Nov 30, 2011

FERRET FIVE: Christmas Album Wish List

"Oh, no he didn't.  He went and resurrected the Ferret Five lists!!!"  Yes, yes I did.  The whole idea behind the Ferret Five list was a little list of something I was thinking about.  Like most of my blog ideas, I never saw it through to a regular feature.  But I just had to bust it out for the holidays.

Christmas albums.  I like them.  We usually buy a couple every year.  You have a few classes of them.  There are the classic ones with famous takes on Christmas songs.  I would throw things like Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" and Ella Fitzgerald's "Baby It's Cold Outside" and Trans-Siberian Orchestra in there.  These are the essential Christmas albums that get played to death by December 11.  Then you have the quality or fresh tak Christmas album, where a famous artist actually puts some thought into crafting a Christmas album.  Faith Hill's "Joy to the World" is a good example of this.  Then you have the money grabbing album by an artist.  Everyone knows it isn't really an artistic album and is just a cash move.  They are like glorified karaoke albums.  (Or they are by an artist that makes you go, "Huh?  Do they even celebrate Christmas?"  Like Lady Gaga or Gwar.)  Justin Bieber's "Mistletoe.  Enough said.

Every year there are dozens of albums that come out.  And I have tons of them.  As I wrote in my post on multiple song versions, I have like 25 versions of "Silent Night."  (Why does everyone do THAT song?)  As a frequent purchaser of Christmas music, I feel that my voice is important when it comes to who should put out Christmas albums.  As I was listening to the 24-hour Christmas station, it popped into my head who should be the next Christmas album generators.  So, these are my five most wanted Christmas albums.  Get on it, record labels.  I want to see these next year.

  1. ADELE - I don't think there is any argument here.  The woman has incredible pipes, amazing emotion in her music, and couldn't be any more popular than she is right now.  She could totally get away with this move.  The biggest glitch is obviously her throat problems.  But I can't imagine how amazing her Christmas album would be.  Think of her singing "O Holy Night" or "Joy to the World."  Then think of what she could do with original Christmas music.  Who says holiday music has to be happy?  I think this would be a huge hit.
  2. The Avett Brothers  - They have one song on a compilation album that came out this year.  But I think they could do an incredible job with a whole album.  At our church, they have several worship bands that are in a similar neo-bluegrass genre as The Avett Brothers.  And their Christmas stuff is brilliant.  The advantage the Avetts have is that they also can completely wail like rock artist - remember they were in a punk band before their current music turn.  So they could really come up with a diverse roster of songs.  
  3. Coldplay - Their first foray into Christmas music was last year's "Christmas Lights," which quickly became one of my favorite Christmas albums.  They could pump out a couple of other genius original songs and then do nice takes on some standards.  They are very versatile and could really do a good job.  They don't shy from doing live cover songs - and usually do a phenomenal job with it.  Their collaborations (Jay-Z) and remixes could yield some neat results.  Plus they are one of the biggest bands out there, so there it would be a surefire sales success.  (I don't want to waste the spot, but this entire argument could be made for U2 as well.)
  4. Bruno Mars - I really think that Mars is in the class of Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder as far as talent and sound goes.  Motown has always done a great job with Christmas albums.  So have Doo Wop bands.  Mars easily slides into both of those genres.  He could do wonders with fun songs and then completely wail on powerful ones.  Plus he teams up like crazy.  Who the heck else (besides Rhianna) could easily pair up with Eminem, B.O.B., Twilight, and Leonard Nimoy?  Plus he can mix things up and do acoustic and play everything himself.  This would be brilliant.
  5. Shania Twain - She never did a Christmas album.  Doesn't even make sense.  She's done songs on collaborations, but never an album.  Wha?!?  Faith Hill's was incredible.  And just about every Country female singer has AT LEAST one Christmas album.  I can't imagine a better way for her to re-enter the music scene.  She doesn't have to write much, if that is a problem.  She has the voice and the performance ability.  Why hasn't this happened yet?  
Those are my top five right now.  What are yours?

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