As Christmas approaches, millions of people will find their favorite old holiday albums. You know, the same ones they’ve been listening to for decades.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. We love to hear tracks from “The Magic of Christmas” by Nat King Cole, “Merry Christmas” by Johnny Mathis, “A Charlie Brown Christmas” by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Christmas Wishes” by Anne Murray and other classics from this kind during this wonderful time of year.
Yet we also love to hear new Christmas albums – of which there is never a shortage, as countless pop/country/rock stars release new merchandise every year in hopes of finding their albums wrapped in a fair amount of Christmas trees on December 1st. 25.
Here’s a roundup of some of the best new seasonal deals of 2021, all of which can be streamed across major platforms. So while you’re enjoying the holidays, make room between Mathis and Murray for these cool new Christmas albums.
“When Christmas comes…”, Kelly Clarkson: The multi-talented superstar, who must top the list of the busiest celebrities in all of Hollywood, returns with his second Christmas offering. Like the first seasonal release (“Wrapped in Red” from 2013), “When Christmas Comes Around…” is a magnificent showcase for Clarkson’s pristine and versatile vocal work. The album is fiery and sassy at times, like when the singer informs a certain person that “Christmas isn’t canceled (just you)”, but mostly just full of joy as Clarkson looks like she’s having the best time of her life. living “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” and singing the “Jingle Bell Rock”.
“King Size Manger”, Josh Turner: Josh Turner is blessed with one of the best and arguably most distinctive voices in all of country music. The multi-turntable-selling artist puts those deep, crystal-clear vocals to good use on his Christmas debut album, four of 11 tracks of which are originals. Highlights include Turner joined by his wife and four sons on “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” collaborating with Grammy-winning bluegrass artist Rhonda Vincent on “Joy to the World,” and “Mele Kalikimaka My ‘Ohana’ with ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro and the famous Hawaiian trio Ho’okena.
“I don’t want Christmas to end”, Zach Williams: Listeners won’t want this Christmas album to end. It’s one of the best seasonal offerings to come in years, filled with intriguing renditions of traditional favourites. Check out the rowdy, southern version of “Go Tell It on the Mountain”; the revamped “Run Run Rudolph” that should appeal to Chuck Berry fans; and the moving (Memphis) tale of “Did You Know Mary?” Truly, “I Don’t Want Christmas To End” is worth playing long after December 25th.
“How does Christmas sound?” Kirk Whalum: The acclaimed saxophonist answers his own question by offering a batch of seasonal tunes to fans. Whalum, whose many accomplishments include the sax solo on Whitney Houston’s hit rendition of “I Will Always Love You,” is in fine form as he tackles tracks like “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen and “All I Want for Christmas Is You”. .”
“The Season”, Steve Perry: Journey faithful will definitely want to celebrate “The Season” – Perry’s first Christmas album and only his second full solo release since leaving the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band in the late 90s. missed hearing his voice, given that sales of the first few weeks of this collection of standards resulted in “The Season” debuting at No. 6 on the pop charts.
“It’s Christmas”, Tasha Layton: The formidable pop singer, who earned plenty of airplay this year with the inspirational single “Look What You’ve Done,” shines bright on this six-song seasonal offering. Layton covers a fair amount of musical territory, from a light-hearted cover of comedian Heywood Banks’ “Diddly Squat” to a gorgeous rendition of the classic “O Holy Night,” and each of the six tracks is a winner.
“A Different Christmas”, Bryson Tiller: The R&B star is doing a great job with her debut collection of holiday songs, featuring contributions from Justin Bieber, Kiana Ledé, Poo Bear, Tayla Parx and Tiller’s daughter Halo. Tiller reportedly came up with the idea for the project thinking about what it’s like to spend Christmas alone — something he himself has done in the past. “I was watching Christmas movies and next to a Christmas tree and it was a weird day. And I was like, ‘I can’t even imagine what it would be like to do that this year,'” he said in an interview with Essence.
“We need Christmas”, Matthew West: After delivering one of the greatest Thanksgiving songs of all time — 2020’s incredible “Gobble Gobble” — this popular Nashville singer-songwriter is turning his attention to a different holiday. It’s West’s second top-notch seasonal release, following 2011’s “The Heart of Christmas,” and features a solid mix of holiday standards and inspired new material (like the title track). And, yes, it also features “Gobble Gobble” – which, we warn you, can take weeks to get out of your head once it’s in.
And one for Thanksgiving fans too: