Dave Koz, Ultimate Christmas
If your idea of an Ultimate Christmas entails smooth jazz, you just hit the jackpot, tiger. Koz brings his soccer mom-seducin sax to a disc of 18 numbers that not only wants to cozy up to Christmas lovers, but also those more attuned to black-eyed peas and broken promises, what with two New Years tracks. He also courts the Jewish population with Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah). Ingredients should read dextrose, maltodextrin and sucralose, but hey, at least hes not Kenny G.
Christmas with the Chipmunks
Even without a new Alvin and the Chipmunks movie to tie to in this years case, Chipwrecked this 1961 album seems to get re-released annually, and 2011 is no exception. Who doesnt love The Chimpunk Song (Christmas Dont Be Late)? Then again, who does love any of the other 15 songs? Any toddler to grade schooler should enjoy it, but dont give it to those whose parents are prone to migraines.
She & Him, A Very She & Him Christmas
No self-respecting hipsters holiday in 11 will be complete without the sweet, sweet sounds of newly single New Girl Zooey Deschanel cooing Christmas chestnuts in his ear. Even those immune to her innumerable charms may be won over by her singing voice, both genuine and unique.
Highlights include the never-not-sexy Baby Its Cold Outside. Remember when she sang that in Elf? While showering? Brrr ...
Frank Sinatra, A Jolly Christmas from Frank Sinatra
I dont know how Jolly this season is for a man whos been dead for more than a decade, but theres a reason this 1957 classic album keeps popping up in reissues: Because its great. They dont call him the Chairman of the Board for nothing, and here, he belts out 14 standards that seem anything but, coming from his golden throat. Although very much a product of its happy-go-lucky era, it may never go out of style.
A Blackwatch Christmas
Whodve guessed the best Christmas album this year would be free? Thats A Blackwatch Christmas, stuffed to the breaking point with gems from local indie musicians. Colourmusic is in a rare Sentimental Mood and Ryan Lindsey wants to Come Down Your Chimney, but the highlight is the Beastie Boys-esque bundle of nonsense, Hector Comanchos Chris Cringle. Download it at OKSee.
Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album Volume 2
These 12 more holiday hits from the Glee Cast! are as abhorrent as youd expect. At least they tackled a couple of somewhat contemporary songs, with covers of The Waitresses Christmas Wrapping and Band Aids Do They Know Its Christmas? (Somewhere, Bob Geldof weeps. And counts his money.) Still, this is essentially a karaoke CD, and if you buy it, youre part of the problem.
Kenny Vance and the Planotones, Mr. Santa
Who are Kenny Vance and the Planotones? I didnt know, either, but the New York-based band makes a decent first impression with Mr. Santa, a low-key affair so heavily influenced by the music of the 1950s and 60s, you might mistake it for the music of the 1950s and 60s. Dont judge it by its poorly Photoshopped cover.