After the turkey, stuffing and cranberry sauce are gone, one thing students look forward to after Thanksgiving is Christmas music on the radio.
Without music, the yuletide season would be less merry and give students no reason to celebrate the semester’s end. Songs say more than presents ever will, and there are hundreds to tickle our eardrums. With more than 50 years of albums to choose from, where do we start? The following selection is not extensive and contains four unique Christmas albums worth enjoying:
Mariah Carey’s “Merry Christmas”
November 1, 1994
Genre: Gospel/Adult contemporary
This classic album has sold over 15 million copies worldwide and is one of the best-selling Christmas albums of all time. What was originally Carey’s desire to portray her religious beliefs in an album became a masterpiece that proved to critics she was an entertainer, not just a pop singer. The album contains three original songs: the timeless hit “All I Want for Christmas Is You” , the melancholy, reflective “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time)” and the religious, children’s choir-assisted “Jesus Born on This Day.” Her covers, which highlight her five-octave range, will leave listeners speechless and praising the Lord. There is no doubt why it reenters the top 40 of
Billboard’s Holiday Albums chart every year.
David Archuleta’s “Christmas From The Heart”
October 13, 2009
After finishing second on “American Idol,” then 18-year-old Archuleta’s musical vision makes his second album shine. Despite selling fewer than 300,000 copies, the underappreciated album brings Christmas music to a new standard. Each track stands out, including his “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” duet with Filipino singer Charice Pempengco. Other songs combine two carols, like “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” with “Joy to the World” and “Jesu Joy of Man’s
Desiring” with “Angels We Have Heard on High.” Archuleta’s tenor voice and accompanying orchestra will warm the soul like no mug of hot chocolate can. It is 10 times better than Justin Bieber’s “Under the Mistletoe.”
Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas”
June 1, 1995 (Reissue)
Genre: Easy listening
“White Christmas” is without a doubt the epitome of a classic Christmas record. Released in 1945 as “Merry Christmas” and in 1955 with additional songs, it is one of the most popular Christmas records in production, eclipsed only by Elvis Presley’s “Elvis’ Christmas Album,” and a favorite for those who enjoy festive, jazz-infused holiday tunes. “White Christmas” is the ultimate showcase for the singer’s deep, powerful voice. A mix of Christian and secular, the famous crooner delivers each song with booming earnestness that made it a popular record. While “White Christmas” defines the album, others hits like “Jingle Bells,” “Silver Bells” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” make the record well-rounded. Some songs do not have the lasting impact of others and might sound outdated. However, “White Christmas” endures and will continue to be a musical staple of Christmas tradition long after other albums are forgotten.
She & Him’s “A Very She & Him Christmas”
October 24, 2011
Genre: Pop/Indie rock
“A Very She & Him Christmas” is the album Zooey Deschanel fans have waited for since she sang her way into America’s heart in the movie “Elf.” It is her third collaboration with fellow indie musician Matthew Ward and reached No. 12 on the Billboard 200. The album, even with a few missteps, will get anyone into the holiday spirit for years to come. It takes familiar Christmas classics and rejuvenates them through Deschanel’s plaintive, ’60s-inspired vocals and M. Ward’s electric guitar. Not every song is a hit – Side B is weaker than Side A. While some tunes are destined for annual airplay, others are forgettable. Even the album’s lesser offerings do not detract from the overall strength of the record. Deschanel and M. Ward are a killer combination, harkening back to ’60s folk that makes She & Him so unique. “A Very She & Him Christmas” is a fun, rollicking album that any indie folk rock
fan will enjoy for years to come.