From Jazz to Kitsch: A Musical Journey Through this Year’s Christmas Releases

Pop’s Festive Melodies: A Review of Christmas Albums

The holiday season is upon us, and as the weather turns chilly, the music industry’s finest are gearing up to warm our hearts with a mix of Christmas standards, folk carols, and kitsch classics.

GREGORY PORTER – Christmas Wish (Blue Note)

Gregory Porter, the acclaimed jazzman, pays homage to legends like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, and Nat King Cole on his inaugural Christmas album.

Porter’s baritone shines on classics like Wonder’s “Someday At Christmas” and Gaye’s “Purple Snowflakes.”

While his renditions impress, original tracks like “Heart For Christmas” tread into overly sentimental territory.

CHER – Christmas (Warner)

The goddess of pop, Cher, presents the most enjoyable party album of the year with her campy and kitschy Christmas offering.

From dance tracks like “DJ Play A Christmas Song” to glam rock detours and schmaltzy duets with Michael Bublé and Cyndi Lauper, Cher’s festive spirit is infectious.

SABRINA CARPENTER – Fruitcake (Island)

Former Disney starlet Sabrina Carpenter brings wit and polish to her mini-LP, mixing heartache balladry with playful pop.

Originals like “Cindy Lou Who” and the risque “A Nonsense Christmas” showcase Carpenter’s versatility and holiday cheer.

GAVIN DEGRAW – A Classic Christmas (Sony Nashville)

Gavin DeGraw’s Christmas effort, reminiscent of Buble’s 2011 album, delivers cozy nights by the fire.

While his renditions of classics like “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” are solid, a touch more adventurous song selection could have elevated the mini-album.

KATE RUSBY – Light Years (Pure)

British folk royalty Kate Rusby brings her spellbinding voice to her seventh seasonal selection.

Mixing reflective originals and traditional carols, Rusby’s arrangements, featuring electronic elements and a brass band, create a varied and captivating Christmas experience.

TWINNIE – Blue Christmas (BMG)

Actress-turned-singer Twinnie-Lee Moore’s mini-album blends cheerful country with pleasant pop, showcasing her songwriting skills honed in Nashville.

With originals and a cover of “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” Twinnie’s festive tunes bring warmth to the holiday season.

HAUSER – Christmas (Sony Masterworks)

Cellist Stjepan Hauser offers an instrumental Christmas album, applying his dazzling cello work to carols and American standards.

The crossover classical mood is beautifully executed, creating a perfect backdrop for festive activities.

In addition to these festive releases, the return of music legend Peter Gabriel with “i/o” marks a welcome comeback after 21 years.

Gabriel’s album, a mix of pop-funk and melodic art-rock, explores themes of mortality, grief, and technological advances, providing a diverse listening experience.

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