One of the things we give our guests at our Christmas party each year is a Christmas mix CD of the best new holiday music with a few classics sprinkled in for fun. This means I start listening to Christmas music EARLY. This year has a great crop of new recordings and a couple of duds. Here are my reviews, all out of five stars.
Glow by Brett Eldredge *****
Glow tops my list of the best of the best this year with every song on the album worth listening to on a snowy Christmas morning. The country crooner goes old school with a big band and gives Michael Buble and Harry Connick Jr a run for their money. The title track and I’ll be Home for Christmas are standouts and Megan Trainor joins him for Baby It’s Cold Outside.
Behold – A Christmas Collection by Lauren Daigle ****
Lauren Daigle is a Contemporary Christian singer offering up her first Christmas album. But like Brett Eldredge, she breaks from type and goes for a smokey jazzy album. Since I love smokey jazzy albums, I love this album. My wife, who is a friend of her Christian music, is not. Good thing I’m writing this review. Her voice fits the style perfectly. I loved Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas and the Charlie Brown classic Christmas Time is Here.
I’ll Have Another…Christmas Album by Straight No Chaser ****
The boys from Indiana are back again with yet another Christmas album. I guess when you do something well and it makes you money, keep doing it. If you’ve enjoyed their other Christmas albums, you will this one as well. Run Run Rudolph and The Greatest Gift of All are two of the better tracks, and throw in To Christmas (A Drinking Song).
It Must Be Christmas by Chris Young ****
Finally a country singer who has a Christmas album that sounds like one from a country singer. Young’s country twang is in full force. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) rocks out and It Must Be Christmas will become one of your favorites.
Someday at Christmas by Jackie Evancho ****
Remember the little ten year old girl who finished second on America’s Got Talent? She’s now sixteen years old and her Christmas album shows off her powerful voice. I love the title track and the recording of Hallelujah with Youtube sensation Peter Hollens.
A Pentatonix Christmas by Pentatonix ***
My kids love Pentatonix and I like some of their stuff and this is more of the same. Good to be Bad is the song I liked the most.
The Greatest Gift of All by Rascal Flatts ***
(No video teasers available)
I’m usually a huge Rascal Flatts fan, but this album did not blow me away. I liked The First Noel and the rest were just ok.
Other notable albums out this year:
To Celebrate Christmas by Jennifer Nettles ***
Tis the Season by Jordan Smith ****
Wonderland by Sarah McLachlan ****
Simply Christmas by Leslie Odom Jr (Aaron Burr in Hamilton) ***
Tis the Season by Jimmy Buffett *** (You have to love Jimmy Buffett)
A Very Kasey Christmas by Kasey Musgraves **