REVIEW: Songs guaranteed to get you in the holiday mood
Published: Thursday, December 5, 2013
Updated: Thursday, December 5, 2013 00:12
Well, here we are — three weeks until Christmas Day. Over the past few weeks the old Christmas albums have been getting pulled out of storage and dusted off. Now, I must admit something: Generally, I really do not like Christmas music at all. Call me a Scrooge or whatever — I have heard it all.
Don't get me wrong, I love the Christmas season and the special spirit that comes with it. But my question is, why do we have to have poorly-written and performed music to accompany this season? All that being said, I have created a list of my top five Christmas songs. I have learned that Christmas music is a lot like politics — people have their opinions and there isn't much you can do to change that. My hope today is not to dissuade you from your cheesy renditions of “Jingle Bells,” “Deck the Halls,” “Winter Wonderland” and all those other songs you couldn't pay me to listen to. Rather, I hope to add some flavor to your Christmas playlist, and maybe help you reconsider some songs you may have overlooked in the past.
“The Christmas Song” – Any list of the best Christmas songs would be absolutely incomplete if it didn't have “The Christmas Song” by Nat King Cole. It’s such an iconic song for the season, but it does without the annoying bells and chimes ringing over and over. It’s just a slow, simple, beautiful song to celebrate the season and everything that comes with it. To me, it is Christmas with class.
“Last Christmas” — So this may not be the best example of a song to add flavor to your playlist, but it is a creative and fun song for the holidays. With lyrics just as cold as the season, it seems to fit perfectly. The most popular rendition by Wham! is great, but I know it is one that many people feel is overplayed for the season. I have found the Taylor Swift version is a pretty great alternative. I guess singing a song about giving her heart to the wrong person was a perfect fit for T-Swift. Go figure.
“All I Want For Christmas Is You” — It wouldn't be Christmas for me without opening my ears to Mariah Carey belting out her incomparable voice and vocal range with this carol of love. Like “Last Christmas,” this is one that is pretty popular for the season, but what sets it apart for me is that it’s a very creative song. It is a fun and upbeat song that everyone can jam out to without any shame — or at least, not that much shame. Oh, and it's definitely one that will be stuck in your head all day long, too.
“Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” — This song is definitely a close second for the position of my favorite. Again, it is a perfect storm that captures the fun spirit of the season without compromising quality lyrics and music to do so. Another fun thing about this song for me is there are a lot of fun renditions out there. Mariah Carey's is probably the most popular along with Michael Buble's. I think the overall best version is that performed by U2. But I would also recommend looking up the version of this song done by the band Anberlin. It isn't very popular, but I thought they did a great job with it.
“Christmas Shoes” — I realize not everyone will agree with my No. 1 spot. I have learned this is one that people either love or hate, but there is one fact that cannot be argued: absolutely everyone cried at least a little when they first heard this song. If you try to tell me you didn't cry even a little the first time you heard this song, then you are telling me a flat out lie. There is no way anyone could hear those lyrics with the sweet reflective music and voice and still keep emotions under control. Again, this is set apart from the pack by creativity; instead of a creative Christmas love song it is a creative and emotionally-touching slap to the face. By far, this is my favorite Christmas song.