Let’s be clear: There is absolutely no reason for ANYONE to do another album of holiday music. Bing Crosby, James Brown, Nat King Cole, Al Green, Elvis Presley, Ella Fitzgerald … the greatest names and voices of any generation have already been there, done that. And yet, what follows is a flotilla of new holiday releases. And you’re going to buy them. So you might as well know what’s new, right? The releases are in alphabetical order (and linked so you can buy them); let us know about ones we’ve missed. Have a favorite? Leave your comment at the bottom of this blog so that others might learn about great music from you.
Tori Amos, Midwinter Graces: The holiday classics, also includes self-written tunes A Silent Night With You, Snow Angel, and Winter’s Carol.
David Archuleta, Christmas From the Heart: Of course there’s an American Idol runner-up in here. What? You expected the winner? Classic songs, natch.
Andrea Bocelli, My Christmas: Classics, but the Italian star includes a duet of “Blue Christmas” country star Reba McEntire on the album. Dolly Parton wasn’t available?
Jim Brickman, The Hymns & Carols of Christmas: Earnest piano playing for those who need background music for holiday dinners.
Neil Diamond, Cherry Cherry Christmas: There’s an original mixed in with the classics, but this also is his THIRD holiday release. Sonow we can start spelling “overkill” D-i-a-m-o-n-d. You already were?
Bob Dylan, Christmas in the Heart: At first dismissed by many Dylan faithful as a sellout, the album has since garnered a number of positive reviews.
Aretha Franklin, This Christmas: The Queen of Soul! Singing holiday classics! OK by us.
Rob Halford, Winter Songs: Holiday music meets heavy metal when Judas Priest frontman. What else is there to say?
The Jackson 5, Ultimate Christmas Collection: Reissue of a 1970 album, plus six bonus tracks, including the Michael Jackson Christmas song, Little Christmas Tree. Could be interesting.
Barry Manilow, In The Swing of Christmas: Classics, classics, classics … are you still awake?
Michael McDonald,This Christmas: McDonald goes all blue-eyed soul again, only this time on holiday music.
Olivia Newton-John, Christmas Wish: We’re not certain the world needed one holiday album from Newton-John, but this is AT LEAST her second.
REO Speedwagon, Not So Silent Night: Hey, REO’s day job hasn’t been much for years, what’s the harm in cranking through The First Noel and Happy Xmas (War Is Over)? OK, maybe there’s a little harm.
Sugarland, Gold and Green: Isn’t it a little early for the country superstars to have a holiday release? They’re still hot. Oh well, enjoy some original music and standards.
The Irish Tenors, Christmas: Most of us would agree this is what holiday music should sound like.
And then, these compilations from various artists:
NOW That’s What I Call A Country Christmas: This two-disc collection sounds intriguing, starting with these names: George Strait, Brooks & Dunn, Taylor Swift, Kenny Chesney, Johnny Cash.
An All-Star Salute to Christmas: You get Iggy Pop doing White Christmas, Wonderful Christmastime by Dweezil Zappa, Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree by Donna Fargo and much more on this two-disc set.
Aqua Teen Hunger Force, Have Yourself A Meaty Little Christmas: The Adult Swim team at Comedy Central deliver this effort, which includes Twas the Night Before Jesus, in which Master Shake retells the nativity of Jesus, with the baby Jesus’parents being killed by Voldemort. Um, right.
So? What’s YOUR favorite holiday album? Tell us below.