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Holiday music worthy of a wish list

Published: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, December 5, 2012 06:12

’Tis the season — to hear the same Christmas and winter songs over and over and over again. But this season, there are a few new spins on the droll holiday sounds that radio stations seem to have set on replay. The Oracle considers some options for a unique season.

Lady Antebellum — “On This Winter’s Night”
Lady Antebellum appeals to the masses with “On This Winter’s Night,” as the group stretches its audience from country music lovers to anyone who enjoys Christmas music as its own genre. Harmonies are a specialty of the trio, and the benefits of having both a male and female vocalist is evident throughout the 12-track album.

“Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow” seems like a simple song, but the rich history of this track, with past performers such as Dean Martin and Tony Bennett, make it a holiday staple. Lady Antebellum would make its predecessors proud, sticking to the classic tone that appeals across musical styles.

Colbie Caillat — “Christmas in the Sand”
Solo act Colbie Caillat also sees the benefits of having male vocalists when it comes to Christmas songs, as she
features artists Brad Paisley, Gavin DeGraw, Justin Young and Jason Reeves on her new album “Christmas in the Sand.” For the most part, the songs are OK, yet there is nothing mind-blowing.

While sticking to the classic style of Christmas music works for most, listeners tend to expect exceptionally bubbly and unique sounds from the blonde songstress with the guitar. Yet this album tends to lean on songs we’ve heard a million times, with few new elements to offer.

Cee Lo Green — “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment”
Cee Lo Green wasted no time getting in the holiday spirit when he released “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment” on Aug. 1. This 14-track Christmas album sticks closely to what Green’s listeners enjoy — a soulful, entertaining compilation in which Green doesn’t try to push the envelope on vocals.

“Run Run Roudolph” is the fun, bouncy track Green’s audiences hear on the radio, with a vintage sound, heavy keyboard background singers.

Listeners who only know of his major songs may be a bit surprised to discover his quite simple and raw talent on tracks such as “Mary Did You Know.”

August Burns Red — “Sleddin’ Hill”
Metal bands typically don’t make holiday music, but in October, August Burns Red laced its metal core sound with church bells and holiday spirit with the release of its instrumental holiday album “Sleddin’ Hill.”

This album isn’t meant to be taken as  somber, serious music to remind listeners of the “reason for the season,” — rather hearing “God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman” with an unexpected distortion-heavy breakdown has to at least give the listener a chuckle and a different perspective.

The track was released this time last year, but this season’s album includes 12 new tracks. The band also steps away from its typical sound with its title track, “Sleddin’ Hill,” which features banjo sounds and upbeat tempos.

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