Tree Trimming Tunes
Truth be told it’s slimmer pickings than usual this year for holiday music…but it’s tradition here on the CGG to share with you what’s set to be spinning on any holiday music channel (and perhaps on your MP3 player), so here’s a quick recap!
From L to R, Top to Bottom
Aussie pop legend Kylie Minogue has finally thrown her hat into the holiday game with her first ever collection of Christmas classics (and her 13th studio album overall!) With surprising collaborations with the likes of Iggy Pop and night show host James Corden, it’s primarily filled with holiday classics like Winter Wonderland and Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (which borrows Frank Sinatra’s smokey voice), but there are a bunch of new, original songs as well that are just as cheerful and festive. Huge Kylie fan? There’s also a deluxe version that includes a DVD.
Rockin’ Rudolph by The Brian Setzer Orchestra
Looking for an old-timey holiday album that’s also totally fresh to your ears? Pick up this jazzy option, which makes for great background music when sipping on holiday cocktails and egg nog. Featuring 12 different fun tunes that mix rockabilly, swing, jazz, and standards, you’ll love the rockin’ takes on favourite carols like Carol of the Bells and Hark! The Herald Angels Sing. Bonus points for some out there fare like Yabba Dabba Yuletide, a Flintstones-y holiday tune.
Today Is Christmas by Leann Rimes
Believe it or not, country crooner Leann Rimes actually just released a holiday album last year – but apparently she’s filled with the holiday spirit again with this latest offering. Her original songs are actually all pretty good – they may not have that ear wormy quality of your favourite holiday classics, but they’re plenty enjoyable to listen to when cruising through a snowy day or wrapping gifts. With this much focus on the holidays, Rimes also digs deep into the carol trove, bringing to life lesser-known tracks like We Need A Little Christmas and Must Be Santa.
Christmas Is Here by Danny Gokey
American Idol alum Danny Gokey has carved out a nice Clay Aiken-ish niche for himself, crafting albums that’ll primarily appeal to those who like a little easy with their listening. So naturally he’d tackle holiday music at some point. This 10-track holiday album doesn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but features plenty of lovely, clear takes on holiday standards like White Christmas and What Christmas Means to Me. Given Gokey’s ties to Christian pop, there’s also a few spiritual tunes in the mix.
A Jann Arden Christmas
Canadian music legend Jann Arden doesn’t dabble one bit in original tracks – it’s all about lovely versions of your favourite holiday tracks. The standout ones tend to be uptempo – like opener It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas and a medley of Jingle Bells / Santa Claus is Coming to Town – where Arden taps into a more swingy, big band sound. It’s a festive pick whether you’re shopping for a Jann Arden fan or anyone who just wants some new holiday voices in their home.
Christmas in Tahoe by Train
The year’s most offbeat choice by far for Christmas music is Train’s to be released offering. Admittedly I am a nerdy fan of their Coca Cola-sponsored holiday anthem ‘Shake Up The Happiness’ (dude knows how to write a hook) so I’m most curious about this one, which covers lesser-known, unexpected, poppier Christmas tunes like Slade’s Merry Christmas Everybody and Joni Mitchell’s River. Fair warning now – be prepared for any of their festive takes to get stuck in your head for days!
This is one of only a few bonus entries up for grabs this holiday season so seize it dear readers! Nab an extra entry into my Black & Decker giveaway that kicked off yesterday by telling me below – which holiday album would you be most delighted to give a spin this holiday season?