US THE DUO, Our Favorite Time of Year  (Amazon Music): 2½ STARS

Initially best known for six-second covers posted to their Vine account, husband-and-wife fashionplates Michael and Carissa Alvarado combine slick production with sweetly charming chemistry. Original tracks like “Holiday Heartbreak” are bright, straightforward pop (“I’m looking for somebody to come and rescue me / I don’t wanna be alone/ I just need a friend/ Maybe I’ll find someone who won’t break my heart again”). More winning are their harmonious strolls through holiday standards like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” ustheduo.com

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Bloodshot Records’ 13 Days of Xmas  (Bloodshot): 2 STARS

With titles like Devil in a Woodpile’s “The Pagans Had It Right” and the Yawpers’ “Christmas in Oblivion,” this compilation is best paired with a lump of coal in Scrooge’s stocking. Kelly Hogan’s gorgeous weeper “Blue Snowfall” and Ruby Boots’ kittenish “I Slept Through Christmas” introduce welcome notes of sweetness, All Our Exes Live in Texas’ “How to Make Gravy” makes Christmas in prison sound downright pretty, and Murder By Death’s cello-gilded version of “O Holy Night” reminds of the reason for the season. Otherwise, there’s little to celebrate. Bloodshotrecords.com

VARIOUS ARTISTS, Holidays Rule  (Capitol): 2 STARS

Jimmy Fallon reprises “Wonderful Christmastime” with vocal effects and Sir Paul McCartney himself, setting a good-natured tone that’s intermittently matched throughout this eclectic pop-rock collection. Lake Street Dive’s calypso-flavored “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” and Flor de Toloache’s “That’s What I Want for Christmas” get enjoyably playful, while Roseanne Cash, the Decemberists, Norah Jones, Swedish crooner Albin Lee Meldau, MUNA, and Grace Potter deliver messages alternatively sincere and soulful. Capitolrecords.com

BUTCH WALKER AND HIS HOLIDAY PLAYERS, Over the Holidays and Under the Influence  (self-released): 3½ STARS

Opening each track with seemingly impromptu in-the-booth remarks, Walker takes a loose and well-lubed approach to good-time holiday classics like “Walking in a Winter Wonderland” and “Frosty the Snowman.” He downshifts for a harmony-adorned turn through “Little Drummer Boy,” while “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” gets goosed with a spry mambo rock twist and “Feliz Navidad” closes the eight-track EP with mariachi horns and laughter. The spirit is light and loose, the fun infectious. At Hotel Café in Hollywood Monday, Dec. 18. butchwalker.com