Friday, October 21, 2022

New Christmas Music from Thomas Rhett, Joss Stone, Lindsey Stirling, Backstreet Boys, Crowder, Glass Cabin and more...


Merry Christmas Y’all

Thomas Rhett

A quartet of familiar and festive tunes from country hitmaker Rhett.

A Very Backstreet Chrstmas

The Backstreet Boys

This is probably triggering warm and snuggly feelings for lots of folks but not me. This is not my nostalgia and without the rose colored glasses of memories x feels there’s nothing much here to return to, though what there is is relatively inoffensive. I did appreciate to cover of Dan Fogelberg's classic Same Old Lang Syne though.

Snow Waltz

Lindsey Stirling

Another collection of Christmas tunes from pop-violinist Stirling. Divorced from the visual verve of her video and performance presentations the music trends towards the generic. Not bad (mostly), just not particularly special. The best tracks (Ice Storm, Snow Waltz)  seem well suited for those over engineered, though impressive, synchronized light displays that usually use bands like Tran Siberian Orchestra as their soundtrack. The album’s guest vocalists (Bonnie McKee, Frawley, David Archuleta)  appear on the weakest tracks, for whatever that’s worth.

Merry Christmas, Love

Joss Stone

Ms. Stone has gifted us with a generous collection of sixteen holiday tracks on her new  album Merry Christmas, Love (just imagine how overstuffed next year’s inevitable “Deluxe” version will be!). 

While many contemporary releases try too hard to harvest all the memberberries of Christmas albums past, Stone and her producers / arrangers have managed it with winning ease.

An early frontrunner for favorite new album.

Milk and Cookies: A Merry Crowder Christmas


Solid collection, though the frequent “interludes” don’t really work for me. There are a couple of clunkers - “The Elf Song”, “The Ballad of Mrs. C.” but overall this a good’un. Guests include Rickey Scaggs and Tommee Profitt.

I Dream of Christmas Deluxe

Norah Jones

Norah Jones is the latest artist to quickly re=release a holiday album in an expanded “deluxe” edition. Fair enough. And in Jones' favor the new additions nearly double the original’s track count, though many of the new songs are live in concert recordings of other album tracks.

I liked the original version of this album and the addition tracks are a nice bonus (plus in a streaming world I can just make a quick playlist of my favorite tracks to avoid any “deluxe” clutter).

The Weary World Rejoices

Pam Asberry

Simple, understated piano arrangements of a dozen favorite carols and holiday tunes.

Christmas is Here

Glass Cabin

Nice single from country hit songwriters turned Americana tinged duo Glass Cabin