Weekly US CD releases: Andrea Bocelli’s Christmas duets with Mary J. Blige and The Muppets

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The Independent Culture

In one of the year's big Christmas releases, Italy's renowned opera tenor Andrea Bocelli sings classic holiday favorites with some surprising guest singers. Genres from pop and rock to country and R&B join the lineup of US album releases on November 3 in time for the holidays.

Andrea Bocelli, My Christmas
Lush arrangements and Andrea Bocelli's soaring tenor vocals put this holiday collection on many must-have lists. Genre-spanning versions of classic songs include: "God Bless Us Everyone" from Disney's A Christmas Carol movie, "Blue Christmas" with country queen Reba McEntire, "What Child Is This" with Mary J. Blige, "The Christmas Song" with Natalie Cole, and "Jingle Bells" with The Muppets. My Christmas will also be part of a Great Performances special on US television channel PBS this December, featuring legendary producer David Foster and guests. Bocelli arrives in the US on November 28 for several tour dates in North American cities from Toronto to Las Vegas.
Genre: Traditional
Label: Decca
Site: www.andreabocelli.com/

Rickie Lee Jones, Balm in Gilead
In celebration of her 30 years as a performer, Jones is on tour in support of her latest release. Her 13th album may be less jazzy than usual but it offers no less distinctive and soulful a sound. Ben Harper joins Jones on "Old Enough." In November, she performs dates in London, Holland, Spain, and France and on December 7 plays at Carnegie Hall.
Genre: Singer-Songwriter
Label: Fantasy Records
Site: www.rickieleejones.com

Weezer, Raditude
The band releases a 10-song standard CD, a 30-track deluxe set, and a special offer with a blue Weezer "snuggie" blanket robe. The first single is "If You're Wondering If I Want You To] I Want You To." On the road this summer, the band plays Chicago, Toronto, Boston, and Washington DC in December to support the record.
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: Geffen Records
Site: www.weezer.com

Carrie Underwood, Play On
The third album from the country singer who won American Idol and last year's Country Music Award for Best Female Vocalist. The first single, "Cowboy Casanova" might not crossover to pop but is bound to please fans.
Genre: Pop/Country
Label: Arista Nashville
Site: www.carrieunderwoodofficial.com

Amerie, In Love & War
The fourth album from by Korean-African American singer Amerie is released on her own label, Feenix Rising through Def Jam, after a label switch. She co-wrote the songs with several co-producers. The first single, "Why R U?" could join her previous top 10 hit "1 Love."
Genre: R&B/Hip-hop
Label: Feenix Rising/Def Jam
Site: www.defjam.com