So I spent almost my entire evening last night rehearsing with some of my coworkers for my office’s holiday potluck next week. Apparently last year they performed some holiday tunes with great success, and I was recruited to sing for this year’s festivities. I’d feign some complaints here, citing potential embarrassment and whatnot, but let’s be honest: I’m a huge ham. I love performing! So we spent a couple of hours figuring out our playlist and ironing out some harmonies. Should be fun as long as I don’t freak out. As much as I love being the center of attention, I do still get some pretty intense stage fright. Urk!
Even Santa gets scurred.
At any rate, the whole process has helped me dive even further into the glory of Christmas music, so I thought I’d share a few of the albums that have been loaded up on my Spotify playlist
since before Thanksgiving all month!
In case you weren’t already aware of this, Zooey Deschanel is just about the cutest little thing that has ever graced this planet. If her bangs weren’t enough to make you fall in love with her, her voice definitely is. Her band with music veteran M. Ward, She & Him, is a little bit indie, a little bit quirky, and a lot awesome. Their version of “The Christmas Waltz” might be my favorite yet!
I know that Glee can be a pretty polarizing show, and people either love it or they hate it. That said, I don’t think anyone in either camp can deny that the actors on the show are very talented, and the songs they perform are generally really well done. The second Glee Christmas episode only just aired last night, but the album’s been available for a while and is fantastic! Naya Rivera’s (Santana) rendition of “Santa Baby” is perfectly suited to her voice and character, and Kris Kolfer & Darren Criss (Kurt & Blaine) performing a jazzed-up version of “Let It Snow” is just amazing. In fact, here’s that one too:
Am I right, or am I right? Oh, they scat so good and they scat so true. Okay, okay Onward!
There was evidently a lot of hub-bub surrounding Michael Bublé’s Christmas album, and it’s easy to see why. He channels the crooners of old, and since Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra were the originators of many of our favorite songs, it’s easy to get on board with this album. Some of the renditions are almost a little too similar to the originals, so while they’re obviously very good, they’re a little boring. I really love his version of “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)” though.
Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer
This isn’t a new album, but Relient K’s 2007 Christmas album remains firmly at the top of my holiday playlist. For people who like modern, rocked-up versions of traditional songs, “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” is for you. They also mix in a handful of original songs, which are a little softer, more soulful, and just stellar.
Case in point.
And finally, for your aural pleasure and delight, I present:
If you only click on one of the videos in this entire post to listen to (they’re all just songs, by the way, not actual videos) it needs to be this one. Straight No Chaser is the Indiana University a cappella group, and their “12 Days of Christmas” is seriously the best thing you’ll hear all season. The 1998 group got a recording deal from this one arrangement and performs under the same name. The video is a little dated at this point, but the hilarity and musical mastery of it will still wow you. I’ve seriously listened to this one song more than all the others on my playlist combined. Love.
So there you have it! There are a few other songs thrown in here and there, but these albums comprise the majority of my holiday listening and I couldn’t be happier about it. So now it’s your turn!
What’s your favorite Christmas song? I’ll take either a song in general (my favorite traditional carol, for example, is “O, Holy Night”) or a specific artist’s version. Augh, I JUST LOVE CHRISTMAS!