A countdown of our top five picks this season.
Nothing gets a person in the mood for Christmas like some festive music. But, as we reach the halfway point of the advent season, you may be finding the classics a little overplayed and want something fresh. Well, after compiling extensive research (i.e., I posted a Facebook status), these are my top five Christmas album recommendations to keep you in the spirit until the 25th.
5. “Christmas” by Bryan and Katie Torwalt
From our favorite worship artists comes a new Christmas EP. This album is refreshing. While only four songs long, this EP captures the feeling of Christmas while also acknowledging the reason we celebrate. It is a great reminder of the comfort and warmth of the season as well as the true purpose in it. With clear, beautiful vocals and wonderful arrangements, these four songs are a must have on any Christmas playlist.
4. “Tchaikovsky: The Nutcraker” by Simon Rattle, Berliner Philharmoniker
I always like to have an instrumental option in my back pocket, whether it’s for study music or to play in the background of a soiree. Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker is a classic Christmas ballet – perfect for the season. While many have heard renditions of these beloved songs, there is nothing quite like the original; this orchestra in particular has a clear, beautiful performance of the well-known piece that will warm the soul.
3. “That’s Christmas to Me” by Pentatonix
Is it even Christmas without an a cappella group? Most people have probably already listened to this album, but with unique arrangements and driving vocals, it is a great way to keep spirits high. There isn’t much to say about this one, other than it’s become a household classic over the past few years and will keep you on your toes.
2. “Noel (Deluxe)” by Josh Groban
I will argue to the death that Josh Groban has the voice of an angel. If you wish to be moved deep in your soul – listen to this album. Groban’s voice has a rich and operatic nature which retains the more classical elements of Christmas. While this album has many Christmas favorites, it also has quite a few songs in different languages, such as French and Latin, which give a nice variation to the traditional Christmas music. Also, this is the first time in years Groban’s famous performance of “O Holy Night” is available for download, and that just makes my heart so happy.
1. “Winter Moon” by Mindy Gledhill
Gledhill’s album has been one of my favorites since I heard it two years ago. She’s an independent artist with a unique voice and different sound to most musicians I’ve heard. She has some more traditional songs, some new arrangements of classics (“Patapan/O Come, O Come Emmanuel” is kind of amazing), and a couple originals. Her original song “Winter Moon” has the warmth and optimism that puts a person right in the holiday spirit. This album is beautiful, and is a great addition to any Christmas playlist.
I hope these albums will help respark the Christmas spirit in your heart, and give it the strength to go on in these last few weeks before the big day!
Danielle Crowley is a Staff Writer for The Daily Runner.