Merry Christmas everyone! Has anyone else been catching some Christmas tunes while shopping for presents or in car-rides with the radio on? I know I have. Here’s some artists who have caught my attention for particularly getting me in the holiday spirit.
5. Avi (Pentatonix)
It wouldn’t be fair if I didn’t include a Pentatonix singer on this list. I know Scott generally takes all the solos, but let’s give their bassist some credit. As someone who once directed a collegiate a cappella group for a year, I can deeply appreciate the rock-solid percussion and roots that Avi and beat-boxer Kevin provides the group. Oh, plus he does a great job with his solo bit in Hallelujah. Considering the passing of Leonard Cohen in 2016, it felt right to feature this song.
Voice that doesn’t work for me: Sarah McLachlan
I expected more from McLachlan who killed it on a Toy Story 2 ballad called When She Loved Me. Go Tell It On The Mountain is so bad it is almost laughable. Not a project I’d want my name to be on it.
4. Ariana Grande
If you didn’t see this coming, then you clearly haven’t familiarized yourself with the limited music-related content on my blog. Grande might be my favorite pop artist today largely because she is versatile, versatile enough to sing upbeat Christmas songs like Last Christmas or acoustic ones like Winter Things. However, the song that will always get me on my feet to dance is her hit in Santa Tell Me. A must-play at Christmas parties and thankfully it didn’t fail to pop up on the Spotify playlists that were playing in the background.
Honorable mention: Jordan Smith
One of my favorite contestants from The Voice who picked coach Adam Levine and went on to eventually to win the show in its 9th season shows us how to do a touching, slow Christmas ballad properly. Then again, I could just be drooling over his performance on Grown-Up Christmas List.
3. Mitch (Pentatonix)
I know what you’re thinking… Kevin seriously loves Pentatonix and has bias towards a cappella groups. But I could have picked someone from Straight No Chaser which saw a big hit in Text Me Merry Christmas with the voice of Princess Anna, Kristen Bell. However, I think Mitch needs to get more recognition for the amazing set of pipes he possesses. I’ll let his solo in the previous example prove my point and provide the video to the Straight No Chaser song down below for variety. We, as an American audience, should really get in the habit of listening to other a cappella groups.
Voice that doesn’t work for me: Chris Martin (Coldplay)
I love Coldplay’s classics as much as the next guy, but has anyone heard Christmas Lights? Not only does it feature an awkwardly long instrumental background which doesn’t feel particularly Christmas-y and a strangely low vocal line, it also doesn’t sound much different from your typical Coldplay jam. Maybe if I lived in London I would like it more.
2. Michael Buble
So my picks probably aren’t very surprising at this point, but I feel like Buble is an artist who I like most on Christmas songs. This isn’t even an insult because I like his other jazz/pop stuff. Songs like Holly Jolly Christmas and It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas really showcase his smooth and warm voice. Makes me feel like I’m melting by the fireplace.
Honorable mention: Justin Bieber
As if he didn’t need any more fame from his popular album Purpose, I have to admit that Bieber’s voice lends itself nicely to the genre of Christmas pop. Maybe I’m just over-compensating for all the hate he has received over the years from his reckless behavior and break-up with Selena Gomez.
1. Mariah Carey
All I Want for Christmas Is You anybody? I’ve already wrote a post raving about Carey’s technique and tone but it’s almost impossible for me to think of someone more deserving of this spot without going back a couple decades. I watched a Vox video explaining the phenomena of All I Want for Christmas Is You and how it takes its cue from many popular Christmas songs of the past. But considering how she’s had other hits like Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town, I have an itch that there’s something about Carey’s pristine voice which makes me think of fresh snow when she sings and is ultimately responsible for her dominance during the holiday season.