New Music Tuesday: 12-9-08

While most people are putting together their best-of-2008 album lists, others are still working hard to release an end-of-the year album. Here are a few this week that would make great stocking stuffers.

BrandyHuman (Epic Records)

After a four-year hiatus, the R&B singer returns with a new record label and several producers creating upbeat tracks to aid her lyrics. Brandy seems to have been able to channel her controversial personal life into fodder for her album, and it’s better off for it.

Marianne FaithfulEasy Come, Easy Go (Naive Records)

The legendary singer’s newest two-disc album includes covers of songs like Dolly Parton‘s “Down From Dover” and duets with Sean Lennon, Cat Power, Keith Richards and Rufus Wainwright. A meeting of classic vocals with modern-day music, this album is a must-have for your collection.

Alice RussellPot of Gold (Six Degrees Records)

A prolific performer and songwriter, the English soul singer returns with her fourth album in six years. Fans of Duffy and other contemporary chanteuses will enjoy Russell’s throwback style, which has hints of Aretha Franklin and Minnie Riperton.

Cat PowerDark End of the Street EP (Matador Records)

Cat Power is the queen of covers, and her new EP shows off more of her talent to recreate well-known tracks and make them their own. The six-song CD includes covers of Sandy Denny, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Otis Redding and Aretha Franklin.