December is always a merry time of year for music fans as their favorite artists release holiday albums.
Christmas albums from one's favorite artists are also a way to escape the inevitable loop of classic but overplayed Christmas songs like Mariah Carey's All I Want for Christmas is You.
Consumerism is at a high as the holidays approach- so artists and record labels capitalize on this by releasing a Christmas special album, even if the albums have nothing to do with the holiday itself. The time is just optimal for bigger sales and plays.
While some artists really do love Christmas, most of their record labels know that such albums are good for business. If asked why someone is releasing an album for the holidays, they are sure to reply about their love for Christmas and the nostalgia from their childhood but we know that even if that is true, the motivation behind is mostly about profits.
We aren't here to complain, however. Whatever the motivation is, we are just happy to get a bunch of new albums to listen to on our headphones while Jingle Bells blasts on repeat in the store we are shopping at.
Here are the top 10 music albums releasing for this Christmas season:
Backstreet Boys - A Very Backstreet Christmas
Backstreet Boys are back with A Very Backstreet Christmas. The album was initially slated for the 2021 holiday season but was postponed due to the pandemic.
But, it's finally here and the 90s kid in us is elated!
The album features the BSB's take on timeless Christmas classics like “While Christmas”, “Silent Night”, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” and “Last Christmas,” which was released earlier than the album itself, to give long-awaiting fans a taste of a very backstreet Christmas.
The album contains 15 tracks, of which 2 bonus tracks ("Feliz Navidad" and "It's Christmas Time Again") are available in deluxe versions sold at Target only. The band members have promised to continue spreading the holiday cheer this year in performances at five iHeart Radio Jingle Balls in major cities such as Detroit, New York City, Boston, Tampa, and Miami, this December.
The complete tracklist for A Very Backstreet Christmas:
|1. What Christmas||9. Silent Night|
|2. The Christmas Song||10. I’ll Be Home for Christmas|
|3. Winter Wonderland||11. Christmas in New York|
|4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas||12. Together|
|5. Last Christmas||13. Happy Days|
|6. O Holy Night||14. Feliz Navidad (TARGET ONLY)|
|7. This Christmas||15. It’s Christmas Time Again (TARGET ONLY)|
|8. Same Ole Lang Syne|
Alicia Keys - Santa Baby
Alicia Keys released her holiday album called Santa Baby on November 4 via Alicia Keys Records.
The album is available exclusively on Apple Music. Santa Baby is the American singer-songwriter's first Christmas album.
Mya Abraham of Vibe wrote that Santa Baby "blends the comfort of tradition with elevated, modern production, allowing listeners to bask in whatever they define the holidays to be."
Alicia Keys has posted the music video for the single "December Back 2 June" on Youtube.
In the UK, the album entered the UK Digital Albums Chart at number 24. In the US, Santa Baby failed to enter the US Billboard 200, making it the first Alicia Keys album not to feature on the chart. However, it reached number 19 on the US Top Holiday Albums Chart.
The tracklist for Santa Baby:
|1. Santa Baby||7. You Don't Have to Be Alone|
|2. Christmas Time is Here||8. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts)|
|3. Favorite Things||9. Old Memories on Christmas|
|4. December Back 2 June||10. Not Even the King|
|5. Please Come Home for Christmas||11. Ave Maria|
|6. Happy Xmas (War is Over)|
Ne-Yo - Another Kind of Christmas
Ne-Yo's first and only Christmas album called Another Kind of Christmas was originally released in 2019.
The reason that the album is on this list is that this year Ne-Yo decided to look back and came out with a deluxe edition of the album, which has the previously unreleased track titled "Everyday is a Holiday".
The singer, songwriter, and dancer was very popular in the late 2000s and early 2010s, with his most popular song "So Sick" topping the Billboard Hot 100. Anybody who was once a fan of Ne-Yo, knows that he specializes in heartbreak. “Just Ain’t Christmas” from the holiday album goes out to all the people spending a lonely Christmas this year.
The album is not all doom and gloom though. “Open Mine Tonight” is a funky-romantic song to share with your significant other. The other tracks include Ne-Yo's take on classics like “Someday At Christmas” and Marvin Gaye’s “I Want To Come Home For Christmas.”
Ne-Yo's Another Kind of Christmas (Deluxe Edition) tracklist:
|1. This Christmas||7. Merry Christmas Baby|
|2. Talk About It||8. I Want to Come Home for Christmas|
|3. Carol Of The Bells||9. The Christmas Song|
|4. Open Mine Tonight||10. Someday at Christmas|
|5. Just Ain't Christmas||11. It's for Everybody|
|6. Christmas Vibez||12. Everyday is a Holiday|
Louis Armstrong - Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule
Louis Armstrong's first-ever Christmas album came out this year in the form of Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule.
After more than 50 years of his passing, the legendary trumpeter and vocalist has once again earned multiple places on the charts.
The 11-track collection debuted at multiple Top 10 Billboard charts, including at number 9 in Top Holiday Albums and number 7 in Top Album Sales. It ranked number 122 on the Billboard 200, making Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule Satchmo's highest charting album since Hello Dolly in 1964, which spent 6 weeks at number 1.
The album features almost all of his holiday tracks, including “Cool Yule,” “Christmas Night in Harlem,” and “‘Zat You Santa Claus?”. The highlight of the album is, however, Satchmo's final recording, a recitation of Samuel Clement Moore’s cherished poem “A Visit from St. Nicholas”, more popularly known as "The Night Before Christmas".
Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule also features duets with two of Satchmo’s favorite vocal collaborators, Velma Middleton (“Baby, It’s Cold Outside”) and Ella Fitzgerald (“I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm”).
The never-heard-before track was made by an already ailing Louis Armstong on his reel-to-reel tape recorder at his home in Queens, New York- currently the Louis Armstrong House and Museum.
The tracklist for Louis Wishes You A Cool Yule:
|1. Cool Yule||7. Christmas Night In Harlem|
|2. Winter Wonderland||8. Baby, It’s Cold Outside|
|3. I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm||9. Moments To Remember|
|4. ‘Zat You Santa Claus?||10. What A Wonderful World|
|5. Christmas In New Orleans||11. "A Visit from St. Nicholas"|
Andrea Bocelli, Matteo Bocelli, Virginia Bocelli – A Family Christmas
Andrea Bocelli OMRI OMDSM presents A Family Christmas with his son Matteo and daughter Virginia Bocelli.
The renowned Italian tenor and multi-instrumentalist released the album on 21 October on CD and Vinyl. This is the first time he has released an album with his family and it already is a hit, "The Greatest Gift" gaining 4.9 million views on Youtube alone.
While this is the first album with his family, Andrea Bocelli is not a new player in the game of holiday music. In fact, Andrea Bocelli is a household name when it comes to Christmas songs. My Christmas was the best-selling holiday album of 2009 and one of the best-selling holiday albums of all time in the US.
Andrea Bocelli is regarded as one of the greatest living tenors in the world and his honors reflect that. He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Original Song and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Song, for his duet with Celine Dion on the song "The Prayer" for the 1998 film Quest for Camelot. The OMRI in his name stands for the "Order of Merit of the Italian Republic". The OMDSM stands for the "Order of Merit of Duarte, Sánchez, and Mella".
This Christmas, once again we have the honor to listen to Andrea Bocelli with his family in A Family Christmas. The album features 13 tracks, with Christmas favorites like Away in a Manger, Happy Xmas (War Is Over), Feliz Navidad, and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. "The Greatest Gift" is a brand-new single vocalized by his 24-year-old son, Matteo, and 10-year-old daughter, Virginia Bocelli.
The tracklist for A Family Christmas:
|1. Do you hear what I hear?||8. Joy to the world|
|2. Away in a manger||9. The Greatest Gift|
|3. Feliz Navidad||10. When Christmas comes to town|
|4. The first noël||11. Happy Xmas (War is Over)|
|5. Have yourself a Merry little Christmas||12. Il giorno più speciale|
|6. Over the rainbow||13. I’ll be home for christmas|
|7. Buon natale a tutto il mondo|
David Foster and Katharine McPhee - Christmas Songs
The wed duo of David Foster and Katharine McPhee have released 7 of their favorite classics in the album Christmas Songs. The couple has not recorded a song together in 17 years, but we finally get to listen to them together this Christmas. The album was made available for streaming on November 25th and was released as a CD on December 2nd.
David Foster, the 16-time Grammy-winning music producer has produced some legendary Christmas music, with artists like Michael Bublé, Celine Dion, Andrea Bocelli, and Rod Stewart. Katharine McPhee herself is a great singer, so it is only fitting that she makes an album with her husband for the holiday season.
"We haven't recorded together in 17 years so we thought it might be time to do it again! Kat has the most beautiful voice and she doesn't know how to deliver less than a perfect vocal every time!", said David Foster about composing Christmas Songs with his wife.
The tracklist for Christmas Songs:
|1. Jingle Bell Rock|
|2. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer|
|3. Grown-Up Christmas List|
|4. Blue Christmas|
|5. I’ll Be Home For Christmas|
|6. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town|
|7. The Christmas Song|
André Rieu - Silver Bells
André Rieu's Christmas selection was released on November 18 in the form of an album called Silver Bells.
The Dutch violinist and conductor has personally selected the tracks for the album, such as his own rendition of "Santa Clause is Coming to Town", "Let it Snow", many more.
A special treat for his fans, André has made available the live recordings of his traditional Christmas concerts on the DVD version of Silver Bells.
André Rieu was the first classical instrumentalist ever to reach number two in the UK pop album charts. He has sold over 40 million albums and every year performs live for an audience of more than half a million.
The tracklist for Silver Bells:
|1. Santa Claus is Comin' to Town||10. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing|
|2. Mille Cherubino in Coro||11. Petersburger Schlittlenfahrt|
|3. Jingle Bell Rock||12. It's beginning to look like Christmas|
|4. Lulajze Jezuniu||13. Silver Bells|
|5. Flower Watlz||14. In the Bleak Midwinter|
|6. Coventry Carol||15. Slumber My Darling|
|7. Let it Snow! X3||16. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year|
|8. Ave Maria||17. Bonus DVD: Christmas with André|
|9. Op Kawwe Wintermörrege|
Lindsey Stirling – Snow Waltz
Lindsey Stirling's Snow Waltz is the follow-up to her first Christmas album Warmer in the Winter.
It was released on October 7 by Concord Record. Along with unique music, the album includes several traditional Christmas tunes.
The 14-track collection features Lindsey's celebrated violin composition and she has also invited collaborations from Frawley, David Archuleta, and Bonnie McKee.
The holiday album managed to reach the number 1 position on the US Billboard Top Classical Albums and number 2 on the US Billboard Top Holiday Albums. Snow Waltz also ranked 90th position on the Swiss Hitparade Charts.
The quarter-finalist of America's Got Talent Season 5, announced on September 5 that she is embarking on her 4th Christmas-themed tour during November and December of 2022. She is scheduled to perform in Grand Prairie, Texas, and concluding in Los Angeles.
Lindsey Stirling's Snow Waltz tracklist:
|1. Sleigh Ride||8. Christmas Time with You|
|2. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen||9. Little Drummer Boy|
|3. Crazy for Christmas||10. O Come, O Come Emmanuel|
|4. Feliz Navidad||11. O Holy Night|
|5. Joy to the World (Intro)||12. Magic|
|6. Joy to the World||13. Deck the Halls|
|7. Snow Waltz||14. Ice Storm|
Joss Stone – Merry Christmas, Love
Merry Christmas, Love is the first Christmas album and 9th studio album of English singer Joss Stone.
It was released on 30 September by S-Curve Records.
Upon listening, one can clearly deduce that the Grammy award winner's holiday album was inspired by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole, Bing Crosby, and Michael Buble. The album celebrates Christmas with 15 tracks including the classics like “Let It Snow”, “Jingle Bells”, “Silent Night” and more. The album also features 2 new original songs by Joss.
Merry Christmas, Love's release was timed to make accordance with the birth of Joss's second child. Songs from the album are sure to be a Stone family's tradition every year to celebrate the holidays as well as the birthday of their youngest. “It felt like he was part of the album, and that made it even sweeter,” Joss said about her unborn child and the album.
The album peaked at number 46 on the US Billboard Top Holiday Albums. A physical CD release for Merry Christmas, Love was on October 21st and Vinyls were made available on November 11th.
The tracklist for the album:
|1. Twas The Night Before Christmas||9. Hark the Herald Angels Sing|
|2. Let It Snow||10. Snow|
|3. What Christmas Means To Me||11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas|
|4. Winter Wonderland||12. Oh Little Town of Bethlehem|
|5. Jingle Bells||13. While Christmas|
|6. Away in a Manger||14. In the Bleak Midwinter|
|7. The Christmas Song||15. Bring on Christmas Day|
|8. If You Believe||16. Silent Night|
Vince Guaraldi Trio – A Charlie Brown Christmas
The original A Charlie Brown Christmas was the 8th studio album by American jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi.
The album was later accredited to the Vince Guaraldi Trio. This Christmas, the original 11-track album has been updated with a new stereo mix and hours of unearthed session tapes from Fantasy Records’ vaults.
The 2022 version is the definitive, bonus-filled edition of Vince Guaraldi's 1965 timeless masterpiece. The original album was released in December 1965 by Fantasy Records and was the soundtrack for the Christmas TV special called A Charlie Brown Christmas.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is the single-most commercially successful Christmas album in the US. The album was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007. On May 10 of this year, the album hit 5 million sales, for which the Recording Industry Association of America certified the album as a "quintuple platinum".
The Christmas album first appeared on the Billboard charts in 1987, peaking at number 13 on the Billboard Christmas Album Sales chart. Since then, till 2003, A Charlie Brown Christmas appeared on every Billboard Christmas Albums chart, reaching as high as number 8 in 2001 and 2002.
The album today has become synonymous with Christmas and is considered to be one of the most beloved holiday albums recorded. LA Time's Chris Barton stated that the soundtrack introduced jazz music to a new generation, creating jazz masters of the future. Rolling Stone ranked the album the fourth greatest Christmas album of all time.
In 2022, A Charlie Brown Christmas has ranked as high as number 6 on the US Billboard Soundtrack Albums and number 2 on the US Billboard Top Jazz Albums.
A Charlie Brown Christmas Tracklist:
|Side one||Side two|
|1. O Tannenbaum||1. Christmas Time Is Here|
|2. What Child Is This||2. Skating|
|3. My Little Drum||3. Hark, the Herald Angels Sing|
|4. Linus and Lucy||4. Christmas Is Coming"|
|5. Christmas Time Is Here||5. Fur Elise|
|6. The Christmas Song"|
|Bonus track: Greensleeves|