Lumps of Coal: The Latest in Holiday Music

Christmas music: Lumping together the best, rest: Aidin Vaziri | Scott Weiland, “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” The trouble-prone Stone Temple Pilots singer takes an unlikely career turn with this apparently sincere solo album of holiday standards. Never mind that he looks sloshed on the cover, the familiar bulldog growl of “Interstate Love Song” and “Plush” is gone as Weiland does his best Michael Bublé impression over hotel lobby jazz arrangements of “The Christmas Song,” “White Christmas” and the title track.
Justin Bieber, “Under the Mistletoe” The Canadian teen pop star’s inevitable holiday offering features guest appearances by Boyz II Men and Busta Rhymes – the first names on anyone’s seasonal playlist – along with an oddly tender duet with mentor Usher on “The Christmas Song.” The originals, such as the quietly pumping “Mistletoe,” come off better than the covers, particularly when one simply features Bieber scatting over Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Read more.

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