Writing this column each week is a lot more fun when I'm feeling the evangelistic fervor rising up inside me and I can talk about the passion. Some weeks are easier than others. I want to get excited about some releases on the slate but it's a bit more of a struggle this week.
I have no problem getting enthusiastic about music from Shelby Lynne- she's one of my favorite singer/songwriters. I Am Shelby Lynne is essential listening and recent records like Suit Yourself and Tears, Lies, & Alibis have shown tremendous growth and development for her as an interpreter (as did her Dusty Springfield tribute Just A Little Lovin') and writer. Blogcritics writer Clayton Perry interviewed Lynne about Tears, Lies, & Alibis, which was released earlier this year as well as I Am Shelby Lynne.
So why am I not jumping up and down? I'm just not a huge fan of most of the Christmas and holiday-themed releases that come out each year. I think she's great but I'm not sure what to make of her doing "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer." Maybe it's great, but do I need to hear it? I'm on the fence. She tackles some other secular and sacred Christmas songs and even throws in a couple of her own compositions.
Shelby Lynne isn't the only one with a Christmas release for this week. Indigo Girls also have one as does former American Idol contestant Katherine McPhee, Olivia Newton-John, and who knows how many others. If you love these songs, you'll have plenty of artists offering to sing and play them for you.
Moving off Christmas for the moment, we've also got new releases from indie wunderkind Sufjan Stevens and a new disc from Hootie & The Blowfish's Darius Rucker, who has found a second act in the country/Americana genre. There's also more music from the incarcerated rapper Lil' Wayne and a new set from Belle & Sebastian. There are a ton of releases this week and I'm sure many of them would make dazzling additions to your CD tower (remember those?) and iPod. Here's the list, yours if you want them: