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Recorded at the height of Mr. Superbad’s reign, this high-octane, 17-song set is guaranteed to give Santa Claus a soul transfusion–and put a little extra kick into that mistletoe kiss. While JB spends a fair amount of time pouring his heart out on inspired renditions of favorites such as “Merry Christmas Baby” and “Please Come Home,” he and his always-stellar band really shine on a spate of originals that takes Christmas from an idealized holiday and makes it real. They do so in ways that are fun (“Go Power at Christmas Time”) or with a dose of social consciousness (“Santa Claus Goes Straight to the Ghetto”), but the mere fact that Brown makes it all work–and makes it funky in the process–is a joy to behold. –David Sprague