Christmas music pretty much defines our celebrations, doesn’t it? It’s not a Christmas party until our favorites are popping in the background. Holiday memories seem to be defined by the sights and sounds of Christmas. So, I thought I’d share some of my favorite Christmas albums. Here you go: Honorable Mention #1 – Sufjan Stevens “Songs for Christmas” Sufjan is a brilliant orchestrator. This very album has some very classic Christmas songs as well as some classic Hymns. His arrangements on this album have been covered by some popular artists (such as Mumford and Sons). Honorable Mention #2 – North Point Church, Atlanta “North Point Christmas” This album is my favorite Christmas album this year. It is extremely well produced. Also, I am very impressed with the interpretations of some very classic songs. All Creation Sing is a very poppy, but good interpretation of “Joy to The World” with a brilliant intro. “Everything Changed” by Eddie Kirkland is a great narrative Christmas song that focuses on the life of Mary. All-in-all … this is a great modern Christmas album. Number 5 – Boyz II Men “Christmas Interpretations” Boyz II Men unofficially defined my latter high school years. This album is old school R&B at it’s best: lots of harmonies and vocal runs. It’s also not so complicated that you have to think and listen. Christmas music is often in the background of parties and get-togethers, and this is exceptional background music. Number 4 – Willie Nelson “Pretty Paper” I love Willie Nelson, unashamedly so. His voice is soothing and reminds me of my childhood. This album is CLASSIC. I have it on vinyl and occasionally pull it out during the holidays. Am I the only one that sings the title track for three days after I listen to it? Number 3 – The Rat Pack “The Christmas Album” Classic’s anyone? Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr. … do I really need to explain? This album has all the songs that I grew up hearing at Christmas: “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas” to “White Christmas” and my father’s favorite “Silver Bells”. Number 2 – Bebo Norman “From the Realms of Glory” This is such a good album. It came out in 2007. Bebo said that his inspiration for the album came an old Jackson Brown Christmas song, “The Rebel Jesus”, which he covers on the album. The depth of thought in the lyrics, interpretations, and orchestrations to me is relatively unmatched in modern Christmas albums. I would sincerely recommend getting this album. (get it at amazon) Number 1 – Steven Curtis Chapman “Christmas Is All In The Heart” This is the best Christmas album ever, well, for me personally. When I made a decision to really live for Jesus, this was one of those albums that permeated my first few Christmases. There is a delicate blend of SCC’s songs and classics … along with a beautiful demonstration of his guitar playing on “Carol of the Bells”. I literally NEED to hear this at Christmas for it to BE Christmas! So … Did I leave anyone out? Forget something? Let me know.
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