So long Thanksgiving, hello December holidays. Before you start wrapping presents and stringing up the lights, let’s take a look back at November’s best music releases — including a stellar posthumous soul record and a Rihanna rap track, plus some unexpectedly great holiday tunes.

Sharon Jones’s final album is a bittersweet close to her career

When singer Sharon Jones died of pancreatic cancer in November 2016, she left behind a legacy of soul music and a full discography for fans to keep returning to. Now, a little over a year after her death, her final album, Soul of a Woman, is out. Supported by her band, the indomitable Dap Kings, Jones recorded the album amid chemo treatments and a last round of live shows.

It doesn’t miss a beat. Soul of a Woman is a standard SJ&TDK mix of slower tracks (“Pass Me By”) and groovier ones that you can just picture Jones dancing to onstage (“Rumors”). Jones wrote the last song on the record, “Call on God,” for her church choir years ago, long before she started her career with the Dap Kings. With her playing the keys, the song relaxes into a hymn about giving up your suffering to God. It’s a perfect end to both the album and to Jones’s musical legacy.

Rihanna and Pharrell teamed up to release a new earworm

After about a seven-year hiatus, N.E.R.D., a funk/rap/rock group from Pharrell Williams, Chad Hugo, Shay Haley, is back with a new single — one that features a hefty dose of Rihanna. On “Lemon,” Pharrell and Rihanna trade rap verses, and it’s hard to decide which one of them delivers their lines better. (Rihanna, obviously.)

And don’t miss the song’s music video. In it, Rihanna shaves Read More Here