Music: Best Last-Second Gift
by Robin Fiedler
It's Christmas Eve, and you forgot to buy a Christmas gift for someone. No worries. It's not too late to download a few songs or even a whole CD. Music is a gift that keeps on giving every time it's played. With the ubiquitous iPod, iPhone, MP3 players, and smartphones that all store and play digital media, you can't go wrong.
Let's start with the hottest holiday music which can be played right away to set a festive mood. For kids,the Christmas with the Chipmunks album or Burl Ives' single "It's a Holly Jolly Christmas" are both top-selling classics. More recent hot holiday albums are Josh Groban's Noel and Andrea Bocelli's My Christmas, according to Billboard.com. As top folk album, Bob Dylan's Christmas in the Heart should please the baby-boomer generation.
For jazz and blues lovers, topping the charts right now are Peter White's "Bright," and the hottest artist and album is Michael Buble's Crazy Love. Billboard.com's top rhythm and blues album is Chris Brown's Graffitti despite its bad reviews and his reputation for assaulting Rihanna. The R&B top single is "I Invented Sex" by Trey Songz featuring Drake.
Billboard.com lists the three hottest pop songs this season as Iyaz's "Replay," Kelly Clarkson's "Already Gone," and Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me." Lady Gaga rules the dance music genre with her song "Bad Romance" and album The Fame. As for country, Taylor Swift scores the best album with Fearless, but top country song is "Need You Know" by Lady Antebellum.
And do you believe it? Steve Martin is on top of the bluegrass music Billboard.com chart with his album The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo. Steve Martin's music may not be a hot gift unless you're a die-hard fan of either Steve or bluegrass music, but the holiday present sure to please women this season is The Twilight Saga: New Moon soundtrack.
Finally the hot rap, rock, and alternative songs for young adults are "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, "Break" by Three Days Grace, and "Uprising" by Muse. Norah Jones' The Fall is the number 1 rock album on Billboard.com.
But if you're looking for all-time bestselling albums, not just what's hot now, Michael Jackson's Thriller is the winner, and second is the Eagles: Their Greatest Hits, according to the Recording Industry Association of America.
The hardest part of choosing music as a present is the overwhelming selection, but at about $1 a song, you can choose a variety of music, download it on a flashdrive or a CD, and decorate it up yourself for the best personalized last-second Christmas present. Then, have some fun "rockin' around the Christmas tree."
"Charts." Billboard.com 22 Dec. 2009
"Top 100 Albums." Recording Industry Association of America.
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