Elvis Costello: Invincible!

Photo: Getty Images

1. Elvis Costello, "Beautiful" (Christina Aguilera cover)
The man born Declan MacManus seems hell-bent on testing his impenetrable cool by marrying Diana Krall, collaborating with Anne Sofie Von Otter, and now covering Christina Aguilera. Lo and behold, the King of America walks away unscathed. [Inkiostro]

2. Baby Elephant, "Plainfield"
Prince Paul's newest project is one of his weirdest to date, but the headline on this track is an appearance by Shock G (a.k.a. the guy from Digital Underground with the fake nose who once bragged about receiving oral sex in the bathroom of a fast-food restaurant). Welcome back, Shock — we missed you. [Mainstream Isn't So Bad]

3. Leaders of the New School, "Case of the P.T.A."
Remember when Busta Rhymes was just a promising, hungry young rapper and not a cartoon with more arrests than hit singles? If you do, this truly awesome posse cut will make you extremely sad. [Rawkblog]

4. Sixx A.M., "X-Mas in Hell"
The best song about Yuletide cheer from an ex-junkie since Billy Idol's "Yellin' at the Xmas Tree." [Licorice Pizza]

5. Late of the Pier, "Bathroom Gurgle"
England's latest buzz-worthy lo-fi heroes make a splash with a song about dancing, drugs, and dancing while on drugs. [Hate Something Beautiful]
—Kyle Anderson