Holiday Album Roundup 2012

Posted December 11, 2012 by J Matthew Cobb in Features

Not every artist wants to rush in putting out holiday albums. Blame it on busy schedules or the obvious riptide that comes with the holiday season. Like Coldplay did with “Christmas Lights” or Train did with “Shake Up Christmas,” these artists still found the time to put out their own carols.


Kelly Clarkson
“I’ll Be Home for Christmas”

Lifted off of her first-ever greatest hits compilation (see Greatest Hits – Chapter One), the three minutes of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is a major detour from her reigning Top 40-friendly rock/pop. But as we vividly recall Clarkson’s stint on American Idol, the Texas singer proved she could sing just about anything. Add jazz to that growing list.

Available as digital download
From the album Greatest Hits – Chapter One
Release Date: 2 December 2012
Duration: 2:53
Label: RCA


Far East Movement
“Christmas in Downtown LA”

Let’s get three things straight: Firstly, it never rains in Southern California (thanks Tony, Toni Tone’); It never snows in Downtown Los Angeles and “Like a G6” – the dancey strobelight robotic tune of 2010, sounds nothing like this. Still, those reasons aren’t enough to not like this. Think of “Christmas in Downtown LA” as LMFAO rap with a taste of Jagged Edge, but with lots of jolly jingle bells. Lyrically, there’s a whole lot going on. “Let there be peace” gospel chants surround the never-ending party scene (“We’re celebrating like the Lakers/And parade all night”), as if God is on one accord with the sinners. But hey, this is L.A. we’re talking about.

Available as digital download
Release Date: 19 November 2012
Duration: 3:11
Label: Interscope



Hot Chelle Rae
“Jingle Bell Rock”

The Nashville pop band are putting their update on the Bobby Helms’ rock n’ roll classic. Some have done it better (Daryl Hall & John Oates) and some have met the requirements of average (Taylor Swift), but none of the more modern versions come close to replicating the loud guitar riffs of Hot Chelle Rae’s version. It’s a decent modern attempt bottled up with suburban adrenaline. Call me an old fart if you want – I still prefer the 1957 original.

Available as digital download
Release Date: 26 November 2012
Duration: 2:38
Label: RCA



2012 holiday single covers from Kelly Clarkson, Far East Movement and Hot Chelle Rae



About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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