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The Christmas season is officially in full swing.
And whether you're hosting family and friends or preparing to go the long way to wherever you celebrate, you're probably just looking for the right music to get you and yours in the right place , There is no lack of pop music in the Christmas-inspired section, which is a time-honored tradition with the holiday album (and how to make money quickly). But not everything is good. This is where we come in.
Welcome to a special Christmas edition of The MixtapE!
Come to Christmas with our 20 or more favorite songs that fill your playlists with just the right amount of Christmas spirit. From classics such as Mariah Carey and Darlene Love to modern originals by Kacey Musgraves and Ariana Grande as well as some unexpected titles of this type by RuPaul and Lady Gaga has something for everyone. We promise that there are no lumps of coal in sight.
Mariah Carey – "Everything I wish for Christmas is you" / "Oh Santa!": Without an appearance by the Queen of Christmas, Mariah, no Christmas playlist would be complete. But why choose between their record-breaking modern Christmas classic, which is celebrating its 25th birthday this year, and the swing-influenced single Merry Christmas II You from the 60s, their second holiday album? There's a reason why the former is trading the # 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 over two decades after its first gift for an undeserved world. Both will surely enliven any Christmas party.
Kacey Musgraves feat. Troye Sivan – "Glittery": While much of the music featured in The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Special, now on Amazon Prime, comes from the country singer's 2016 album A Very Kacey Christmas , this gorgeous mid-tempo The track with the support of our favorite prince for Australian pop was brand new. It's a kind of wistful, romantic thing that's just perfect this time of year when you snuggle up to the fire with a warm drink and the one you love.
Kelly Clarkson – "Underneath the Tree": Recorded for their 2013 holiday album Wrapped in Red, this track has a big band style thanks to the wall-of-sound treatment that went back to the 1960s Years remembered, timeless classics by Phil Spector and of course the incomparable vocals of the OG Idol winner. (Funny fact: every single backup voice was also sung by Kelly!)
John Legend – "Bring Me Love": This track was recorded for John's 2018 album A Legendary Christmas. on NBC) feels like a version of Mariah's "Oh, Santa!" with the silver-tongued pop singer who sings over a big band instrumentation produced by experts. What can we say We love a Christmas carol that is about finding love. Sue us.
The Waitresses – "Christmas Wrapping": This post-punk band from Akron, Ohio, didn't last long, they were only active from 1978 to 1984, but luckily for us before they did one of our absolute favorite Christmas songs came apart. This song, released on ZE Records' 1981 compilation album A Christmas Record, finds lead singer Patty Donahue who tragically died of lung cancer in 1996 at the age of only 40 and explains why she is on vacation this year canceled Fate gives her the happy ending she had hoped for all along. Between their unique delivery and the song's exuberant saxophone, this piece is truly unique.
Ariana Grande – "Wit It This Christmas": In 2015 Ariana released Christmas & Chill, an EP with six songs, which Vulture described this year as "very cool". Although none of the songs are very cheeky, there is certainly enough sensuality on this track to make Santa blush. And that's fine. We are all adults here!
Joni Mitchell – "River": During this heartbreaking song from 1971, which plays more for Christmas than for holidays, was covered many times (famous by Sarah McLachlan) in 2006 and both Ellie Goulding and Ben Platt (during the first episode of The Politician) that year, we are part of Joni's stunning original. Not everyone can muster the happiness that this season seems to require. This runs out of them. Skate on, friends.
The Jonas Brothers – "Like It & # 39; s Christmas": What better way to end an incredible comeback year than with a Christmas carol? Nick, Joe and Kevin are comfortable on this happy piece that Ryan Tedder
produced for a maximum of good.
Wham! – "Last Christmas": Look, the film inspired by this song may not have been everyone's favorite film, but there is no denying that this synth pop track by George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley's pop duo, written and produced exclusively by the former who has since passed away, is a true classic.
Aimee Mann – "Calling On Mary": Remember, as we said, that not everyone can be happy at this time of year? Well, Aimee made an entire album called One More Drifter in the Snow for those of us whose teeth are starting to hurt from all the sugar-sweet air in 2006. On this track, the singer-songwriter reaches for her usual downbeat blues and delivers a song with lyrics like "And to all lost souls below / Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas / What is another drifter in the snow? / Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. " When we are in our emotions during the holidays, it is our starting point. (Usually followed by listening to Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson when it was a particularly hard week / month / year.)
RuPaul – "Merry Christmas, Mary": All right, time for a change. For those of you who really want to make Christmas festivities, Mama Ru & # 39; s disco-kissed Christmas track from the 2015 album Slay Belles is just the ticket – the second of three holiday LPs by the drag icon. As Ru says, this is not your mother's Christmas carol. And we are grateful for that.
Darlene Love – "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)": There's a reason why Phil Spector's sound wall treatment is used in most modern Christmas music – and that's because of this song. It has been discussed many times by some of our favorite artists, but we will remain loyal to Darlene's 1963 original, recorded for Spector's compilation album A Christmas Gift for You.
* NSYNC – "Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays": If you need Christmas music with bubblegum scent, you are at home with the kings of the genre and the lead single of their 1998 album Christmas. Written by lead singers Justin Timberlake and JC Chasez it is kitschy Christmas perfection.
Brenda Lee – "Rockin & # 39; Around the Christmas Tree": Brenda was just 13 when she recorded this classic in 1958. 13! For this reason (OK and maybe because it reminds of one of our favorite scenes in Home Alone) we will always keep the original, no matter who else tries the Jonnny Marks path.
Run-DMC – "Christmas in Hollis": Unfortunately, hip-hop and the holidays hardly share a space. But for a glorious moment in 1987, when one of the genre's most influential groups recorded a holiday track in their hometown in Queens for the excellent compilation album A Very Special Christmas, we saw what could have been. An absolute classic.
Eurythmics – "Winder Wonderland": While we stuck to the originals on some of the season's most classic tracks so far, we prove that there is always an exception to every rule here with this very strange one 80s cover of the classic from 1934 by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart which was also recorded for A Very Special Christmas. If you're wondering where this song is going at the ominous 35 second opening, don't worry, Annie and Dave will soon give way to a very synthetic, if somewhat traditional, take on the track.
Kylie Minogue feat. Dannii Minogue – "100 Degrees": The Minogue sisters join forces for this nu disco track from the 2015 album Kylie Christmas. With lyrics that point out that Christmas time is always accompanied by a sunny sky in her native Australia, the incredibly danceable song will help make steam even in the coldest climates.
Lady Gaga – "Christmas Tree": Released at the beginning of her career when the debut single "Just Dance" appeared on the charts, this dance track by Mother Monster is so full of sexual innuendos that brought her a place on the naughty lists of some critics in 2008. Over a decade later, this is such a strange and unlikely entry into the Christmas music canon that we can't help but stand. It's not Christmas if we don't listen to this spinner at least once.
Eartha Kitt – "Santa Baby": All because of respect for Madonna Kylie and Ariana, but there is no reward when it comes to this playful little jazz track. Nobody purrs and meows through this song like Eartha. Originally recorded in 1953, if you can believe it, 10 years later, when the former catwoman re-recorded it, it reached its full strength and only gave it a touch more sultry. This is the version we have included here. It's a must at this time of year.
Destiny & # 39; s Child – "8 Days of Christmas": Shortly before Beyoncé went solo, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams released their album 8 Days of Christmas in 2001. And it is this track of the same name that Bey wrote together with Kelly and Errol McCalla, Jr. that perfectly captures the R&B sound of their early beginnings.
See E! & # 39; S Christmas Day Marathon by It & # 39; s a Wonderful Life Wednesday, December 25th, from 6am, only on E!