Only Kylie Minogue can make Christmas as sexy as Halloween.
OK, so you can’t always judge an album by its cover. The coquettish “Santa Baby” and the flirty “Oh Santa” prove to be the most alluring Christmas carols here. But Kylie Christmas (her first proper Holiday album) boasts some great duets with Frank Sinatra, Iggy Pop, James Corden and more. –Eric Shea
A holiday soul party to be enjoyed at any time of the year.
Classicist R&B act Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings break all conventions offering up It’s A Holiday Soul Party, with fresh and witty original songs that won’t make you yearn for the traditional Yuletide standards. Standouts include “Ain’t No Chimneys In The Projects” and “Funky Little Drummer Boy.” –Michelle Solomon Also, tune in for a Sharon Jones curated mix here!
San Francisco stalwarts end the war on Christmas.
Ok, so Train’s 2015 Holiday album Christmas In Tahoe might not have rescued Christmas from those questionably controversial red coffee cups, but they did cover Elvis Presley‘s “Santa Bring My Baby Back (To Me)” and Stevie Wonder’s buoyant “What Christmas Means To Me.” Their own “Christmas Island” is a soulful yuletide rocker. –Eric Shea
Also, tune in for a Train curated mix here!
Angel voiced country singer adds to the Christmas carol canon.
With Today Is Christmas, LeAnn Rimes reinvents some yuletide carols while updating a few timeless standards. The opening title-track boasts a soulful horn section and a groovy organ before “We Need a Little Christmas” follows with lush strings and beautifully bittersweet melodies. Aloe Blacc and Gavin DeGraw make guest appearances. –Eric Shea
Drag the halls!
That age-old adage, “It’s not a real Christmas party without drag queens” rings true. RuPaul’s Slay Belles might be the only reason to play Holiday music before the Thanksgiving turkey gets stuffed. With a handful of friends, some hilarious interludes and plenty of festive carols, RuPaul and company recorded the ultimate soundtrack for your cool Yule festivities. –Eric Shea
Rockabilly luminary drops a V-8 engine into Santa’s Sled.
Anyone pining for a tin of pomade in their stocking will dig The Brian Setzer Orchestra’s hot-rodded carols featured in Rockin’ Rudolph. “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” gets the jump, jive and swing treatment, while the sprawling orchestration of “Most Wonderful Time of the Year” sounds almost like Harry Connick. Jr. –Eric Shea
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss sing heavenly harmonies to the Holidays.
Led Zeppelin’s former frontman and the honey-voiced Americana ambassadress rekindle that magical musical chemistry from their Grammy-winning 2007 album Raising Sand. “The Light Of Christmas Day” is a new original and the standout single from the soundtrack to the 2015 Christmas comedy film Love The Coopers. –Eric Shea
Seal warms up an old yuletide chestnut.
Every winter yields various covers of Donny Hathaway’s soulful seasonal staple, “This Christmas.” And while artists like Chris Brown, Lady Antebellum, Christina Aguilera and CeeLo Green have all recorded commendable versions; Seal’s rendition takes the candy cane. With his buttery vocals melting all over the song, it’s the perfect soundtrack for mistletoe smooches. –Eric Shea