Music News: 'A Star Is Born,' 'Bohemian Rhapsody' score big in Golden Globes nominations

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A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga in 'A Star is Born.' (Warner Bros.)
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This year's biggest holiday music releases, from Stefani to Shatner
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This year's Golden Globes nominations were announced Thursday morning, and Bradley Cooper's remake of A Star Is Born was among the biggest nominees, tying two other movies with five nominations and behind only the Dick Cheney biopic Vice.

That's exciting news for music fans who have been loving the hit movie's chart-topping soundtrack, and the performances by Cooper and Lady Gaga. In addition to being nominated for Best Motion Picture (Drama) along with the Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, the movie landed a best-directing nomination for Cooper and acting nominations for both stars; Rami Malek was also nominated for his role as Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody.

The Best Original Song nominees included "Shallow" (A Star Is Born), "All the Stars" (by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, from Black Panther), "Girl in the Movies" (by Dolly Parton, from Dumplin'), "Requiem for a Private War" (by Annie Lennox, from A Private War), and "Revelation" (by Troye Sivan and Jónsi, from Boy Erased).

We don't have to wait too long to find out who wins: the Golden Globes will be held on Jan. 6. (New York Times)

New holiday music roundup

Christmas time is here again, and that means a slew of new holiday music releases from artists including Diana Ross, Eric Clapton, the Old 97's, Pentatonix, and even yacht rock god Michael McDonald. But wait, there's more!

Jessie J: This Christmas Day

If you had to pick one new Christmas album to inspire your Halloween costume next year, it would have to be Jessie J's This Christmas Day. The British pop diva, who's sung and/or written a bunch of hits but is still best-known for her 2014 Ariana Grande and Nicki Minaj collaboration "Bang Bang," wears a giant — and I do mean giant — red bow on her head for the cover of her new holiday album, which features standards like "Silent Night" and "Jingle Bell Rock" alongside the title track, a Jessie J original. Babyface helps out with "The Christmas Song," and Boyz II Men go walking with Jessie through a "Winter Wonderland." (Jay)

John Legend: A Legendary Christmas

The youngest EGOT winner has crafted a soulful, Motown throwback album. It covers all the holiday bases, danceable and upbeat, happy horns, swelling strings, and John Legend's powerful lungs pushing out classic holiday songs with a smile you can hear. He keeps it crisp enough to cut through all the cookies and eggnog in songs like "Silver Bells." (Jade)

JD McPherson: Socks

Roots rocker JD McPherson told The Current's Brian Oake and Jill Riley that he set out to break with clichés when he set out to make Socks, an album of all-original holiday songs. "So many times, that's the thing to do: 'Let's do "Jingle Bells" again,' you know what I mean? Not knocking anybody that wants to do that, it just didn't feel right for us to do something like that. So when it finally came up, I'm like, let's not only make a rock and roll record, let's treat it like one of our records. You know, let's treat it like an album. And then also, let's consider: the first thing you think of you need to make a Christmas record, let's don't do that. Let's don't record any jingle bells, try to find other ways to evoke the time of year without doing that."

The Monkees: Christmas Party

As one of the first boy bands, the Monkees rose above the TV show band brand with clever songs and sweet harmonies. The sleigh bells get a workout on this very lively holiday album that covers classics like "Angels We Have Heard on High," which takes on a very stripped-down and almost Americana feel with banjo plucking, as well as silly holiday originals like "What Would Santa Do?" — which will remind you to stay on the good list. (Jade)

William Shatner: Shatner Claus

A multimedia pop-culture icon at age 87, William Shatner doesn't need to do anything unless he's going to have fun doing it. Accordingly, for his predictably weird new speak-sung Christmas album, he enlisted a different guest star for every track — from Judy Collins, who joins him on "White Christmas," to Henry Rollins, who jumps in for a "punk rock version" of "Jingle Bells," to Iggy Pop on "Silent Night," which makes it sound like the kind of silent night you have when you're passed out after spiking the eggnog all day. If you like your holidays with a side of Stratocaster, you'll enjoy Shatner's rollicking "Rudolph" featuring Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top. (Jay)

Gwen Stefani: You Make It Feel Like Christmas

Sometimes the transition from No-Doubt-cargo-pants-ska Gwen Stefani to pop Gwen is so shocking to me that I have to think about them as two separate people. If you enjoyed the in-your-face punk of "Oi to The World" that No Doubt put out in 1997, maybe follow my lead and kindly put that out of your mind. This is fun, at times rockabilly, sometimes full of 1950s harmonies, and even gentle and reverent in an updated version of "Silent Night." (Jade)


Songs sampled in podcast
Jahzzar: "Comedie" (CC BY 4.0)
BoxCat Games: "Against the Wall" (CC BY 3.0)
John Legend: "Silver Bells"
Jessie J feat. Boyz II Men: "Winter Wonderland"
The Monkees: "What Would Santa Do"
JD McPherson: "All The Gifts I Need"
Gwen Stefani: "Silent Night"
William Shatner feat. Billy Gibbons: "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"
Yoshiki: Golden Globes Theme
Queen: "Bohemian Rhapsody"
Kendrick Lamar: Black Panther Original Soundtrack
Kendrick Lamar and SZA: "All the Stars"
Troye Sivan and Jónsi: "Revelation"


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