We all know and love the Christina album, the Mariah album, the Charlie Brown Christmas album– those are classics and staples that you’ll hear all season long whether you want to or not, but today I want to introduce you to five different Christmas albums that you might not consider classics (yet!) but should absolutely be on your Christmas playlist rotation. I’m formally inviting you to my Christmas Music listening party, happening right below, right now. Grinches who don’t like Christmas music need not apply.
1. Dave Barnes “Very Merry Christmas”
Dave Barnes makes potentially the most easy listening music of any one artist to me. You might know him as the author of the Blake Shelton hit “God Gave Me You” but he also has 6 albums of his own, including two Christmas albums (one that he just released!) all of which are well loved on my spotify playlists. His first Christmas album, Very Merry Christmas, is always the first album I put on the day after Thanksgiving. It’s a wonderful mix of classics and originals and it’s just too damn good. Here are four of my favorites: I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Christmas Tonight, Very Merry Christmas, The Christmas Song.
2. Kelly Clarkson “Wrapped In Red”
Obviously Kelly Clarkson is no unheard of artist, but have you listened to her new Christmas album that she just released this year? I have no doubt that this will be a lifelong classic as some of our favorite age old Christmas songs have never sounded better then when being sung through her fantastic voice. It’s just all too beautiful. Here are four of my favorites:Underneath The Tree, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Baby, It’s Cold Outside, White Christmas.
3. Mindy Smith “Snowed In”
I have loved Mindy Smith since I heard her cover of Jolene when I was in highschool. I love her folksy bluegrass sound that she brings to every song, Her Christmas Ep, Snowed In, is no exception. She’s just really beautiful, easy listening. Here are four of my favorites Underneath Snowed In, What Child is This, Auld Lang Syne, Silent Night.
4. Phil Wickham “Songs For Christmas”
Christmas music to me needs to be one of two things: really fun or really reverent and Phil Wickham’s Christmas Album is a fantastic mix of both. His voice on songs like “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is almost harrowing it’s so beautiful. And his version of The First Noel is just too much fun. I really love this album, but here are four of my favorites: The First Noel, O Come O Come Emmanuel, O Holy Night, Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
5. Leona Lewis “Christmas, With Love”
I am fine openly admitting that I love Leona Lewis’ albums. She has an incredibly dynamic voice with an exceptional range. I don’t care one bit that Simon Cowell made her and that she is a product of the industry and that her songs are pure pop, I just love her. So imagine my holiday adulation when she released her Christmas album yesterday! The entire thing is so much fun. Lots of pop and big sound and all the fanfare that Christmas deserves. Plus her absolutely beautiful acapella version of Silent Night that gives me goosebumps. Here are my four favorites:Winter Wonderland, Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Mr. Right, Silent Night.
If you want to listen to all of these on one playlist, plus a few others from different artists that I love, here you go: