THE TOP TEN CHRISTMAS ALBUMS - EVER!
- Monday, November 30, 2009
3. THE SINATRA CHRISTMAS ALBUM (Frank Sinatra) - There are the expected hits ("Jingle Bells" (like only Frank can deliver), "The Christmas Song," and "The Christmas Waltz"), but the real gems here are "Mistletoe & Holly" and the flawless spiritual standards that comprise the entire second-half of the album. The most holiday fun you'll have this year while listening to someone funded by the mafia.2. A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (Vince Guaraldi Trio) - It isn't just because of the television special (the single best Christmas special - no, holiday special - NO! Television Special - of all time). Vince Guaraldi was a jazz virtuoso who understood the power of simplicity and utilized it to full effect. From the haunting refrains of "Christmastime is Here" to the melancholy doo-doo-doo's that open "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing," this is a holiday album that you don't so much hear as feel. This is also where "Linus & Lucy" came from, in case you were wondering.
1. THE ANDY WILLIAMS CHRISTMAS ALBUM - A perfect album must completely understand its purpose as a whole, not just as a collection of songs. Hence, a perfect Christmas album must understand that it has to both kick-start and wind-down the party - that it needs to celebrate merry abandon while reverently admiring the Savior born. It should be passionate and ecstatic. Robust and sparse. And it should work in a room of 200 people as well as it plays for you alone sitting by the fire staring out the window into the snow. Andy Williams created Christmas music because he loved Christmas. He believed in everything about the holiday. That belief comes out in this stirring collection that doesn't feel like it was aching for a radio single. And for those detractors who don't think the boy can sing, listen to him hold his own on "Sweet Little Jesus Boy." When he begins singing of what we eventually did to that baby on the cross, you can hear remorse and grace intermingle. Do yourself a favor: snuggle up with your honey to this remarkable work.
And there you have it: my opinion. The ornament's in your court. Agree? Disagree? Let your caroling voice be heard below!
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