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Elizabeth is a Vancouver-based writer, editor, and author. Her first book “Beyond Black and White” is available now. She is an old soul who's young at heart, a human jukebox, and a corgi lady in training. Follow Elizabeth on Twitter at @ElizabethThe.

The Best New Christmas Albums of 2018

John Legend A Legendary Christmas

{Image Credit: Columbia Records}

Year after year, the tradition of Christmas music releases continues to be the gift that keeps on giving. This crop of artists make the tried and true seasonal standards remain relevant and fresh with their unique interpretations while also creating new holiday classics of their own with original songs.

Here’s a preview of 11 newly-released Christmas albums from the 2018 holiday season to add to your Spotify playlists this yuletide.

Mr. EGOT John Legend continues his takeover of 2018 with yet another career milestone — his first Christmas record release. In A Legendary Christmas, Legend channels the essence of the godfather of Christmas himself, Bing Crosby, as he reinvents holiday standards such as “Silver Bells” and “The Christmas Song” with his signature heart and neo soul-driven vocals. Legend offers up a generous six original tracks, including “Bring Me Love” and “Wrap Me Up in Your Love.” A jazzy duet with Esperanza Spalding (“Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”) and a harmonic collaboration with Stevie Wonder on the opening track, “What Christmas Means To Me” round out a collection that is destined to be a Christmas classic.

David Archuleta Winter In The Air

Image Credit: Archie Music

Following up on 2009’s Christmas from the Heart, David Archuleta presents his sophomore Christmas album, Winter in the Air, in which the American Idol star brings together fun holiday jingles like “White Christmas” with spiritual hymns like “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.” Archuleta penned three original tracks, including the sentimental and poetic “Winter in the Air,” the lively and cheerful “Christmas Every Day,” and hopeful and faithful “He is Born.” This release is coupled with a supplementary Spanish language EP entitled Navidad, which features Christmas songs like “Dios Muy Alegre Albergó” (“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”) and “En Sombrio Invierno” (“In The Bleak Midwinter”).

Would it be really be Christmas without a new Christmas album release from Pentatonix? This time around, on Christmas is Here!, the acappella group blend voices with country and pop sensations Maren Morris (“When You Believe”) and Kelly Clarkson (“Grown-Up Christmas List”) with outstanding results. Other standouts on the record include the commanding “Making Christmas” from The Nightmare Before Christmas, the wistful “Where Are You Christmas?” from How The Grinch Stole Christmas, and their spin on “Sweater Weather” by The Neighborhood.

Ingrid Michaelson‘s Songs for the Season is the musician’s first full-length Christmas release. The singer-songwriter opts to approach holiday tunes with that nostalgic, sweeping big band sound, transporting listeners to a different era on classics like “Looks Like A Cold, Cold Winter” and “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” The record also includes phenomenal duets with Christina Perri (“White Christmas”), Will Chase (“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”), Grace VanderWaal (“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree”), and Leslie Odom Jr. (“All I Want For Christmas Is You”). Michaelson’s original song “Happy, Happy Christmas” is a deeply and touching song on grappling with loss during Christmastime that will surely tug on the heartstrings this holiday season.

Jessie J This Christmas Day

Image Credit: Republic Records

This Christmas Day by Jessie J is holiday soul all wrapped up in a big, bold and bright red bow. On his very first Christmas album, the English vocal powerhouse brings a sultry vibe to a variety of holiday favorites, from the upbeat “Man With The Bag” to the rockin’ “Jingle Bell Rock,” and sweetly and softly slows it down on “White Christmas” and “Silent Night.” Her dynamic duets with Boyz II Men (“Winter Wonderland”) and Babyface (“The Christmas Song”) are sure to make listeners swoon and groove to the music. The original track “This Christmas Day,” a heartfelt ode to the eternal love for departed loved ones during the holiday season, will be one for the Christmas song memory books.

Martina McBride‘s It’s the Holiday Season is the country music star’s second Christmas album, released 20 years after the her multi-platinum White Christmas record. In her latest offering, McBride lends her voice to a number of beloved holiday pop classics, including “Winter Wonderland,” “Home for the Holidays,” “My Favorite Things,” and “Frosty the Snowman.” Like White Christmas, this collection has a more than fair shot of standing the test of Christmas time.

Whether you’re jetting off on an island getaway for some fun in the sun or staying warm from the comfort of your humble abode this Christmas, Seasons Greetings from the Sandbar from We the Kings is sure to have you daydreaming of spending the holidays on the beach. The American indie-rock band’s first Christmas album offering is a tropical-infused collection of reggae-inspired takes on favorites such as “Jingle Bells,” “White Christmas,” and “O Holy Night,” along with two original songs, “One People” and “There Is A Light.” Replete with ukulele strings, calypso drums, and an overall upbeat and cheery vibe, We the Kings redefines what it means to be merry and bright at Christmas time.

Engelbert Humperdinck‘s Warmest Christmas Wishes is the classic crooner’s first holiday album release since 1980’s A Merry Christmas With Engelbert Humperdinck. The singer pays respectful and jolly tribute to both traditional and contemporary favorites such as “Please Come Home for Christmas,” “Driving Home for Christmas,” “O Tannenbaum,” and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” Humperdinck offers two originals in this collection: the family-friendly “A Christmas for the Family” and the endearing waltz “Around The Christmas Tree.”

William Shatner Claus

Image Credit: Cleopatra Records

It’s never a dull moment with William Shatner. In Shatner Claus, the Star Trek star offers a comedic and star-studded entry to the holiday album catalog with jolly, dramatic, and hilarious takes on Christmas classics. Shatner’s song selections include “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” “Blue Christmas, “Little Drummer Boy,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” his original song “One for You, One for Me,” and an unforgettable punk rock version of “Jingle Bells.” His list of co-conspirators include big names like Brad Paisley, Todd Rundgren, Billy Gibbons, and Iggy Pop. It’s a little bit spoken word, it’s a little bit rock and roll, and it’s every bit as weird and wonderful as you would imagine the project to be.

In Eric Clapton‘s first Christmas album Happy Xmas, the rock legend brings his classic rock and blues sound to the Christmas favorites listeners know and love as well as lesser known holiday blues tracks. The tracklisting includes songs like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Lonesome Christmas,” and “Home for the Holidays.” Two of the most memorable tracks include Clapton’s original, “For Love on Christmas Day” and his bluesy EDM-infused rendition of “Jingle Bells” dedicated to the memory of Avicii.

The MonkeesChristmas Party is the classic American pop-rock band’s first Christmas album release. A celebration of rock and roll holiday fun, the collection includes a handful of original tracks (“Unwrap You At Christmas,” “What Would Santa Do,” “House of Broken Gingerbread,” and “Christmas Party”) along with the band’s take on classics like “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Wonderful Christmastime.” The distinctive voice of the late lead vocalist Davy Jones’ is also featured posthumously on “Mele Kalikimaka” and “Silver Bells.”

What new Christmas albums and songs have you added to your holiday music rotation? Let us know in the comments!

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  1. The Best New Christmas Albums of 2018 – Elizabeth Rosalyn - November 23, 2018

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