Well gang, we’re a week away from Christmas, which means it is now acceptable for Christmas music to be played in the Armstrong home.
(Kidding. Kind of.)
As anyone who’s been reading this blog for at least a year knows, I’m not a huge fan of Christmas music, especially a lot of the stuff geared toward Christians (far too much “Mary Did You Know,” not nearly enough “Child of Glory”). I’ve shared a few examples of what I think are good and bad Christmas songs in the past (and I stand by them all), but today I wanted to share a few albums that even grinches like me can enjoy. Check it out:
Lowborn King (The Modern Post). This six-song EP is one that’s a must-listen from my perspective. It’s a sufficiently epic, alt-rock take on a number of classic songs, as well as a few originals. The new take on Dustin Kensrue’s “This is War” is quite compelling, but “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” is probably the standout song on this one:
This Good Night Is Still Everywhere (Dustin Kensrue). A little mellower kind of record, it’s a great set of covers (including The Pogues’ “Fairytale of New York”), but it’s this album’s version of “This is War” that really stands out to me:
Joy – An Irish Christmas (Live) (Keith & Kristyn Getty). The Gettys are always delightful to listen to, especially live. This is one that I’m happy to have playing through the holidays with the family. One of my favorites on the record is “God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen/The Star Of Munster“, and because it’s a live album, you’ll find a few of your/my favorite Getty hymns peppered in as well.
A Very She & Him Christmas (She & Him). Aside from one track that makes Emily gag (“Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree,” her hatred of which she blames on Home Alone) and a couple I’m not super-keen on (never really got into “The Christmas Song,” for example) this is a really great album, particularly for fans of indie pop and jazz. I was actually surprised how much I enjoyed Zooey Deschanel’s singing on “Blue Christmas”:
Soul Christmas (various artists). This is a fun record highlighting the best of Atlantic’s R&B line-up from 1968. Clarence Carter’s “Back Door Santa” is great fun, and gets bonus points for being sampled in Run DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis”:
That’s a bit of what I’m enjoying for Christmas music this year. If you dig it (which I hope you do), I hope you’ll add it to your own playlists this year. If not, please pray for my family.