EW picks the best and worst new holiday CDs

Trying to sort through all the season’s new holiday-themed CDs? Let EW’s Chris Willman be your guide. In the forthcoming issue, he grades nine new discs, divided evenly among stocking stuffers, middling efforts, and lumps of coal.

The top category (”HO HO HO”) includes: Kate and Anna McGarrigle’s The McGarrigle Christmas Hour (featuring offspring Rufus and Martha Wainwright), The Leevees’ Hanukkah Rocks, and To: Kate — A Benefit for Kate’s Sake (an Americana collection whose performers include Steve Earle, Allison Moorer, and E Streeter Garry Tallent).

Second-raters (”HO SO SO”) include: Diana Krall’s Christmas Songs, Brian Wilson’s What I Really Want for Christmas (his new band covering classic Beach Boys tracks from their 1964 Christmas album), and Faith Evans’ A Faithful Christmas.

Slabs of re-giftable fruitcake (”HO OH NO”) are: Il Divo’s The Christmas Collection, Kidz Bop Kids’ A Very Merry Kidz Bop, Pull My Finger’s Jingle Smells (which is exactly what you’re afraid it is). Anyone who thinks a tune called ”Silent Butt Deadly Night” would make a fine gift has probably earned a permanent spot on Santa’s naughty list.

What’s your favorite new music this season? Think any of these will make your all-time holiday favorites list?

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Comments (6 total) Add your comment
  • Ken

    MOJO NIXON – Horny Holidays. His version of The Grinch Song is amazing.

  • Steph

    For something out of the ordinary, Barenaked Ladies has “Barenaked for the Holidays.” There version of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings is my favorite holiday song now. I also dig the classic Vince Guaraldi Trio CD of A Charlie Brown Christmas.

  • Paul K

    Kimberley Locke’s “Up on the House Top” – #1 this week on the Adult Contemporary charts. Go Kimberley!!

  • Kimmie G

    I’ve got to tell you…the Make A Wish holiday CD sold by The Bath & Body Works was rocking my festive world last night. A lot of good stuff! BNL singing Do They Know It’s Christmas? Almost as good as the original!

  • Lyssa

    I don’t have time to listen to any “new” Christmas music because I’m too buys bawling my eyes out at Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve and Other Stories.” I can’t believe so many people that I know have never even heard of this album, but I absolutely love it and I try to push it on everyone I know. :)

  • Troy

    Anita Baker’s “Christmas Fantasy” is a smooth, jazzy collection of christmas classics. It’s far and away my favourite new Christmas disc this year… it’s just too bad it’s gone totally under the radar and nobody know about it.

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