In just a few short weeks, it’ll be Christmas again and the library has a great collection of new Christmas CDs that are worth borrowing. If the recent snow hasn’t got you in the Christmas mood, I’m sure the following CDs will.
Kelly Clarkson has a stellar new Christmas CD entitled Wrapped in Red. Even if you’re not a Kelly Clarkson fan, I’m sure you’ll be won over. She has particularly strong renditions of “Run, Run, Rudolph,” “My Favourite Things” and “Silent Night.” Usually original songs by artists on Christmas CDs are terrible, but occasionally you find a gem; “Underneath the Tree” by Kelly Clarkson is one. I can foresee this song gaining momentum and becoming another Christmas classic, like Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” and Wham’s “Last Christmas.”
I’m certainly not a Glee fan, and not overly fond of musicals in general, but I have to admit the Glee Christmas albums are pretty darn good. Glee: the music: the Christmas Album Vol. 3 is a great holiday album with wonderful covers of “The First Noel” and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” The album ends rather poignantly with “Happy Christmas (War is Over),” sung by the late Cory Monteith, whose untimely death earlier this year shocked fans.
But hands down, the best Christmas CD of the year is Mary J. Blige’s A Mary Christmas. I was just blown away by the power of her voice. For starters, Mary J. Blige has won Grammys in R&B, Rap, Pop and Gospel so you know she has talent and range on her side. It’s hard to pick the best track as they are all stellar, but if I had to pick one, it would be her big-band, up-tempo rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Mary also duets with Barbara Streisand with “When You Wish Upon a Star” and Marc Anthony (“Noche de Paz”), and collaborates with the Clark Sisters on “The First Noël.”
Finally, there’s the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. I have the library to thank for introducing me to Ella; many years ago the library acquired Ella Wishes You a Swinging Christmas and once I heard it, it became an immediate favourite. I bought myself a copy and can honestly state it’s in my top 3 of Christmas albums — and considering how many I’ve listened to, that’s saying something! The library still has many copies of this amazing album, and we’ve also recently acquired Christmas (10 Great Songs). When I first saw it, I assumed it would be a repetition of Swinging Christmas, but except for one song, there’s no overlap with the first album. What could be better than more Christmas tunes sung by the great Ella Fitzgerald?