Hard to believe it’s December already and Christmas is just around the corner. The air is crisp and cold and Jack Frost long ago made his appearance in our fair city. Christmas music is now ubiquitous wherever you go! Luckily I love Christmas music and even after listening to the entire collection of Christmas music that Winnipeg Public Library has, I still love it! Last December I had listened to approximately 60% of the collection and I finished the entire collection in October of this year (nearly 1000 cds!). Since October I have only been listening to Christmas music sporadically as the library acquires new CDs.
Although I love Christmas music, I’m usually not a fan of new Christmas songs artists record when they release a Christmas album. To be fair to the artist, it’s difficult to put a new spin on the season when it has been done so many times before. Christmas in the Sand by Cobie Caillat is an exceptional album, and the title track is amazing. I love winter and I love snow, but Cobie (born and raised in California) has written and recorded a very un-traditional Christmas song that is my new favorite. I’m just hoping that Santa will put this album in my stocking on Christmas day!
I know many people who can’t have Christmas without Frank Sinatra. Personally I think he’s one of the weaker crooners, but I will say that his album, Christmas Dreaming, is worth a listen. It’s a compilation album, but it was recorded fairly early in his career and I think it is the best of his many studio and compilation Christmas albums.
Before recommending my next selection I must confess that I am not in any way, shape or form a ‘Gleek’. In fact, I have only watched 15 minutes of it once and had to turn the channel before my brain died, but I must sheepishly say that Glee : the music : the Christmas album is very good. As bad as I think the show is (and in my opinion I think it’s pretty bad) the kids have amazing voices and the album is great.
Now if you really, really hate Christmas carols, I’ve got the album for you. Destination Christmas by the Superions is for all the haters out there. It combines absurd lyrics with terrible synth-pop rhythms and deadpan vocals. Brilliant! It was produced by Fred Schneider from the B-52’s as a comedy album and it would be perfect for a Christmas party.
Although long past childhood, apparently I am still a kid at heart. I loved Christmas with the Chipmunks with Alvin, Simon and Theodore and I loved the Muppet Christmas albums too. I can’t decide which is better, A Green and Red Christmas or A Christmas Together (John Denver and the Muppets). Listen to them both and decide for yourself.
If you prefer your Christmas music more traditional and sacred you won’t be disappointed with the CD Celebrate Seasons of Singing by the Winnipeg Mennonite Children’s Choir. I am not a choir fan, but even I was moved by the clear and halcyon voices of the children.
Finally I must recommend the late and great Donna Summer and her album, The Best of Donna Summer : the Christmas collection. If you are expecting disco beats you will be disappointed, instead this album of traditional carols showcases her vocal power and range. I own this album and it is one of my very favourites.
These album picks are only a snippet of the vast collection of Christmas music WPL has. Here’s hoping you find something you like. Happy listening and Merry Christmas!