Monarch Music Minute: Holiday 2017 Edition
Adam Flores | Senior Writer
The holiday season is here! Consider these new album releases by today’s top artists to add to your holiday playlist.
Sia – ‘Everyday Is Christmas’
This all-original set of tracks was written by Sia and longtime collaborator, Greg Kurstin (Adele, Foo Fighters). With tracks such as “Santa’s Coming for Us” and “Snowman,” she demonstrates dynamic contrasts with rich and charming eloquence, perfect for today’s modern holiday spirit.
Nathan Pacheco – ‘O Holy Night’
Though of Brazilian descent, the Virginia native and singer-songwriter offers a 12-track set of classic Christmas standards. “O Come, O Come Emmanuel (feat. Máiréad Nesbitt),” “Silent Night (feat. Madilyn Paige)” and “Winter Wonderland” underscore his eclectic mix of styles.
Gwen Stefani – ‘You Make It Feel Like Christmas’
Stefani’s first full-length Christmas album’s title track features Blake Shelton. A mixture of classics and newer romantic odes, it is no surprise there are plenty of Shelton references throughout the new record. “Jingle Bells” and “My Gift Is You” shine bright in style and tone.
Pentatonix – ‘A Pentatonix Christmas Deluxe’
The a cappella outfit expand upon their 2016 release which included two original holiday songs, “Good to Be Bad” and “The Christmas Sing-Along.” “Deluxe” contains five new tracks to include “How Great Thou Art (feat. Jennifer Hudson)” and “Hallelujah (feat. The String Mob).”
Lindsey Stirling – ‘Warmer in the Winter’
The multifaceted violinist and composer presents 10 Christmas cover tracks and three original compositions and also enlists the talents of All Time Low and Trombone Shorty, among others. “Carol of the Bells” and “Christmas C’mon (feat. Becky G)” help modernize this compilation.
98º – ‘Let It Snow’
The vocal quartet present stunning renditions of holiday classics in an updated format. Chock full of lead vocal nuances and four-part harmonies, “Season of Love,” “The First Noel” (done a cappella) and “Mary, Did You Know?” exemplify and elevate their vocal and musical prowess.
Reba McEntire – ‘My Kind of Christmas’
The singer-songwriter, record producer and actress presents an intimate 14-track holiday collective à la piano bar style. “Winter Wonderland” and “White Christmas” showcase her vocal palette while other tracks enlist the talents of Kelly Clarkson and Darius Rucker, among others.
Various Artists – ‘The Star (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)’
The movie, based on the Nativity of Jesus, is an animated Christian adventure comedy. The soundtrack features stellar contributions from Kelsea Ballerini, Zara Larsson, Casting Crowns, Yolanda Adams, Pentatonix, Jake Owen, Kirk Franklin and Mariah Carey, among others.
Tom Chaplin – ‘Twelve Tales of Christmas’
As frontman for the rock band Keane, the English singer-songwriter presents his second solo studio album and first Christmas-themed studio set consisting of eight original tracks and four covers. “We Remember You This Christmas” and “Midnight Mass” define the album’s message.
Fantasia – ‘Christmas After Midnight’
As the season three American Idol winner, the R&B singer-songwriter and actress’s new album is a festive mix of her favorite rock, soul, jazz, funk and blues holiday classics. “This Christmas” and “Silent Night” along with “Give Love on Christmas Day” and “Hallelujah” highlight the LP.