In search of good Christmas music

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, many families will be putting up Christmas decorations and getting out their collection of Christmas music, which they will play non-stop between now and Christmas. Unfortunately, much of the Christmas music that is played in people’s homes is pretty bad. However, I do have some good Christmas music, so I thought that I would let you know what it is. Plus, I’m soliciting Christmas music recommendations from my readership.

First off, my recommendations:

In 2004 Andrew Peterson came out with a Christmas album called Behold the Lamb of God. It contains mostly original compositions that start in the old testament and basically follow redemptive history all the way up to the birth of Jesus. Along the way, he plays instrumental versions of a few old classic Christmas tunes. In addition, it is theologically meaty and presents the central themes of the Bible in a simple yet meaningful way. All in all, this is a great album and because it doesn’t contain a ton of material that you would normally associate with Christmas, it’s actually listenable during the rest of the year, too.

A recent addition to my Christmas music collection is Sufjan Stevens’ Songs for Christmas. This is a 5-disc box set that collects the Christmas EPs that Stevens records for friends and family every Christmas. In addition to the five EPs, there is also a fat booklet that includes the words and chords for all the songs. It includes 42 tracks for a total of just over 2 hours of music. I got the set yesterday at Borders for $19, which is a dollar less than it costs on iTunes. So, this is another one of those albums that is probably better to buy on CD than to download from an online music service. Value aside, buying the box set also gives you all the kitschy Christmas goodness that Sufjan has included with the set, including some drawings, a sheet of stickers, and some stories/essays.

If you don’t already have these two albums, I would definitely recommend them. Unfortunately, two good Christmas albums is not really enough to fill the entire period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. So, I’ve been thinking about getting some other Christmas albums. In particular, I was thinking that I might like to get an album of classic Christmas tunes played by a bluegrass/old-timey band. If any of you have recommendations along those lines, please leave a comment. Also, if there are any other Christmas albums that you particularly like and can recommend, please leave your recommendations in a comment. Finally, if there are any albums that people should avoid at all costs, leave those, too – they could be worth a laugh and/or save people a great deal of suffering.

4 Responses to “In search of good Christmas music”

  1. November 25, 2006 at 12:55 pm

    Vince Guaradli’s A Charlie Brown Christmas album has always been one of my favorites.

    And even though you hear it everywhere, Nat King Cole’s The Christmas Song is good too. I might like this one because it’s what my parents played incessantly when I was young. But I can’t get over the man’s voice.

  2. November 26, 2006 at 10:32 am

    I had a post about this at some point. I was mostly thinking of indie and motown-ish Christmas music. I also ended up doing a show of similarly good Christmas music.

  3. 3 Colin
    November 29, 2006 at 8:52 am

    Thanks, Pat. We just watched part of the TV special last night. Afterward, we downloaded the album from eMusic. Speaking of which, eMusic has the new extended version of the album, including 5 additional alternate takes from the original recording session. One of these alternate takes is free to download and one of them is apparently only available on eMusic. Check out this version of the album here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


November 2006

Recent Twitterings

Follow Me on Twitter

RSS That to which I am listening

  • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

%d bloggers like this: