Looking to do some last-minute Christmas shopping? Why not give the gift of music with some new releases from the recording industry's top stars? Or maybe not - unlike movies, which love to drop blockbusters on Christmas week, the music world goes pretty dormant in December. There's still a couple discs dropping, though, so let's break them down for you.
Bone Thugs-N-Harmony - Uni5: The World's Enemy - Hip-hop albums have such perplexing titles these days, full of acronyms and abbreviations. What could Uni5 be? The governing body for Major League Baseball uniforms? A pentagram made of unicorns? We may never know. This new self-releases album features the original lineup of Cleveland's finest reunited at last, with recently sprung from jail founding member Flesh-N-Bone back in the fold. Should be pretty good.
Eminem - Relapse: Refill - Good timing on this re-release from Em, who has just been announced as Billboard's Artist of the Decade for his sales and chart performance. That's not really a glowing recommendation considering that the rock band of the decade was Nickelback, but we live in trying times. Relapse was one of Em's best in a long time, but it's not like he's breaking any new ground with this material. If you're a fan, you'll eat it up.
Mudvayne - Mudvayne - Okay, after a certain point you need to stop doing self-titled albums. This is Peoria, Illinois' Mudvayne's fifth album. However, I have to give them props for going balls-out with the cover art - in normal light, it looks like a white sheet of paper, but if you fire up your blacklight the artwork and liner notes glow in the dark. Pretty awesome, especially in the era of iTunes and downloadable dominance. The music is the same technical metal that you've come to expect, but what an album cover.
Various Artists - The Twilight Saga: New Moon Soundtrack - Oh, boy. For something that's set in the backwoods grunge rock town of Forks, Washington, Twilight is pretty light on the Seattle sound. Instead, this soundtrack boasts cuts from Death Cab for Cutie, Muse, OK Go and Thom Yorke. I dunno, I though vampires would listen to stuff with a little more balls while they sparkle.