New Music Tuesday: The Holiday Album Edition

posted by Laura Baker-Finch on December 03, 2013

We've made soundtracking your holiday parties pretty easy for you this year with our Holiday Hits Playlist, but in case our compilation only left you wanting more, below you'll find new holiday albums released this year. You'll find the streamable albums divided by what's expected, what's not, and a holiday medley from Oh Honey and cast members from Netlfix's "Orange is the New Black."

The Expected

Kelly Clarkson came out with her first holiday album this year, Wrapped In Red. It may be her first, but Clarkson's wholesome image and undeniable pipes make her foray into holiday tunes expected, though welcomed.

Susan Boyle continues her Britain's Got Talent success story with her second holiday album, Home For Christmas. None of Boyle's 12 tracks made it onto our holiday playlist, despite a duet with a recording of Elvis Presley.

Mary J Blige also falls on our expected list despite 2013 marking her first attempt at the genre(?). Perhaps it's how easy the album is to listen to, or maybe it's the all-too-perfect title, A Mary Christmas. We wouldn't be surprised if the album name spurred its creation.

John Fahey released Christmas Soli for this holiday season, a compilation of his four previous holiday albums. There may not be anything "new," but who can deny enjoying Fahey's guitar wizardry?

The Unexpected

Bad Religion may take the cake for the most unexpected album of the season - which granted it a place in our holiday hits playlist. Christmas Songs is nine tracks of classic covers spun with fury that only these SoCal punk rockers can achieve. It is brilliant, if a little silly, and a portion of their profits will support The SNAP Network, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. Happy Holidays \m/

A&E's Duck Dynasty is equally as unexpected, though I think we'd place Duck the Halls: A Robertson Family Christmas on the naughty list this year. Cultivora may be alone in our disdain, the album is one of the fastest-selling holiday albums of the past 10 years..

Nick Lowe brings us back to the pleasant side of unexpected with Quality Street. This pub rock icon shares his wit with the holidays throughout the album, with songs like "Silent Night," which he turned into a ska swinger, and "Christmas At The Airport," an ode to stranded holiday travelers.

Erasure, the UK synthpop duo, give their take on the holidays with Snow Globe. The album is speckled with original tracks, a hit-the-dance-floor rendition of a 15th century Latin hymn, and an emotion-packed performance of "Silent Night."

Kool & the Gang will round out our unexpected list with their first foray into holiday albums. Kool for the Holidays will let you spend the holidays in funkytown.


Danielle Brooks and Uzo Aduba, aka Taystee and Crazy Eyes on "Orange is the New Black," paired up with Brooklynites Oh Honey for a "Jolly Christmas Medley" video. Watch it below and check out our photos of Oh Honey performing during CMJ.

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See Also:

Music Monday Playlist: Holiday Hits 2013
Cultivora's Holiday Gift Guide 2013
A Look Ahead: December 2013