Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

My Favorite Christmas Albums

You know it’s Christmas time when you begin to hear holiday music everywhere you go.  Music is one of the best things about this time of year.  I love dusting off my favorite Christmas CD’s and being able to enjoy them again for one month out of the year.  A Christmas album is a hard thing to pull off.  Many artists have tried and many have failed.  These songs are classics and have already been recorded by some of the greatest artists ever, but artists continue to try and occasionally succeed.  Here are some of my favorites.

Messsiah By George Frederick Handel

Recorded by The London Philharmonic Orchestra

Perhaps one of the greatest pieces of music ever written.  Nothing puts a person in the mood for the holidays more than this excellent rendition of “Messiah” by one of the top orchestras in the world.  Not only is this a great piece of music, but it is a witness of a time when the best and most talented artists were influenced by their faith.  This moving work of art is a reminder to everyone of the reason for the season.

Sara Mclachlan Wintersong

In my opinion this is the best Christmas album by a modern artist.  Sara Mclachlan has not only made a great Christmas album she has made one of her best albums.  I often find myself still listening to this album a few weeks after Christmas.  She does an outstanding job on two modern Christmas classics, Happy Xmas (War is Over) by John Lennon, and River by Joni Mitchell.  But Perhaps the best song on the album is her medley of The First Noel and Mary Mary.  She arranged this powerful medley herself.

Sufjan Stevens Songs for Christmas

It’s hard enough to make one good Christmas album, but Sufjan Stevens has made five.  This is a box set that includes five Christmas EP’s released by Stevens from 2001-2006.  Many artists make the mistake of going over the top when they make a Christmas album, but Stevens does the exact opposite.  Some of the most beautiful songs on this collection are Stevens’ stripped down renditions of classics such as Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing and Away in a Manger.

Diana Krall Christmas Songs

Diana Krall is one of the great jazz singers of our time, as well as, a talented pianist.  This collection of classic Christmas songs is a throwback to the days of Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne.  If you like Christmas classics done with a touch of class, then this is the album for you.

Frank Sinatra A Jolly Christmas

There are many classic Christmas albums available by the likes of Perry Como, Mel Torme, and others, but my favorite crooner has always been ole blue eyes.  This classic Sinatra album has been recently re-released on vinyl.  There will never be another Frank Sinatra and he doesn’t disappoint here.

Raul Malo Marshmallow World & Other Holiday Favorites

It is usually the great singers that make some of the best Christmas albums and Raul Malo is definitely a voice that is easy on the ears.  Malo is probably most famous for being the lead singer of the country group The Mavericks, but since the 2000’s he has made some excellent solo records.  The record begins with a bang.  The first song is Marshmallow World, a Christmas song that is not recorded very often.  Being of Cuban descent Malo is able to do an excellent job of Feliz Navidad, a song that many artists butcher.

Elf – Various Artists

Little did we know that after Zooey Deschanel sang Baby It’s Cold Outside, in this now famous Christmas movie, that she would have a career as a pop artist, but that is exactly what happened.  Deschanel has since made two outstanding pop records which are throwbacks to the 70’s.  The rest of the music on this soundtrack is from classic artists, such as Louis Prima, Ella Fitzgerald, Eartha Kitt, and many others.  It’s one of the best Christmas collections you will find.

A Christmas Gift For You – Various Artists

Don’t let the name Phil Spector keep you from buying this great testament of 1960’s soul.  Before Spector went off the deep end he was a well respected music producer and inventor of the wall of sound.  On this album he works with Darlene Love, The Ronettes, The Crystals, and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans.  Darlene Love’s Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) is worth the price of the CD.

Straight No Chaser Christmas Cheers

If you are a fan of Glee, The Sing Off, or you grew up in the Church of Christ, then this is the Christmas CD for you.  Straight No Chaser is a male a cappella group that is very good and has become popular recently.  They mix talented renditions of classics with some lighter comical pieces.  Their 12 Days of Christmas is the best version of the song I have heard.  It will have you going back and listening to it again and again.

Chris Isaak Christmas

Few do the Elvis Presley classic Blue Christmas justice, but Chris Isaak is able to pull it off.  This is a great Christmas album by one of the smoothest voices in the business today.  He also does a great rendition the Willie Nelson classic Pretty Paper, as well as, the island favorite Mele Kalikimaka.

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