20 New-ish Christmas Albums That Actually Rule

Asia's Tech News Daily

20 New-ish Christmas Albums That Actually Rule
© Getty

Holiday music, when done wrong, is unbearably cheesy. Schmaltzy tunes about mistletoe, red noses, and strolling (mit-covered) hand-in-hand through the snow release by the sled-load every single year. This makes it hard to willfully seek out new holiday releases, and we just want to say, we get it.

But, believe it or not, there are a number of albums from recent years that deserve a spin. So as temperatures drop, fire up these soon-to-be-classics. Here are 20 new-ish holiday LPs, for when you’ve worn out Bing, The King, and even Babs.

Pistol Annies, Hell of a Holiday

Not that the Pistol Annies, a country music trio of Miranda Lambert, Ashley Monroe, and Angaleena Presley, can do much wrong, but their first holiday LP shocks in its ability to get everything right. Their attempts at original fare (the humorous title track, “Snow Globe”) land with just the right amount of wink, and their covers of well-worn classics like “If We Make It Through December” and “Auld Lang Syne” will have you reaching for a tissue to dry your eyes.

Kelly Clarkson, When Christmas Comes Around…

If there’s a star who knows exactly the right amount of cheek to make holiday music fun, it’s Clarkson. Which is why the single, “Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You),” a guaranteed groan-fest in the hands of any other talent, manages to sore—and charm. Clarkson’s second holiday set, which is, at times, also sexy and heartbreaking across its 15 songs, should be a regular spin come the end of the year.

Leslie Odom, Jr., The Christmas Album

If I told you that what “Little Drummer Boy”—a song long-since added to the Christmas music canon—needed was the infusion of global music sounds courtesy of the venerated Mzansi Youth Choir out of South Africa, would you believe me? It is the season for miracles, after all. The Hamilton star was fearless when approaching his 2020 holiday LP, a decision that surprises, and delights. The Christmas album is a merry, merry affair that sparkles with a whole world’s worth of influences.

The Bird and the Bee, Put Up The Lights

Greg Kurstin and Inara George have rounded up some of their favorite festive songs, plus Dave Grohl (why not?!), for a sweet, eight song ode to the holidays. This is easy listening at its finest.

Andrew Bird, Hark!

After 12 LPs and a quarter century of whistle and violin loops, Bird was, finally, feeling festive in 2020. His layered, folky-but-theatrical stylings are a perfect match for Christmas fare, and the history books may well reference his COVID-inspired meditation on the holidays, “Christmas In April,” for years to come.

Los Lobos, Llegó Navidad

Feliz Navidad! Four decades into their career, East L.A. Latin-rock party starters Los Lobos finally lent their irresistible stylings to holiday fare. The group rips through 11 festive classics from the Spanish-speaking world—including Freddy Fender’s “Christmas Time In Texas” and salsa favorite “La Murga”—plus one original, a blues-tinged lament for the lonely called “Christmas and You.” Dig in.

You Wish, A Merge Records Holiday Album

The 2019 indie entry comes courtesy of Merge Records, who, in celebration of their own 30th birthday, rounded up 15 artists for a diverse set of well-worn classics—Hiss Golden Messenger and Lucinda Williams team up on a terrifyingly good take on John Prine’s “Christmas In Prison” while Apex Manor gently update “White Christmas”—and new missives. Telekinesis’s upbeat “Christmas Times Is Here (Uh Oh)” charms hardest, but Mac McCaughan and Annie Hayden’s lilting ode to, yes, sledding, “Down We Go (Sledding Song),” deserves a spin as well.

Andrea Bocelli, Si Forever (The Diamond Edition)

The opera legend’s first release of Si (2018) went platinum. The sprawling LP, which features duets with Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa, and his son Matteo, got an update in 2019 with stellar, brand new features from Ellie Goulding ( “Return to Love”) and Jennifer Garner ( “Dormi Dormi Lullaby”). And while the set isn’t expressly meant for the holidays, it’s just about impossible to find a more fitting soundtrack for crisp air and cozy nights.

Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra, Big Band Holiday II

The world’s premiere trumpeter Wynton Marsalis led the big band holiday shows at New York City’s fabled Jazz At Lincoln Center in their holiday concerts from 2015-2018, and the following season, he folded his highlights into a raucous, warm, undeniable live collection that begs for a spin in your tinseled-out, light-strung living room. (Its predecessor dropped in 2015.) The jazz A-list turns out in the form of Catherine Russell, Veronica Swift, Denzal Sinclaire, and Audrey Shakir, but it’s impossible not to call out Aretha Franklin’s never-before-released piano rendition of “O Tannenbaum.” It was a surprise when she graced the venue 2015, and five years after her death, it still shocks to hear her pure, perfect vocal.

The Last Christmas Soundtrack

First, a note: the Last Christmas soundtrack is not actually a Christmas collection at all. Second, none of the music on the set is new. Culled from George Michael and Wham!’s songbooks, it’s an album full of boisterous, funkified party cuts—to wit: the one-two punch of “Too Funky” into “Fantasy”—meant to accompany the new Henry Golding-Emilia Clarke cheesefest. Avoid the post-dinner lull and cue this up; even grandma will be moved to cut a rug.

Kacey Musgraves, A Very Kacey Christmas

Musgraves is one of the quickest wits writing music these days (give any of her stellar and non-themed LPs a spin, including this year’s acclaimed star-crossed). The holiday spirit lucked out in 2016 when she cast her pen towards it. A Very Kacey Christmas sees the singer channeling ‘60s nostalgia while covering much-loved classics ( “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”), teaming up with Leon Bridges ( “Present Without a Bow”), and toking up with the Red Headed Stranger ( “A Willie Nice Christmas”).

John Legend, A Legendary Christmas Deluxe Edition

The crooner’s first Christmas album, which arrived in 2018, got a headline-making update in 2019 when Legend teamed up with his fellow Voice judge, Kelly Clarkson, for a woke-ified rendition of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Awkward and forced, the song landed to the ridicule of some and the general dismay of many more. But don’t let that distract you from the 17 other tunes here. Most beg for a spot on your holiday party playlist—the gooey “Bring Me Love” is downright irresistible while the Stevie Wonder-featuring “What Christmas Means to Me” is pure vintage pop—and, better yet, Legend logs one of his most tear-jerking cuts to date with “By Christmas Eve.”

Cheap Trick, Christmas Christmas

With 18 albums in the can, the Hall of Famers finally had time for a holiday outing in 2017. (That year actually saw Cheap Trick release two albums with We’re All Alright! dropping in June.) The group penned three originals for the set and elsewhere tackled oddities like Harry Nilsson’s “Remember (Christmas)” and Wizzard’s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday.” In a market that too often sees acts doing more of the same, the willingness to be different wallops.

Loretta Lynn, White Christmas Blue

Country music’s sequined queen had a productive 2016. Along with her lauded Full Circle album, her first collection in more than a decade, Lynn also released White Christmas Blue, a spry set of holiday songs. The icon previously recorded six of the 12 songs five decades ago on 1966’s Country Christmas, and there’s undeniable charm to seeing her reinterpret them again, here. Recorded with John Carter Cash (son of Johnny and June Carter Cash, who also produced Circle) at his home studio, your heart will just about break with her powerful rendition of “White Christmas.”

JD McPherson, Socks

You’ll find no covers on the Oklahoma native’s first Christmas set—literally, none. Instead, McPherson penned 11 brand new cuts for a retro-rock holiday revival that, with no kitsch or cutesiness, beams with festive cheer. From the euphoric “Hey Skinny Santa!” to the growling “Bad Kid” to the delicate “Ugly Sweater Blues,” there’s something for everyone.

The Mavericks, Hey! Merry Christmas!

No one knows, really, what to call the sort of music the Mavericks make. (Latin-infused rock? Tex-Mex party tunes? Caribbean-inflected rockabilly?) But there is one thing we all agree on: It’s fun as hell! Same goes for the Grammy-winners’ 2018 holiday LP, which bursts with bright horns, jazzy arrangements, and a heck of a lot of swing. Raul Malo and Co. wrote eight originals for the set and rounded the album out with two covers: “Happy Holiday,” and “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” which absolutely soars.

Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, It’s a Holiday Soul Party

Released in 2015, Soul Party sees the legendary singer and her revered backing outfit injecting a whole bunch of funk into the yearly festivities. With bright horns and addictive melodies, new cuts like “8 Days of Hanukkah” and “Big Bulbs” are instant classics, while playful updates to “White Christmas” and “Silver Bells” will have you wondering why they weren’t done like this all along.

Smokey Robinson, Christmas Everyday

Christmas Everyday may be the Motown legend’s first solo Christmas set—released in 2017—but Robinson is hardly alone on the uber-inviting LP. Trombone Shorty guests on the swinging “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town” while Jones’ cohorts the Dap-Kings appear on the glinting “You’re My Present.” All adorned with the singer’s honeyed notes, results are super smooth holiday magic.

Brett Eldredge, Glow

Brett Eldredge’s Glow is so good the singer’s now released it twice—well, sort of. First issued in 2016, the deluxe version of the set, which includes 18 tracks, arrived in 2018. And while Eldredge made his name cutting certified pop-country winners, it’s hard to imagine a better vehicle for his bold baritone than the throwback, big band arrangements here. Well, actually, there is one: cue up his a capella rendition of “The First Noel,” which stuns.

Sia, Everyday is Christmas

It’s hard to not-enjoy Sia’s warm, raspy vocals. It’s even harder to not-enjoy it when she’s singing songs written with powerhouse producer Greg Kurstin (Adele, Kelly Clarkson). So given that her first holiday album, which released in 2017, features exactly this recipe for success, there is a certain baseline of “good” the LP never sinks below. Not every song contends for space in the Christmas music canon— “Puppies Are Forever” never really adds up to its intended charm, “Candy Cane Lane” is almost too wispy—but turn on “Underneath the Mistletoe,” an throat-ripping banger, and then turn it way up. Go on, sing along. It is Christmas, after all.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
Asia's Tech News Daily
News Related


Minot man faces sexual assault charges involving several children

Dec. 8—AUBURN — A Minot man who prosecutors called a “serial child molester” was charged Tuesday with three felony sex crimes involving a child younger than 12. Ralph Leach, 65, ... Read more »

UNICEF warns of malnutrition and disease risk for migrant children in Mexican camp

1 / 5UNICEF warns of malnutrition and disease risk for migrant children in Mexican campMigrants in Tapachula By Lizbeth Diaz MEXICO CITY (Reuters) – Thousands of migrant children and adolescents ... Read more »

Biden touts infrastructure law, gas prices in Mo.

President Joe Biden traveled to a bus depot in Kansas City, Missouri Wednesday to promote his agenda and highlight his $1 trillion infrastructure law, declaring, “It’s going to be infrastructure ... Read more »

Ali B writes tribute to son after robbery

“Following the robbery on me, I wrote an ode to my eldest son, who came running out worried when the robbers tore away,” Ali writes on Instagram with a photo ... Read more »

Arrest made in connection to child shooting

Dec. 8—Abrams NEWBERRY — Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster announced the arrest of a person in the November 16 self-inflicted gunshot wound of a four-year-old child. Deputies served a warrant ... Read more »

Rodgers says Packers' off week gave his toe time to improve

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) — Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers says the off week has assisted him in his recovery from a toe injury, though it’s still painful enough ... Read more »

Barcelona out of Champions League, snow extends group stage

Barcelona’s 17-year streak of advancing to the Champions League knockout rounds each season ended Wednesday with an exit from the group stage that failed to finish on time because of ... Read more »

Jury completes deliberations for day in Smollett trial

CHICAGO — A jury has completed deliberations for the day in the trial of former “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett on charges he staged an anti-gay, racist attack on himself nearly ... Read more »

Biden hosts democracy summit amid home stresses

President Joe Biden is convening global leaders determined to show the world that democracy can still deliver. The administration’s inaugural Democracy Summit on Thursday comes as the United States is ... Read more »

Texans waive linebacker Cunningham after suspension

HOUSTON (AP) — Outside linebacker Zach Cunningham was waived by the Houston Texans on Wednesday following his second suspension for violating team rules this season. “We have standards and I ... Read more »

NYPD reveals that hate crimes against Asians surged 361% in 2021

The NYPD divulged that hate crimes in the city have surged 100% in the last year, with an especially high 361% increase against the Asian community. The numbers: Police executives ... Read more »

2 arrested in armed robbery case

Dec. 8—Police recently arrested two men whom they believe were involved in the armed robbery of a parked armored truck last month on the city's westside. According to a Kokomo ... Read more »

Mark Meadows Sues Nancy Pelosi to Avoid Testifying Before Capitol Riot Committee

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Donald Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows has sued House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and the House Select Committee investigating the Jan. 6 Capitol riot in an ... Read more »

Jury in actor Jussie Smollett's trial completes deliberations for the day without reaching a verdict

CHICAGO — Jury in actor Jussie Smollett’s trial completes deliberations for the day without reaching a verdict. Read more »

Native corporations face deadline for federal relief funds

JUNEAU, Alaska — Alaska Native corporations face a year-end deadline to use federal coronavirus relief funds that the U.S. Supreme Court in late June ruled they were entitled to receive. ... Read more »

Penguins F Jake Guentzel out with upper-body injury

PITTSBURGH (AP) — Jake Guentzel’s scorching start for the Pittsburgh Penguins has come to an abrupt halt. The team said Wednesday that the star forward is “week to week” with ... Read more »

Close-game expert Steelers visit snake-bitten Vikings

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings have spent the entire season on the edge, with all but one game decided by one score. The NFC wild-card race that was recently ... Read more »

Car of student missing for more than 45 years discovered with human remains

The car of a Georgia college student who has been missing for more than 45 years has been discovered in an Alabama creek along with human remains, CNN reported. Kyle ... Read more »

Rebel Wilson reveals co-star's lewd request in new TV interview

Aussie actress Rebel Wilson has opened up about her sexual harassment experiences. During a TV interview with the BBC, available to stream on Flash, the 41-year-old spoke about two incidents ... Read more »

Analysis-Alibaba's e-commerce empire under threat from Douyin, Pinduoduo

1 / 4Analysis-Alibaba’s e-commerce empire under threat from Douyin, PinduoduoFILE PHOTO: An employee works at a Tmall logistic centre in Suzhou By Sophie Yu and Josh Horwitz BEIJING (Reuters) – ... Read more »

Teenager slain in Willingboro was an innocent victim, police say

WILLINGBORO – A high school student slain here in April was the innocent victim of deadly violence, authorities say. Yahsinn Robinson, 18, was fatally shot outside his family's home on ... Read more »

Google to give additional staff bonus next year

FILE PHOTO: The logo for Google is seen at their offices in Manhattan, New York City By Maria Ponnezhath (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it will give ... Read more »

Theatre review: Break Bread, Silo Theatre

When Break Bread was first announced as a commission by Silo Theatre near the end of 2019, Covid-19 was yet to emerge. The show was meant to be a communal ... Read more »

Better.com CEO apologizes after laying off 900 employees via Zoom call

(Reuters) – The chief executive of Better.com apologized for his manner of handling layoffs at the mortgage company after a video of him firing 900 people last week via a ... Read more »

Senate agrees to fast-track bill banning conversion therapy

Conservative Sen. Leo Housakos, acting leader of the Senate opposition, introduced the motion to fast-track the bill. (Sean Kilpatrick/Canadian Press – image credit) UPDATE: This bill was granted Royal Assent ... Read more »

Australia's deputy leader tests positive for virus in the US

FILE – Barnaby Joyce takes the oath of office as he was sworn in as deputy prime minister at Government House in Canberra, Australia, on July 19, 2016. Joyce has ... Read more »

Instagram head grilled by Senate committee angry over platform's possible harms to kids

WASHINGTON (AP) — The head of a Senate panel examining social media’s negative effects on young people has dismissed as “a public relations tactic” some safety measures announced by Facebook’s ... Read more »

Judge lifts personal protection order Rep. Manoogian obtained against Rep. Marino

LANSING — An Ingham County judge on Wednesday lifted a personal protection order that one state lawmaker had taken out against a second lawmaker after their romantic relationship soured. Circuit ... Read more »

Martin County Sheriff's Office and former deputy Steven O'Leary face federal civil rights violation lawsuit

STUART — Days after former Martin County sheriff's Deputy Steven O'Leary was ordered to prison for 13 years, he’s facing a federal lawsuit filed Tuesday by more than a dozen ... Read more »

‘West Side Story' revitalized with in-depth characters, new script

The stars of “West Side Story” say the reimagining of the classic Broadway musical by Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner has revitalized the story for a modern audience. (Dec. 8) Read more »

Review: Leo, JLaw are trying to warn us in ‘Don't Look Up'

You know you’re in deep doodoo when that planet-destroying comet on a collision course with Earth isn’t your biggest problem. Your biggest problem: You’re the scientist who discovered the darned ... Read more »

2022 Mazda MX-30's puny 100-mile range renders automaker's first EV irrelevant

Mazda’s new 2022 MX-30 electric vehicle is shockingly uncompetitive, but don’t worry – you’ll probably never see one anyway. The automaker plans to sell just 560 in calendar 2022, exclusively ... Read more »

WKU record-setting QB Zappe named C-USA MVP by coaches

IRVING, Texas (AP) — Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey Zappe was named MVP of Conference USA on Wednesday after a vote of the 14 league coaches that also tabbed UTSA running ... Read more »

Man threatens school shooting ‘in the name of Kyle rittenhouse,' Missouri police say

A Missouri man threatened on social media to shoot high school students in the name of Kyle Rittenhouse, authorities say. The Festus Police Department was notified of the threat about ... Read more »

Judge to review New York City vaccine mandate for public sector

1 / 2Judge to review New York City vaccine mandate for public sectorFILE PHOTO: Sign at restaurant requiring patrons to be vaccinated against COVID-19 in New York By Jonathan Stempel ... Read more »

NC man charged after child discloses inappropriate acts in school assignment, sheriff says

A Wendell man accused of committing illegal sex acts with a child was arrested, according to the Wake County Sheriff’s Office. Jose Alberto Maya Orozco, 42, was taken into custody ... Read more »

One person seriously hurt after Grandview shooting in broad daylight Wednesday

A person was shot and seriously wounded in suburban Grandview during a daytime shooting Wednesday, according to police. Officers were dispatched shortly before noon to the 12000 block of Smalley ... Read more »

Giants give Fromm most of snaps in Arizona workout

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — Recently signed quarterback Jake Fromm took most of the snaps for the New York Giants on Wednesday as the team practiced at the University of Arizona ... Read more »

'Sex and the City' stars share memories of late Willie Garson

Kristin Davis and Cynthia Nixon paid tribute to Garson, who played Stanford Blatch in the series, during an appearance on "The Late Show With Stephen Colbert." Read more »

Holmes ends defense in Theranos fraud trial

Elizabeth Holmes parried cross-examination, saying she “believed” misstatements at the time she made them. Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic