3 Great Christmas Albums That Dropped in 2019: Fresh Holiday Tunes
Can you listen to Ella Fitzgerald bring her bluesy best and swinging sounds to Christmas tunes for hours on end? How do you feel about Mariah Carey belting the classics with that emotional fervor we love her for? How many of you can sit by the fire and listen to Phil Spector’s A Christmas Gift For You until you fall asleep with the hot cocoa in your hand?
While the holiday season is the perfect time for playing the Christmas music we know and love — as each tune brings back a different memory and creates a space for blissful reminiscence — every so often, it can be nice to hear a new Christmas sound. If you’ve been playing the classics for hours and need some new holiday tunes, give the three great (and all very different) albums below a try! They all dropped this calendar year, and they all offer something unique to fill whatever musical desire you may have.
Idina Menzel: ‘Christmas: A Season of Love’
Known for her powerhouse belts heard in Frozen and Frozen 2 — more specifically, “Let it Go” and “Into the Unkown” — Idina Menzel brings her strong vocals to the classics, yet manages to preserve the tenderness and soft vibe inherent to several famous Christmas numbers.
While Menzel doesn’t shy away from those big, impressive songs that are fast and fun, she takes a moment to revel in a bit of sentimentality with numbers like “At This Table.” And, of course, she revisits “Seasons of Love” from her early days in RENT, and it’s just as moving as it was all those years ago Off-Broadway.
Pentatonix: ‘The Best of Pentatonix Christmas’
Revisiting their greatest hits with The Best of Pentatonix Christmas, including “Hallelujah,” Pentatonix fans are likely already playing this album on repeat. However, to all of you non-Pentatonix lovers, this one’s still worth a listen!
Beautiful in its contemporary approach to the classics, the group sings “Do You Hear What I Hear,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and “Winter Wonderland” in a way that reinvents the original recordings, yet does not deconstruct them to unrecognizable levels; the album makes for the perfect combination of new and familiar. The songs feel nostalgiac but refreshed.
Ana Gasteyer: ‘Sugar and Booze’
Sugar and Booze is more adult-oriented than the above two albums, as Ana Gasteyer tends towards the jazzy, and often a bit more humorous, classics with her Christmas album. Less sugar, a bit more soul.
Fun and fast, she chooses songs like “In the Market for a Miracle,” “Nothing Rhymes with Christmas,” and “Blue Back Friday.” As for the first one on this list, she makes sure to remind all those listening that Jesus was Jewish and that “if you’re in the market for a miracle,” you should “take that tush and park it.”
Gasteyer sings a handful of the classics for your dose of nostalgia; however, this album mostly retains that Christmas sound via atypical Christmas content, making it quite unique.