Wednesday, December 17, 2014

// 5 Christmas Albums That Don't Stink (not even a little bit) //

linking up with Call Her Happy for 5 Favorites


I know that the stores and radio stations have been playing Christmas music for a while now. I even heard a report from someone that they heard Christmas music playing in some big store the day after Halloween! Way too early, people. And to make a bad thing even worse, the kind of Christmas music we're hearing for all of November is the most insipid, watered-down, and mind-numbing Christmas music that exists.  Why are we still listening to Johnny Mathis sing "It's Beginning To Look  A Lot Like Christmas?" Haven't we had enough?

We are just beginning to listen to Christmas Music in our home. When it comes to Christmas music not just any radio or Pandora station will do. I am picky. So when I say I like a Christmas album you know it had passed a great deal of scrutiny. Here are my very favorite Christmas albums. Hopefully they will help you out of any musical ruts you may have  fallen into. These never get old. Put them all together for a truly diverse and interesting Christmas playlist.


Harry Connick Jr.: When My Heart Finds Christmas

Do you know who Harry Connick Jr is? If you don't, prepare to swoon. This guy is the Frank Sinatra of our day, a true and dreamy crooner, who also is an incredible jazz pianist and writes a lot of his own music too! This album has been a favorite in my family for at least 10 year. It's full of fun big band arrangements, swinging beats, squealing trumpets, impressive piano solos, and there's a few tender moments tucked in there as well. 


I first heard this album a couple years ago when I was working at our local trendy gift shop over Christmas, and it is delightful.  Tons of familiar carols done with 1940's style harmonies that will remind you of the Andrew Sisters. Put this one on for you holiday cocktail parties and you will instantly feel retro and classy. 


Because, who doesn't love Zoey Deschanel? Well, Alex is not too keen on her, but this is my blog, not his. Zoey Deschanel, of being quirky and having great bangs fame, teams up with M. Ward to create a duo that is equal parts hipster, folksie, and indie, with a dash of class and nostalgia. This album makes a great accompaniment to your dinner party, or your quiet evening curled up writing Chirstmas cards. 


Christmas: the only time of the year that a capella music is acceptable.  Alex and I have been fans of Pantatonix ever since they were hailed The Sing Off champions of 2011. We were a little sore that Afro Blue didn't win (they should really put out a Christmas album) but we have definitely made room in our hearts for Pentatonix as well. I know a capella can be a little cheesy and it's not for everyone. But I encourage you to give these guys a chance.  Every single member of this group has got some mad vocal skillz. Even the beat boxer. And OMG. I just saw that they are coming to Minneapolis in March.  Date night, honey?


The Dale Warland Singers (now just called The Singers) are my favorite choral group ever. Hands down. They are from the Twin Cities, but have been acclaimed on a national level. Lux Arumque is not specifically a Christmas album, though many of these sacred choral works are very fitting for the Advent and Christmas seasons. I love choral music at Christmas time. I don't think there is anything more reverent or divine than the sound of voices. It's the perfect way to quiet your heart and prepare it to receive Jesus. 

And so I will leave you with this song, my favorite off of that album: O Magnum Mysterium 

O great mystery,
and wonderful sacrament,
that animals should see the new-born Lord,
lying in a manger!
Blessed is the Virgin whose womb
was worthy to bear
Christ the Lord.

(are you crying yet?)

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1 comment:

  1. YEs oh yes to Harry!! I read somewhere he is Catholic too!?


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