There’s a world of holiday music out there, and it’s a dangerous one. Seemingly all celebrities–from hot shots like Justin Bieber to wannabes like Ali Lohan–have tried their hand at recording Christmas tunes. The songs are often painfully cheesy and over-produced, but it’s possible to find albums that provide the right amount of Christmas cheer and coziness. To make the process easier, the Black & White is here to help you navigate through them: the good, the bad and the indie.
“Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas” by Ella Fitzgerald
Even if you’re not a jazz fan, Ella Fitzgerald’s renditions of classic Christmas tunes are a delight. Her swinging sounds are fun and jazzy but still perfect for a relaxing winter night. Fitzgerald warbles through standards like “Winter Wonderland” and “Jingle Bells,” and you’ll recognize her version of “Sleigh Ride” from the Elf movie soundtrack.
“Christmas” by Michael Bublé
Michael Bublé’s silky, Sinatra-esque tones get a holiday spin in “Christmas,” released this year. Bublé’s singing style makes for a pleasant and peaceful collection of Christmas music. He includes an original song, “Cold December Night,” a romantic track that will have girls’ hearts melting in the chilly winter weather.
“Christmas with The Brady Bunch” by The Brady Bunch
In 1970, six awkward teens were herded into a recording studio and asked to sing Christmas carols. The resulting album, “Christmas with the Brady Bunch,” is an uncomfortable jumble of holiday tunes sung in shrill, immature voices. The Bunch’s painfully pubescent, if endearing, renditions of Christmas songs are also boring to say the least. You may enjoy the album, though, in a “so bad it’s good” kind of way.
“Meowy Christmas” by Jingle Cats
As “novelty Christmas albums,” the Jingle Cats series can’t (and shouldn’t) be taken seriously. But that doesn’t make these collections of meow-ed melodies any more bearable. Year after year, radio stations continue to blast these obnoxious arrangements of cats meowing out classics like “White Christmas” and “Silent Night.” For the dog-lovers out there, a similar album by the Jingle Dogs is also available.
“A Very She and Him Christmas” by She and Him
Alternative-pop fans will find the album, “A Very She and Him Christmas” entertaining, but those who prefer the classic Christmas pop sound may not. The album doesn’t deviate much from She and Him’s alternative repertoire, and based on the album title and cover art, one can assume that the album was released with ironic motives. Still, it’s a fun and listenable Christmas album that will bring holiday cheer to the hipsters among us.
“Songs for Christmas” by Sufjan Stevens
While Christmas carols may seem well-suited for the folk genre, Sufjan Steven’s melancholy and trance-like sound does not mesh well with the Christmas classics. A tune like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” sung in Steven’s whispery voice will give you more of a creepy feeling than a comfy one. In this case, it’s best to stick with the mainstream and save Stevens for a different season.