Holiday Album Guide: GNR, Killers, Kanye, and More

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Kanye West / Photo by Alan Clarke for the January 2008 issue
WRITTEN BY
Abigail Everdell

You know the holidays are near when the music biz releases new albums by Kanye West, the Killers, Scott Weiland, and Guns N' Roses all in one jam-packed week. GNR's 15-years-in-the-making Chinese Democracy arrives Sun., Nov.23; the others drop on the more-traditional Tues., Nov. 25.

To help you keep your Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa shopping trip short and simple (even if it's just to Amazon and back), here's a handy guide to who on your shopping list deserves each album the most.

Guns N' Roses, Chinese Democracy


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Our Take: An endless wait and $13 million in recording costs have culminated in a pretty decent, albeit predictably overblown, album.

Perfect For: Your "bro" in law

Why? He may have a stable desk job, but the bottle-opener flip flops he wears every weekend are a reminder that the guy would like nothing more than an hour of unapologetic, screams-and-guitars cock-rawkery blasting through his stereo. Watch out, though. If this nostalgia explosion catches him at a vulnerable moment, it might set off a premature, Porsche-buying midlife crisis.

Kid Sister, Dream Date


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Our Take: The Chicago emcee's debut lightens hip-hop's burden with catchy hooks and endearingly sassy delivery.

Perfect For: Your newly-developing little sister

Why? She's turning into a young hormone magnet right before your eyes, so teach her how to wield that power for the forces of good by introducing her to the dancefloor-happy self assurance of Kid Sister. Before you know it she'll be wagging a fresh-painted purple sparkly nail and stomping right over those 6th grade boys.

Scott Weiland, Happy in Galoshes


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Our Take: Ex- (and future) Stone Temple Pilot refuses to let Slash get him down and makes with the introspective solo project.

Perfect For: Mom

Why? Sure, Weiland's had his personal problems, but he's never had trouble being totally dreamy in an unattainable, ballady way that moms just love. Plus, she may be the only girl in your family who isn't in danger of actually dating a guy like this, so you've got no reason to worry about her imagination going wild... Right?

The Killers, Day & Age


>> Read Review

Our Take: The Vegas foursome explore the reaches of glam rock grandiloquence, bringing some very well crafted pop numbers along for the fur-and-feather-draped ride.

Perfect For: Your best gal friend

Why? There's nothing girls like better than a little bombastic dance rock to soundtrack their night-out primping. If you're feeling really generous, wrap up a bottle of vodka to go along with it and have yourselves a fist-pumping pre-party so good you won't want to leave the house. Because it's f*ing cold out there!

Kanye West, 808s & Heartbreak

Our Take: Hip hop's brilliant egomaniac purges heartsick demons through song, with the help of his trusty sidekick Auto-Tune.

Perfect For: Your older brother

Why? It seems that his girlfriend caught the "change" bug this fall, but he'd never admit to feeling bad about it. So tell him that you think "Love Lockdown" has the sickest tribal beat you've ever heard, when you really know that it's the "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" of our generation. Then give him a few hours alone to let it all out.

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