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Burds: Love holiday music? Listen to these

BY EMILY BURDS | NOVEMBER 29, 2012 6:30 AM

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Anyone who knows me realizes I will randomly sing my beloved winter holiday tunes at anytime during the year in anticipation for the holiday season (as I know many of you secretly do).

So I am now ecstatic that we all can officially put the Christmas Pandora station on default for the next few weeks.

This year, you can find many artists have thrown their talent into the holiday spotlight. I decided to go on a hunt to find some of this year’s must-have holiday albums from some of the top artists. I listened to a few records that I think all should check out to fill their homes and their dorm rooms with the sweet sounds of festive spirit.

Blake Shelton

To kick off the holiday mirth, this year’s Mr. Entertainer of the Year has released a very bright and very country Christmas album titled Cheers, It’s Christmas. Blake clearly had a lot of fun in the studio on this one, bringing in several other big-name artists, including wife Miranda Lambert, to share in the Yuletide cheer.

My favorite track on this album is a collaboration with Michael BublĂ©, finally bringing their renditions of the ballad hit “Home” in an all-new holiday version. Both artists took this song to the top of the charts, and now, it is certain that their combination will do it again.

Along with one of the greatest Christmas crooners of our time, there may be a new kid in town giving BublĂ© a run for his money: Scotty McCreery brings his Southern country charm to Christmas this year. So if you like a little bit of twang in your tunes, McCreery’s deep, soulful, and pure sound could definitely do the trick for you.

Colbie Caillat

Pop artist Colbie Caillat takes her holiday tunes into the sunshine with her album Christmas in the Sand. A native of Miami, Caillat has spent her winter on the warm Florida beaches. On her record, she brings this perspective to her fun and unique record.

She brings in some heavyweight names into the holiday ring, kicking off the album with a wonderful jazzy/blues/rock duet with country legend Brad Paisley titled “Merry Christmas Baby.” You can also find such artists as Gavin DeGraw on the album.

Caillat uses her talents to put a fun, modern twists on such classics as her upbeat and bubbly version of “Santa Baby.” Her holiday in the sunlight follows in the footsteps of some great beach babes and dudes including Kenny Chesney’s “All I Want for Christmas is a Real Good Tan,” which hit the top of the charts in 2003.

Christina Perri

This new-age pop/rock star demonstrates her holiday spirit with a six-song EP titled A Very Merry Perri Christmas. Although I wish there was more to enjoy, her insight into some of the tried-and-true Christmas traditional songs gives us quite a unique take on some of the jolly old classics.

I was mesmerized by her soft acoustic rendition of “Ave Maria,” a song many wouldn’t think to be on a holiday album, but one that I think deserves some credit. She also isn’t afraid to get her sass on when she brings out her blues voice on “Please Come Home for Christmas.”

Kenny G

Love the holiday tunes, but don’t always need the star-studded voices? Then feast your ears on Kenny G’s enchanting saxophone on his holiday album Faith. This record has been a festive repeat in my household for years. My favorite? His Millennium version of “Auld Lang Syne,” which embodies what the season is all about.


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