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Nick's Music Notes (December 2016)

Well, 2016 is almost gone (thankfully), and with it, many artists that we've known and cherished throughout the decades. However, there is hope for a new generation of artists. This will be the first Music Notes of many! These are a few albums that can give your ear a jolt this month!

A PENTATONIX CHRISTMAS (PENTATONIX) - This is the third holiday album from the grammy award winning, multiplatinum sensation. Such favorites as "Hallelujah", "I'll Be Home for Christmas", and "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" can be found on the now platinum album (the group's third platinum album). The album does not disappoint showing the vocal flexibility and dexterity of each member, and features The Manhattan Transfer on one of the tracks. Definitely an album for your collection this month! A-

24K MAGIC (BRUNO MARS) - Bruno Mars returns with an album that has been topping the charts from the day it's been released. Similar to Unorthodox Jukebox, Mars' album is a feel good collection for all listeners. Mars has such club hits as "24K Magic(song)", but reaches into his back of styles ranging from a James Brown-esq "Perm" all the way to "Finesse", a song that could be a lovechild of early Boyz II Men and 112. Basically, this is Uptown Funk--the album. Prince stated "albums matter", and this cut from Bruno is a great listen from track to track! A+

SIMPLY CHRISTMAS (LESLIE ODOM JR.) - The triple-threat, Tony-Award winning Hamilton sensation taps into his inner yuletide to bring us this wonderful Christmas album. Fans of jazz will especially enjoy this album from Odom! Odom presents similarly elegant versions of seasonal favorites ranging from Schubert's "Ave Maria" to overplayed tunes such as "The First Noel." Arranged mainly for piano throughout, with bass, drums, acoustic guitar, and rare keyboards and trombone, it's got small dinner parties and nostalgic winter evenings in front of the fireplace in mind. Later, a light touch by vocals, bass, and acoustic guitar makes for an equally poignant version of the Carpenters' "Merry Christmas Darling." On record saying that he made Simply Christmas after getting requests for a Christmas album "a few times a week," Odom may need to brace himself for ongoing harassment after this exquisite set (credit: Marcy Donelson). A-

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