The holiday season is upon us, and you know what that means: Christmas music! When pop stars try to get in the holiday spirit, it doesn’t always work out for the best. That said, we’re shining a spotlight on the Top 5 Christmas albums that we could listen to year after year:
1. Mariah Carey, “Merry Christmas”:
No list of Christmas albums, pop or otherwise, would be complete without mentioning Mariah Carey’s iconic 1995 album, “Merry Christmas.” Selling more than 15 million copies worldwide, the record may be best known for the original track “All I Want for Christmas Is You.” Still, that doesn’t take anything away from a number of other stellar songs, including covers of “Joy to the World” and “O Holy Night.”
2. Kelly Clarkson, “Wrapped in Red”:
The “American Idol” winner may have put out her first holiday record in 2013, but it seems to be becoming something of an instant classic. Like Mariah, Kelly chose to mix up a slew of Christmas classics with a few originals, including “Wrapped in Red” and “Underneath the Tree.” The album bowed to critical success and even spawned an NBC holiday special titled “Kelly Clarkson’s Cautionary Christmas Music Tale.”
3. “Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album”:
Though the cast of “Glee” has actually released three Christmas albums to date, nothing beats that very first year. Recorded for the show’s second season, the album is perhaps most notable for its duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” by fan-favorite couple Kurt (Chris Colfer) and then-newbie Blaine (Darren Criss). Lea Michele’s Rachel Berry also hits all the right notes on “Merry Christmas, Darling,” while Amber Riley soars on “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
4. *NSYNC, “Home for Christmas”:
While *NSYNC wasn’t the first boy band to release a holiday album, they’re certainly one of the most successful. The guys dropped “Home for Christmas” back in ’98, with a few great original tracks, including “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.” It may be 15 years since the album’s release, but especially in light of their reunion at the VMAs this year, aren’t the holidays all about going “Home” again?
5. She & Him, “A Very She & Him Christmas”:
Fans of FOX’s “New Girl” might not be aware of Zooey Deschanel’s singing prowess, though they might have seen a sneak preview in “Elf.” Yet the actress is also a talented musician, having recorded three LPs with her band, She & Him, as well as a recent Christmas album. The album is comprised solely of holiday classics, including a few more somber tracks than most, but nothing beats a fun cover of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
Who did we leave off? Leave your favorites in the comments section below!