Blige adds voice to festive fodder
Conor's Pop Corner
Whether it's Christmas lights being switched on in town or frantically stocking up on gifts for extended relatives, there is already a dreaded whiff of all things festive in the air.
While we shop in the name of Christmas the soundtrack will remain fairly unchanged from what we're used to. But this year sees a number of stars lobbing themselves at the Christmas music canon as the lure of continued festive royalties lights up record executive's eyes.
This weekend, two very different divas serve up releases, with Mary J. Blige and Susan Boyle weighing into the Christmas ring. Susan's Home For Christmas will be as consistent a seller as her other deeply uncool, but hugely successful, albums.
Mary's feels like a strange move if only because Blige is still an R&B force to be reckoned with.
But the title A Mary Christmas just might be the ultimate Christmas album name and says a lot about how she can kind of do what she wants at this point in her career.
The week after sees two younger stars pitch us seasonal albums that they likely recorded somewhere back in the summer.
Leona Lewis has fallen out of favour on the charts somewhat after becoming the first X Factor star to make it internationally.
Christmas, With Love may seem like a safe bet, but it's a neat trick for bringing Lewis back into the public eye and avoiding the usual pressure of a new album.
Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red has already done decent business in the US and she's in rude health career wise.
It feels like a reminder of how she can turn her hand to a number of styles while remaining current.
For each artist these Christmas albums aren't just royalty earners they illustrate where their respective careers are.