Ten Modern Holiday Albums You Need To Hear

Written by on December 1, 2014

It’s December 1st and although we still have sunny skies and flip-flop weather, the holidays are quickly approaching! After finishing our stress-inducing finals in the next couple of weeks, we all need something that will add festivity as we all say goodbye to productivity and hello to sitting in pajamas all day during the break.
We all know of the famous holiday song birds, Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Mariah Carey but the past ten years has brought with itself some new talent adding their own flair to the old music we all know and love. So in no particular order, here are ten outstanding “modern” holiday albums you should listen to while you’re wrapping presents in your fuzzy socks.

Holiday Wishes – Idina Menzel (2014)

Coming off the buzz of Frozen, Idina Menzel released her own Christmas album this year. Her powerhouse vocals take a step back but are not completely absent. She’s filled every song with her own flair and rhythm that keeps to the songs’ original tune but is nonetheless an enjoyable listen.

That’s Christmas to Me – Pentatonix (2014)

Pentatonix is an acapella group that truly has their own original sound. With the success of their last album PTXmas selling over 168,000 copies, Pentatonix are back at it again. This time they’ve come back with a new set of songs including “Mary, Did You Know?” that has gained over 13 million views on YouTube and a new original song “That’s Christmas to Me“. This is definitely an album that you will want on repeat.

Silent Night – Timbre (2011)

Coming in with more of a traditional approach, Timbre’s pleasantly haunting voice takes center stage over the beautiful strings and piano that are played throughout this album. This is definitely an album that you could play in a dark room with a couple of candles lit, even “Joy to the World” is slowed down and makes you want to melt into a comfy chair while sipping on some hot chocolate.

Cheers, it’s Christmas – Blake Shelton (2012)

For anyone who likes a little country in their life, this is an album for you. It has the perfect mix of mellow and up-beat songs, the album also includes  collaborations with Miranda Lambert, Kelly Clarkson and Reba just to name a few. His addition of country twang into these traditional songs adds a new character and really makes this an lovable album.

Elf – The Musical Soundtrack (2011)

This is not an album one would typically turn to but this album is definitely for those who are looking forward to getting into the holiday mood. With the movie becoming a classic on the television networks, the broadway musical soundtrack delivers tenfold. A strong recommendation for anyone who loves the holidays and doesn’t mind a little silliness in their life.

Songs for Christmas – Sufjan Stevens (2006)

A monster of an album, coming in at a heaping pack of five discs. So much holiday spirit in one album! His acoustic style is kept throughout most of the songs and is really ideal for everyone’s inner hipster.

Let it Snow Baby…Let it Reindeer – Relient K (2007)

This band throws tradition out the window and inserts their own sound instead. Keeping with their rebellious rock theme, this album is really contagious and will make you want to smash a guitar while hanging ornaments. “12 Days of Christmas” is an outstanding track that will definitely make your holiday experience a unique one.

Wrapped in Red – Kelly Clarkson (2013)

A classic album that will be sticking around for a while. Her vocals really send this album over the edge and makes it especially outstanding. She does not stick to many of the songs that you would typically expect to see in most albums.

A Very She & Him Christmas – She & Him (2011)

Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward add a throwback style that would make anyone from the past and the future happy.

Christmas – Michael Bublé (2011)

A long time crooner, Michael Bublé’s album is a popular one but nevertheless needs to be recognized. “Ave Maria” is executed beautifully and every track has his great voice that will keep you hooked throughout the holidays.


By Yalda Etemadi

  • Coog Radio

    We are Coog Radio, the only student-run radio station at the University of Houston. Come ride the airwaves with us!

    View all posts

Coog Radio

Riding the Airwaves

Current track