Erasure's new album, "Snow Globe" (Mute), is a weird mix of year-end treats. It's a holiday album, of sorts, so it includes Andy Bell's angelic delivery of classics like "The Christmas Song" and "Silent Night" over Vince Clarke's inventively spare, bleepy-bloopy synth arrangements. There are also dark originals -- "Blood on the Snow" and "In the Bleak Mid-Winter" -- that bridge the gap between holiday songs and more expected Erasure numbers.

There are also new dance anthems, including the groovy party-starter "Brooklyn" and the sweetly retro "Loving Man" that will be the stars of many a holiday party. Does it hold together? Does that really matter? It's fun.

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"Snow Globe"


BOTTOM LINE Part holiday album, part dance collection