baby. Packed with unheard material and video clips, it'll take me half of 2012 to get through it.  And that's a happy Christmas.

Jude Mason