The only music I really get into, really love, is holiday music. I think it stems from the fact I am not one of those people who has a good audio memory. Some people hear a song once, and can sing all of the words the next time. Not me. I usually sing the chorus and the rest of the time I say "ba-dee-da-duh." Or I lip sing and look around awkwardly hoping no one will notice. Or I am perpetually confused thinking Murder on the Dance Floor is about an actual murder on the dance floor, not just someone who wants to prevent the killing of the groove.
But Christmas carols have been ingrained in my brain ever since the first time I listened to and sang along to the Disney Christmas Album. I've heard these classic songs time and time again, so not only do I know the words, but I am comfortable singing them (because around Christmas people tend to hold off on making fun off your off-key vocal skills). This makes the music far more enjoyable than the kind "kids these days" are listening to. I'll take Dean Martin's A Marshmallow World over Beyonce's Single Ladies (Put a ring on it) any day.
Thus, I am always on hot pursuit of the latest and greatest holiday albums. This season's rising star became apparent early in the season, but I have held off revealing it because I wanted to give other holiday albums a chance to be released and reviewed. But, despite being tempted to name Kristin Chenoweth's as my favorite (because I am still quite upset Pushing Daisies is canceled and did you hear that Cheno accepted a role on a new show being a quirky crazy lawyer so we know the show is really toast), that's just not true. And the Christmas season is the time is for telling the truth, as we all learned from Love, Actually.
So, here's my favorite new holiday compilation album of the season:
The Hotel Café presents Winter Songs features original music by Sara Bareilles and my favorite Ingrid Michaelson, as well as Brandi Carlile. They also have holiday standards like Sleigh Ride, Silver Bells, and Silent Night covered by KT Tunstall, Alice Smith, and Katie Havnevik, to name a few. Since these are all the key players on my iPod this year, I was happy to purchase their take on the holidays for my listening enjoyment. Walking to and from work hasn't been better-- even in the blizzard of Friday evening- with these ladies singing in my ears. I also love the album design; I find it darling and not too cutesy for my taste. What's even better, you can get the entire album for only $7.99 on iTunes.