I'm packing up my digital self and spiriting away for the holidays. However, before I let the blog rest for a few weeks, I wanted to let you know what holiday songs I am enjoying this year.
"Underneath the Tree" by Kelly Clarkson
It's hard to make a great Christmas original, but Clarkson's single from her 2013 holiday record, Wrapped in Red, is a gem. It mixes the energy of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas is You" with the longing of Wham's "Last Christmas." Clarkson is in great voice and her song deserves to be a regular on the holiday charts for many years to come.
"Happy XMas (War is Over)" by Celine Dion
Celine Dion's take on Yoko Ono and John Lennon's "Happy XMas (War is Over)" is my big rediscovery this season. My mom played Dion's excellent holiday record, These Are Special Times, a lot during my childhood and this tune brings back warm memories. In fact, Dion takes a soothing approach to this song, smoothing out the original's rough edges while maintaining its sincerity.
"Lullay Lullay (Coventry Carol)" by Annie Lennox
Annie Lennox's A Christmas Cornucopia is a flawlessly produced yet quirky record, and it's best representation is her take on "Lullay Lullay." By layering vocals, this left-of-center carol comes off sounding like it's sung by a chorus of Lennox nuns. The effect is strange, charming, melodramatic, and quintessential Annie.
"Last Christmas" by Carly Rae Jepsen
Because Carly Rae's music played such an important part of my year, I am not surprised by how much I adore her cover of Wham's "Last Christmas." Jepsen's smooth vocals are perfect for the 80s tune, and the production fits well with the retro-pop on her critically adored Emotion. "Last Christmas" manages to be sexy and a little bittersweet.
Dear reader, I wish you happy holidays. Stop by again in January, when I will be reviewing the new Sia album and have lots more to say about music, poetry, and my kids book, Ms Avocado Solves a Mystery.
Be safe and merry!