2017 Christmas Albums

It's December first and officially acceptable to listen to Christmas music. I'm not going to pretend I adhere to social norms when it comes to holiday tunes though. I've been listening since the beginning of November. I just get so excited for new holiday albums and can't wait to listen! These are the ones I added to my collection this year.

You Make It Feel Like Christmas - Gwen Stefani
Oh, Gwen. At first glance (and listen) I had secondhand embarrassment. Don't get me wrong, I love her, but she has a unique voice that's not suited for slow songs and I didn't know how it would translate to holiday classics. I was pleasantly surprised...by half of it. She sounds best on Jingle Bells, Let It Snow, Last Christmas, Santa Baby, and White Christmas. They've got this upbeat throwback sound that really works for her. Then there are her original tunes which are all about Blake and they make me gag. I love the music in My Gift Is You and Under The Christmas Lights, but the lyrics are so cheesy and terrible.

Simply Christmas (Deluxe Edition) - Leslie Odom, Jr.
I bought the standard edition last year and my only complaint was that it's only eight songs long! This year he added four more to round out the album and again, it's perfection. He has the absolute best voice and his jazz band makes the classics so chill and gorgeous. I'll never understand why My Favorite Things (from The Sound of Music) is a Christmas song, but his rendition is SO good. He kills the most quintessential songs (Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, I'll Be Home for Christmas, The Christmas Song) but my favorites are Please Come Home For Christmas and The Christmas Waltz. Honestly though, there's not one bad thing to say about the entire album. He is so swoon-worthy.

Christmas With Elvis and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra - Elvis Presley
Elvis's holiday albums have always been favorites of mine, right behind Bing Crosby and Andy Williams. This re-imagining of his previous Christmas songs sounds so good. Santa Claus is Back in Town is my favorite song, but Blue Christmas, Merry Christmas Baby, and I'll Be Home for Christmas are right up there. My kids want to hear Here Comes Santa Claus and Winter Wonderland on repeat. If you like Elvis, you'll love these new arrangements. 

Everyday is Christmas - Sia
This was the most surprising holiday album release! Who knew Sia had it in her? It's very different and 100% original (no covers here), so nothing stood out to me immediately. I like Sunshine and Everyday is Christmas and think Underneath the Christmas Lights is haunting and beautiful. My kids and I really like Ho Ho Ho. I think it's catchy and they like the sound effects. They also like Puppies Are Forever, because, well, it's about puppies and there's barking in the song. I think it's super annoying, but I appreciate her message about not getting pets as gifts because they are a lifelong commitment. Ha!

A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe - Pentatonix
I also already owned the standard version of this album, which came out last year, but was happy to see five new songs tacked onto the end for the deluxe edition. Deck The Halls, Let It Snow, and Hallelujah (with strings) were great additions. People are losing their minds over Away In A Manger (in my Facebook feed, at least) and it's fine, but I'm not blown away. How Great Thou Art, featuring Jennifer Hudson, is good too, but not my preference. 

Let It Snow - 98º
I guess they're back? They released this album and a short supporting tour to celebrate their 20th anniversary. Honestly, I'm cool with it. They have great voices and their harmonies are tight. The album starts out fun and peppy and ends with slower, traditional Christmas carols. My favorite tracks are the upbeat songs: Run Rudolph Run, Please Come Home For Christmas, What Christmas Means To Me, and the a cappella Let It Snow. 

Warmer In The Winter - Lindsey Stirling
She's an amazingly talented violinist and not all the songs have guest vocalists, so I like to put this one when I'm cooking or cleaning. I LOVE Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy, Carol Of The Bells, and What Child Is This. (That was always my favorite song to play during the holiday season in concert band. Nerd alert!) Silent Night is really magical and You're A Mean One, Mr. Grinch featuring Sabrina Carpenter is so fun. Honestly, it's all really, really good. We're gonna listen to this album while we drive around and look at Christmas lights. 

Finally It's Christmas - Hanson
Hanson's back too? Upon further investigation, it looks like they never really left. They've released new music every few years since they started 25 years ago. I had no idea! This album mixes classics and originals and is a blast from beginning to end. I'm obsessed with Please Come Home, Blue Christmas and All I Want For Christmas. Happy Christmas (featuring all their kids!) and Finally It's Christmas are great new tunes. Who knew?!

What are you listening to this holiday season?


Jana @ Jana Says said...

I have a few nontraditional Christmas music I'll put on on Christmas day but that's it. I LOATHE holiday music.

Marie said...

Oh i had no idea 98 degrees had a new Christmas Album. I so need to get that, thanks for sharing.

Audrey Louise said...

I need to check out Sia's album! I love that she's got a song raising awareness about pet gift-giving! Ughhh, Gwen's voice grates on my nerves. I just can't listen to it or her. Totally not my cup of tea. I love Lindsey Stirling, though!!

Misty said...

I need to check out Leslie, Sia and Elvis. Elvis Christmas songs always top my list. Santa Claus is Back in Town is my favorite too!

Brianna said...

So far Sia's is my favorite of my new crop of Xmas albums. Idk if you're a dance-y music fan, but Kaskade's Christmas album is pretty good too.