I’m a pretty traditional guy. I have a good appreciation for rock music. But at this time of year, I’m not interested in the modern interpretations of the classics. It really seems like they’re trying to jazz up the songs needlessly. They’re making things more about themselves than the songs. It’s hard to know what standards are out there! Here’s my list of the Christmas albums in my rotation.
Nat King Cole – The Christmas Song
Come on now… this one might have slipped your mind, but after about 30 seconds, you know this is the ultimate Christmas album of all time. If you could only have one christmas album to listen to for the rest of your life, this has to be it.
Bing Crosby – White Christmas
Mr. Crosby holds a special place in my heart. When I think of my father and my grand father, I think of Bing Crosby. All the music here is top notch and just wonderful.
Andy Williams – The Classic Christmas album
A modern-ish take on things. He might have one of the best takes on Winter Wonderland ever. Again… nothing here is memorable or special, but for me, that’s what makes it memorable and special.
The Carpenters – Christmas Portrait
Karen Caprenter was taken from us far too soon. Her voice is simply amazing. Listen to her… the clarity, the joy, the technical excellence and just the pure wonder! I’m sad she left us so soon because I think she could have had a serious positive impact on things in the music world had she stayed around longer.
Frank Sinatra – A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
Listen… you can’t leave the chairman of the board off any list like this. But seriously… again. All of these are gems! They’re great because they’re about the music, not the artist. I think that’s the problem with the modern takes on things.
Christina… baby… learn how to hold a note. You have a fantastic talent, but I’m not interested in hearing how many different notes you can hit within three seconds as you make “Silent Night” into some sort of adult film soundtrack.
But wait? Where’s Johnny Mathis?
I tried. I really tried. Really. When you think of Christmas songs, I guarantee that Johhny Mathis is at least one of them. But here’s the problem… he’s just so 70’s. I tried it out and couldn’t get past the loungy-ness of the 70’s of the whole album. It sounded like something you’d hear in a hotel. Dude… you’re awesome, but you’re not making my list.
The sleeper surprise…
Trans-Siberian Orchestra? Michael Buble? Celine Dion? No. No thanks. My sleeper-surprise is… hold on for it….
Cee Lo Green and Cee Lo’s Magic Moment
For the guy best known for the song F*ck You, this is one terrific christmas album. He has some real talent. There are a few songs on the album I can do without (Christina… really… give up that schtick) but on the whole, it’s a really good album. Cee Lo has some real talent and he puts it to good use on the album. If you have Spottify or Pandora, it’s worth a listen. If not, it’s actually worth a purchase. His interpretations of the classics are classic. They’ll hold up for years to come. This isn’t something that’ll be popular this year and then be gone.
It’s a keeper.
A special mention for Bill Murray
I also enjoy Christmas movies. So many of what is on TV is just one huge commercial though! Gross….
That’s where Bill Murray saves the day. His “A very Murray Christmas” is fantastic. It’s so silly while being… I don’t want to say “serious” but maybe reverent… whatever… it’s a great way to pass some time in the christmas spirit. 🙂