Justin Bieber is going bells to the wall this Christmas. That's right, bells -- jingle bells.
But the Biebs, who released "Under the Mistletoe" today (Nov. 1), isn't the only one getting in on the holiday album action this year. From "Glee" to Carole King, She & Him to Michael Buble -- even rapper Ginuwine and wild Stone Temple Pilots frontman Scott Weiland aren't above their own form of caroling. Check out 10 holiday albums not to miss this Christmas, Hanukkah or Kwanzaa.
|Justin Bieber | "Under The Mistletoe" Between last year's breakout release "My World 2.0" and next year's sure-to-be-huge follow-up album, Justin Bieber has headed home for the holidays (with some very special guests) for his first Christmas release, "Under The Mistletoe." The R&B-heavy album features a mix of original cuts and holiday classics, as well as collaborations with Mariah Carey, Busta Rhymes, Usher and The Band Perry. However, the Biebs can still command an audience on his own -- first single "Mistletoe" flew into the Top 20 on the Hot 100, and its music video has 27 million views on YouTube. Read our track-by-track review. -- Jason Lipshutz|
| She & Him | "A Very She & Him Christmas"
If sweet-voiced, throwback acoustic covers of well-known holiday ditties gets you in the mistletoe mood, then Zooey Deschanel has you covered with "A Very She & Him Christmas." Her third album as She & Him -- alongside folk singer-songwriter M. Ward -- arrived last week and features covers like "Blue Christmas," "I'll Be Home Christmas" and a fitting Beach Boys ode with "Little Saint Nick." Sure to warm the Grinch-like heart of the hipster on your Christmas list. -- Jillian Mapes
|"Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 2" After last year's first edition of "Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album" -- which featured Darren Criss and Chris Colfer's adorable "Baby It's Cold Outside" duet -- sold 931,000 copies (according to Nielsen SoundScan), those crazy McKinley kids return for round two. Out Nov. 14, "Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album, Vol. 2" features Mercedes (Amber Riley) belting out a stellar "All I Want For Christmas Is You" and a more traditional "Little Drummer Boy" (by Artie/Kevin McHale) than the, um, interesting rap redo on Bieber's Christmas album. "Glee" also gives its original songs another go on this 12-track Christmas compilation, nestled up alongside Santana (Naya Rivera)'s sexy "Santa Baby." -- Jillian Mapes|
| Scott Weiland | "The Most Wonderful Time of the Year"
Though not exactly a Velvet Revolver reunion, hard rock fans get the gift of new music from Stone Temple Pilots/VR singer Scott Weiland this holiday season. The solo effort takes on classics like "Winter Wonderland" and "White Christmas" and gives them what Weiland calls "a little twist," ranging in style from big band to reggae. -- Chris Payne
| Michael Bublé | "Christmas"
Looking for a little classic crooning this holiday season? Michael Bublé has released holiday albums before (2003's "Let It Snow," 2010's "A Holiday Gift For You" EP) but this year, he's going all out. New LP "Christmas" features the Sinatra-inspired baritone covering holiday standards like "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town" and "Holly Jolly Christmas," with plenty of retro jazz flourishes and swooning strings. Still want more? Bublé has an hour-long holiday special planned for NBC, which will feature holiday songs and sketch comedy segments. -- Chris Payne
| Ginuwine | "A Ginuwine Christmas"
Veteran R&B crooner Ginuwine followed "Elgin," his latest LP released in February, with this Christmas effort released in mid-October. Covers of "Silent Night" and "Joy To the World" are a far cry from Ginuwine's "Pony" days, but "12 Days" puts a seductive contemporary twist on the holiday staple. Who knew "two turtledoves" could sound so sexy? -- Jason Lipshutz
Carole King | "A Holiday Carole"
Famed singer-songwriter Carol King has been around the musical block, but she just recently dipped her toe into the world of holiday albums with the release of "A Holiday Carole" (get it?). The record, produced by her daughter louise Goffin, features traditional songs ("Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," "Carol of the Bells," "Sleigh Ride"), as well as original holiday tunes across an array of genres, from jazz to Latin. -- Jillian Mapes
|Jackie Evancho | "Heavenly Christmas" The age-defying vocals of 11-year-old sensation Jackie Evancho have an almost magical quality. When the "America's Got Talent" star performed at the lighting of Washington, D.C.'s national Christmas tree last year, her age-defying soprano reportedly caused rival Democrats and Republicans to lock arms and harmonize through "O Holy Night." While this may or may not be true, there's plenty of reason to expect big things from Evancho's latest collection of classic Christmas renditions. Last year's "O Holy Night" EP helped make her the year's top-selling debut artist, so it's safe to say Justin Bieber won't be the only member of Billboard's "21 Under 21" at the top of charts this Christmas. -- Chris Payne|
| "A Skaggs Family Christmas, Vol. 2"
Ricky Skaggs and his kin made a country Christmas classic with their 2005 album, and now the clan is back with Volume Two. The new album, which features ten tracks including favorites like "Joy To The World" and "Silent Night," comes with a DVD of the family performing at Nashville's Ryman Auditorum. Skaggs, who was just named Entertainer of the Year and Musician of the Year at the Inspirational Country Music Awards, takes his Family on an eight city Christmas theater tour of the south and midwest between Thanksgiving and Christmas. -- Jessica Letkemann
| "This Warm December: A Brushfire Christmas, Vol. 2
After its first 2008 compilation struck a chord with listeners, Brushfire Records's second 'Warm December' -- out in time for Thanksgiving -- features original wintertime tunes by the label's eclectic roster. G. Love turns in a pair, as does Jack Johnson, while Money Mark, Matt Costa, ALO and others have one song each. An album bundle, which includes the record digitally and on vinyl plus a 12-card set autographed by Jack Johnson and a six track preview of upcoming Brushfire releases, is available at ThisWarmDecember.com. -- Jessica Letkemann