There are hardly as many cover versions and renditions as of Christmas music. Any singer who has some sort of name has their own Christmas album - some better than others, and it is an absolutely impossible undertaking to listen to all of them. Of course, there are the classic renditions of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra, but also the pop ones, and, of course, folk songs, which are my personal favourite.
Christmas music is the most wonderful music for me, as it is happy, joyous and often has beautiful lyrics, so I really allow to listen to Christmas music only between 1st November and December 31st, to fill the most time up with the music I love. Each year, I compile a new Christmas song list, which does not have to include only the latest released songs, but songs I find on my lengthy searches for the best Christmas music. I have written extensively on Christmas music last year, too, and shared my favourite albums and you can re-read on it here.
But now I want to share some songs I have encountered in the past weeks which I really liked and included in my annual compilation - from very well-known to hidden gems. You can also follow my playlist on Amazon Music by clicking on this link.
So let's get started. There are those who cherish the message of "Silent Night" the most, a tranquil and reverent affair, while others prefer the upbeat party tunes like "Rocking Around the Christmas Tree" or "Jingle Bell Rock". Rest assured, this list will have both and is a lovely mix of folk, pop and trad songs.
This year I encountered the Christmas album by Leona Lewis, and even though I am not such a big fan of her music usually, some of the songs on her album, I really liked, especially One More Sleep, which has such a catchy tune I find myself humming it all day. Her renditions of White Christmas and Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) are also really good and add a celebratory and upbeat atmosphere to any living room.
Even though the entire Christmas album of Jethro Tull has its peaks, I really liked their God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, an instrumental version of the classic. Their high quality instrumentalisation is really something to appreciate.
Another artist whose entire album I would recommend (or albums, he has more than one Christmas album), is Tom Gaebel. He manages to fuse the old and new Christmas with his old-style country voice and excellent instrumentalisation, and I specifically loved his song A Jolly Winter Walk, which always makes me smile with its happy tune and the children singing along.
I know this seems like a bit of an odd choice for me, but some songs on Gwen Stefani's Christmas album are also really cool, especially for a Christmas party. I really don't like her sound, usually, but her version of Jingle Bells and Let It Snow pep up the well-known classics and make them perfect party tunes.
Who has followed my blog for some time, knows I am a huge fan of Irish singer Aoife Scott. Sadly, she has not released a Christmas album yet, but one winter song called December Letter, which is truly a wonderful song and I could listen to it all day. It does not only have fantastic lyrics, but her soft voice perfects the whole song - go and download it now or run the risk of missing out on something magnificent.
Staying on the Emerald Island. Another top candidate for this year's lists are the Christmas albums of Craig Duncan. I was always looking for a good Irish folk instrumental Christmas album and his album Irish Christmas has the best of Christmas songs, popular and traditional Irish or English instrumentalised by the very best - a real Irish experience.
Jordan Smith has such a strong and incredible voice, I could listen to it all day. Especially his version of You're A Mean One, Mr Grinch is just mind-blowing and whoever is into good soul and big band is surely in for a treat when listening to his songs. Also check out his album 'Tis the Season where he sings even more Christmas songs.
Everyone knows the soft and beautiful voice of John Legend from songs like All of Me, but he also has a Christmas album where his melodious voice softly sweeps you into the right Christmas mood and I have particularly enjoyed What Christmas Means to Me and Merry Christmas Baby/Give Love on Christmas - also because they're not your usual classics and add some variety to the annual list.
Finally I want to share two versions of Silent Night I really liked, which is inasmuch surprising because I am not the biggest fan of this particular song. First of all, Leona Lewis's version is hauntingly beautiful, if not a bit short, and for a the version sung by Reba McEntire and Kelly Clarkson, infused with a bit more country vibes, is also one of my favourite versions of the popular song so far - so I hope you enjoy them, too and stay tuned for more Christmassy content over the next week!
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