Thursday, December 22, 2016

Music: 2016 Holiday Album-a-palooza

This was an unusually rich year in Christmas music, so let's look at some of the best albums to spin at your holiday get-together:

"Falling Snow," The Gothard Sisters

I had the pleasure of taking in a live performance by these talented sisters this year, and not surprisingly, "Falling Snow" is excellent - one of the best Celtic Christmas albums I've ever heard. If you want something to surprise your guests with, try the fiddle runs on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen":

"Christmas Party," She & Him

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward have been playing music together for a solid decade now - so long that they've released a second Christmas album, "Christmas Party." Yeah, it's twee and tailor-made for a Starbucks near you, but darn it, you have to respect the straight-ahead versions of holiday classics like "Mele Kalikimaka" and "All I Want for Christmas is You":

"Wonderland," Sarah McLachlan

Sarah McLachlan also made another holiday album this year, and it's a heckuva lot more cheerful and commercial than her mournful 2006 release, "Wintersong." Whether that's good or bad depends on your mood - do you want sad music for abused pets, or something that you can sing along with? If it's the latter, go with "Wonderland":


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