Kevin Bryan delivers his verdict on some of this week's alternative CD releases.

Green Day, "Greatest Hits : God's Favorite Band" (Reprise Records)- Green Day released their first career retrospective,"International Superhits," long ago in 2001 but the hits have just kept on coming, so the time now seems to be ripe for a follow up to enter the highly lucrative Christmas market. The Californian punk rockers have now been plying their trade on the world stage for more than three decades, selling more than 75 million records in the process. This exhilarating compilation showcases perennial crowd-pleasers such as "Holiday" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" alongside two fine new songs, "Back in the USA" and a duet with country music icon Miranda Lambert entitled "Ordinary World."

Rod Picott, "Out Past The Wires" (Welding Rod Records)- New Hampshire born Rod Picott didn't begin to pursue a serious musical career until he was well into his late thirties, with his debut album, "Tiger Tom Dixon's Blues," first seeing the light of day in 2001. The rest, as the old cliche goes, is history, and the former construction worker is now highly regarded as a prime purveyor of the finest Americana, delivering his affecting vignettes of blue collar life with a rare blend of honesty, poetic insight and emotional directness. The contents of this compelling new 2 CD set also include several gems which this prolific performer penned in tandem with his long time friend and collaborator Slaid Cleaves, most notably "Take Home Pay" and the defiant "Fire Inside."

Squeeze, "The Knowledge" (Love Records)- The sublime songwriting partnership of Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook which spawned classic chart successes such as "Cool For Cats" and "Labelled With Love" during their creative heyday in the late seventies has had to endure quite a few trials and tribulations since those heady days, but the duo have now returned to form with a vengeance on the eloquent evidence presented by "The Knowledge." The current incarnation of Squeeze touch on topics as diverse as obsessive record collectors and the perennial underfunding of the NHS via memorable ditties such as "Albatross" and "A&E" as they unveil the finest album that they've released in many a long year.

Anne-Sophie Mutter / Daniil Trifonov, "Schubert : Trout Quintet" (Deutsche Grammophon)- This vibrant celebration of the delights of Franz Schubert's chamber music repertoire marks the first occasion that highly regarded German classical violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter has ever recorded this much loved composition. She's joined here by pianist Trifonov and three young soloists from her own Anne-Sophie Mutter Foundation and the results are, as you might expect, quite impeccable.