It's pretty rare that I find a CD these days where I actually like most of the songs. The last decade or so has been mostly pretty disappointing, with most CDs having one, maybe two, decent songs on them. Certainly not like when I was in junior high, or high school, when most CDs (yes, CDs did exist in those days) had at least four or five good songs.
So I was pleased to discover that most of the songs on Paramore's Riot are actually good. After a decade of disappointment I have mostly given up on popular music releases, but after being exposed to two good songs from Paramore in Rock Band 2 and Guitar Hero World Tour (That's What You Get and Misery Business are hands down my two favorite songs in these games), I decided to give their CD a chance, and I actually like it. Normally I'm not a huge fan of music that is really heavy on distorted guitars, but for some reason Riot breaks away from that stereotype enough for me to really enjoy it. It isn't all stellar, of course, but the majority of its tracks are better than most of the mediocre-at-its-best "music" that comes out of the recording industry these days.
I won't go into a lengthy description of the CD (most of which are usually meaningless anyway), but I will say that the 30-second samples you get on Amazon's web site are actually a pretty good representation of what the album is like. In addition to being well written, there is enough variety in its style to keep things interesting. So if you're into that kind of thing, I recommend this disc.
Generally I follow the unwritten rule of not listening to Christmas music unless Thanksgiving has passed, and the new year is still ahead of us. Last year I bought the Christmas DVD by Celtic Woman right around Christmas so I didn't have much time to listen to it before my Christmas music got put away. But during Thanksgiving dinner I put the DVD in and really liked it. Enough that the CD will be on my regular rotation through this holiday season. Which is impressive because my collection of Christmas CDs is pretty extensive (49 albums at current count), so for anything to stand out says something about it.
The album is available in the form of MP3 downloads, a CD, and a DVD video of their concert. I just wish the tracks on the CD were rearranged so its most powerful number, O Holy Night, were at the end instead of being right up front, and that their concert DVDs weren't lip synced. Oh well.