Caroling with the Stars
What would the holiday season be like without a winter wonderland of new Christmas albums to choose from? For your listening pleasure, we've highlighted some of this year's best and brightest (and a few oldies but goodies), by some of today's hottest artists--Sarah McLachlan, Brad Paisley, Mary Mary, Third Day, and many others. Whether you like gospel, pop, rock, swing, classical, R&B, techno, country, jazz, or Celtic music, these albums offer something for everyone. So grab a hot drink, recline in your desk chair, and give your ears a treat with this sampling of Yuletide melodies.
In the style of all of her albums, Sarah McLachlan's "Wintersong" is raw, passionate, and dripping with emotion. Her sweet voice on John Lennon and Yoko Ono's ever-relevant "Happy Xmas (War is Over)" immediately draws you in and keeps you there. Her moving cover of Joni Mitchell's "River" stands out among the many other artists who've covered the song.
A Brad Paisley Christmas
On "A Brad Paisley Christmas" the popular country crooner pays homage to traditional spiritual carols like "Silent Night" and "Away in a Manger," and also to the fun, light-hearted side of the holiday, with "Santa Looked A Lot Like Daddy." His version of the romantic classic "I'll Be Home for Christmas" will melt your heart.
Mary Mary Christmas
Sisters Erica and Tina Campbell of the Grammy Award-winning gospel duo Mary Mary lend their heavenly voices to traditional and contemporary holiday tunes--as well as six new originals, such as "Call Him Jesus," "Still the Lamb," and "California Christmas," on the cutely titled "A Mary Mary Christmas."
Legendary heavy metal band Twisted Sister puts a new "twist" on Christmas favorites with their new album, "A Twisted Christmas," which includes classics like "Deck the Halls" and "Oh Come All Ye Faithful." Singer Dee Snyder even does a Christmasy cool duet with rocker chick Lita Ford.
Popular Christian rockers Third Day shine on their holiday project, "Christmas Offerings." The Grammy Award-winning band brings a unique southern-rock style to familiar carols, and recorded new holiday songs original to the band, with "Born in Bethlehem" and "Christmas Like a Child," which is about celebrating the real joy of Christmas--Jesus.
Let It Be Christmas
Country star Alan Jackson is known for his ability to put out albums appealing both in the mainstream and in Christian circuits. His 2002 holiday project "Let it Be Christmas" brings a big band and a down-home country feel to well-known carols (the title song is the only original), making it a truly unique addition to your Christmas album collection.
The Carol of Emmanuel
Virtuoso violinist David Klinkenberg's Christmas album, "The Carol of Emmanuel," blends American and European folk fiddle styles. Accompanied by popular pianist Jim Brickman, with whom Klinkenberg is currently on a Christmas tour, he offers fiddle renditions of "What Child Is This?" and "The Carol of Emmanuel," among others.
|Israel and New Breed
A Timeless Christmas
Grammy Award nominees Israel and New Breed, led by Houston-based pastor and music minister Israel Houghton, offer upbeat, jazzy-classical renditions of traditional and contemporary carols, like "O Come All Ye Faithful," plus originals, on "A Timeless Christmas." Gospel greats CeCe and Marvin Winans guest star.
|Rebecca St. James
Currently on a Christmas tour with Backstreet Boy/gospel singer Brian Littrell, Christian music superstar Rebecca St. James brings an upbeat alternative rock feel to traditional carols with her 1997 holiday release, appropriately titled "Christmas." In 2005 she released "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" on iTunes. You haven't really experienced "O Holy Night" until you've heard her pop-techno version.
Straight from Hillsong Church near Castle Hill, Australia, this church band, under the leadership of worship pastor Darlene Zschech, has become internationally known for their music ministry. Their latest holiday album, "Celebrating Christmas," features a number of singers and musicians, with a variety of musical styles--from pop to big band.
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