We started this month making fun of weird holiday music, so it’s only fair that we show a little genuine holiday spirit as Christmas approaches. For #MusicMonday, here are some songs of the season that we actually enjoy.
The Trans Siberian Orchestra changed the face of Christmas music with their amazing metal covers of traditional songs. On top of that, some families have taken it upon themselves to create fantastic light shows to accompany the music (as if the Orchestra’s live performances weren’t lit up enough)! If you’re not headbanging to this, you’re doing it wrong.
When it comes to Christmas tunes I prefer the classics. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” might feel a little dated, as it was released back in the 1940’s, but it’s the right kind of dated. It’s been around long enough to have been covered by hundreds of amazing artist, but there’s something particularly special about matching this warm Christmas favorite with Meghan Tonjes’ flawless vocals. Meghan’s voice has power and depth and adds something remarkable to every song to lends it to. I’m always looking for an excuse to bring some Meghan to Music Monday and I’m especially happy to share her rendition of my personal Christmas favorite.
My favorite Christmas song is HANDS DOWN “Believe” by Josh Groban for three reasons. The first being that it’s on the Polar Express soundtrack. I freaking LOVE The Polar Express (and its amazing soundtrack). Secondly, it’s one of those Christmas songs that you can play year round because it’s not super Christmas-y, and the message always applies. Also, it’s a great message: Believe in yourself. Finally, this song is my favorite Christmas song because of Josh Groban’s angelic voice. His voice definitely does it justice.
As a child, Bob Rivers’ music wasn’t just for Christmas, it was year-round fun, much to the dismay of my parents. But through Bob Rivers’ music, I learned the magic of such Christmas subjects as Santa Claus, Christmas wishes and crossdressing. Maybe that’s why I turned out like I did. But for me, songs like Bob Rivers’ cover of “Walking In A Winter Wonderland” reminds me of the joy I experienced as a child, excited for Christmas. It’s still a song that resonates huge with me, but for different reasons nowadays. Still, I dream of one day introducing my kids to the music of Bob Rivers. First, I just gotta have some kids.
I can be cynical about Christmas sometimes and it’s been a long while since I was a church-y sort of person, but a good choral rendition of “O Holy Night” can still have me blinking back tears. This version from Kings College Choir at Cambridge definitely does the trick. That high note — oof.
The correct answer is, as always, Scott Bradlee and Postmodern Jukebox. With their A Very Postmodern Christmas album, they take their modern/vintage hybrid and apply it to classic Christmas songs, because why the hell not.
Bradlee always manages to pick just the right vocalist for whatever track he’s working on, and while I’m always partial to Robyn Adele Anderson singing pretty much anything and everything, Cristina Gatti has the right tone and command of “The Christmas Song.”
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a hundred times, and I will say it a thousand more because my generation doesn’t pay attention to much of anything. The best Christmas carol (excuse me, holiday carol) is Marnie Tethers’ update of “The 12 Days of Christmas” — “The 37 Days of Christmas.” Not only is it amusing and utterly relatable, but it also prolongs Christmas 25 days longer than the original version would have had it last. And who doesn’t want that? So listen up, and know that you’re changing the world.
Share this with your friends and family to get the holiday mood started.