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EW picks the best and worst new holiday CDs

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Trying to sort through all the season’s new holiday-themed CDs? Let EW’s Chris Willman be your guide. In the forthcoming issue, he grades nine new discs, divided evenly among stocking stuffers, middling efforts, and lumps of coal.

The top category (”HO HO HO”) includes: Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (featuring offspring Rufus and Martha Wainwright), The Leevees’ Hanukkah Rocks, and To: Kate — A Benefit for Kate’s Sake (an Americana collection whose performers include Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, and E Streeter Garry Tallent).

Second-raters (”HO SO SO”) include: Diana Krall’s Christmas Songs, Brian Wilson’s What I Really Want for Christmas (his new band covering classic Beach Boys tracks from their 1964 Christmas album), and Faith Evans’ A Faithful Christmas.

Slabs of re-giftable fruitcake (”HO OH NO”) are: Il Divo’s The Christmas Collection, Kidz Bop Kids’ A Very Merry Kidz Bop, Pull My Finger’s Jingle Smells (which is exactly what you’re afraid it is). Anyone who thinks a tune called ”Silent Butt Deadly Night” would make a fine gift has probably earned a permanent spot on Santa’s naughty list.

What’s your favorite new music this season? Think any of these will make your all-time holiday favorites list?