|Photo: Simply Muso|
I love Christmas like I love chicken pops. So that’s like, a lot.
Every year I do a special count down to #ChristmasMusic (yes, it has it’s own hashtag and errthang)… because I try to curb my enthusiasm by only starting to listen to my forage of carols as of the 1st December every year. But not this year. I’ve changed it up a bit because, well, I want to and stuff. So this year, our tree was up by the 14th of November and we were a-caroling from round about that time too. And I have a bunch of top notch (top knot) Christmas albums that I need to review for Gateway News, so my Christmas playlist was created a few weeks earlier anyways.
Not that I mind. I mean, as I’ve said, I love Christmas. I love the colors. I love the feeling of excitement. I love the togetherness of family. I love the Summer sun. I love thinking about Mary, finding out that she was pregnant, in awe and amazement and the celebration that came afterwards. Christmas is, after all, the biggest birthday party I’ve ever been invited to.
My favorite Christmas carols are reminiscent of just this. They speak about the truth of Christmas – the birth of Jesus – and paint a picture of how perfect that night must have been! I enjoy the really fun songs too but the sentimental ones have my heart.
Over the years a ton of people have recorded their own versions of various Christmas carols, but I have specific ones that I would recommend you add to your Youtube playlist. These right here are my favorites of all favorites:
1. O Holy Night – Mariah Carey (Album: Merry Christmas II You)
Duh, the queen of vox is on top of my list! I love this version more than the version on her first Christmas album, because it’s live and she does some pretty amazing stuff in it.
2. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Kim Walker Smith (Album: When Christmas comes)
The first time I heard this song was on this album and I was blown away by the amount of authority she sings it with as well as the beauty in the lyric. It is such a stunning song and it hits the nail right on the head!
3. Mary did you know – Pentatonix (Album: That’s Christmas to me)
Pentatonix is an American based acapella group – yes, this means they make all the sounds with their mouths. They are pretty rad, Brad! They do a beautiful rendition of this stunning song, and the sincere way in which they deliver the potent lyric, really moves me.
4. Angels we have heard on high – David Archuleta (Album: Christmas from the heart)
David is a previous American Idols contestant with a very classic sounding voice. He does this age old Christmas hymn justice with this spine tingling version.
5. O Little Town of Bethlehem/Away in a manager – Kari Jobe (Album: Bethlehem)
I love Kari Jobe. I may, or may not, have partially named my daughter after her. I mean, we will never know, will we? But I promise I am saying this without bias: She totally smashes this Christmas mash up! It is pure and beautiful. Uncomplicated. She is such a fantastic story teller. I love this version.
6. We Three Kings – Tenth Avenue North ft. Brit Nicole (Album: Wow Christmas 2013)
I’ve previously done a review of the eclectic Tenth Avenue North’s latest album and was quite interested to find that they’ve recorded a bunch of Christmas songs as well. This track was recorded with vocal powerhouse, Brit Nicole. Although it starts off quite chilled, it builds into an anthem of note, that encourages listeners to “let your light shine!” Most enjoyable.
7. The first Noel – Whitney Houston (Album: One wish)
The incomparable Miss Whitney delivers quite a stellar performance on this song. She sings it with passion and a real RnB flavor, bringing her own unique style to the Christmas classic. Of course there are plenty of vocal highs and lows and those power belts, that make this song a real Whitney song.
8. Noel – Chris Tomlin ft. Lauren Daigle (Album: Adore)
Lauren Daigle never ceases to amaze me! As if her debut album wasn’t jaw dropping enough, she goes and records this phenomenal Christmas ballad with the amazing Chris Tomlin. Her vocal is on point and the song itself is very powerful. You need to have a listen to understand!
9. Silent Night – Mariah Carey (Album: Merry Christmas)
Perhaps it’s the beauty in the vocals. (Her BVG’s are kinda awesome) Perhaps it’s the simple way it is being delivered and the powerful way the story is being told. I don’t know. All I know is that it works and I love it.
10. O come all ye faithful – Kim Walker Smith (Album: When Christmas comes)
This vocal powerhouse sings this song like only she can! With conviction and a passion to bring glory to God’s name. I really love this version. I feel like she wants to preach it! This is what Christmas is all about. O come let us adore Him!
11. Someday at Christmas – Justin Bieber (Album: Under the mistletoe)
I have to make special mention of this song, a Stevie Wonder cover, recorded by the young Bieber in 2009ish. I never really understood what all the Bieber haters were on about… this dude has serious talent! I mean, its kind of undeniable. I think his rendition of this song is really moving. I love the message behind it and his heartfelt singing even more so!
Which Christmas carol renditions are your favorite this Christmas?