Christmas Classics? The 2012 Contenders…

It’s that time of year again when popstars dust off their creative leanings to deliver musical Christmas treats for your ears.

In recent years it has become almost fashionable once again to release new, enjoyable and soaring Christmas tracks with the likes of Hurts, Nerina Pallot, Emmy The Great & Tim Wheeler as well as Coldplay, Natasha Bedingfield and She & Him all delighting those looking for festive excitements with their original offerings. 

2012 is no different, so here is the lowdown on everything you should be listening to this season…

Dragonette – Merry Xmas (Says Your Text Message)

Without doubt, the most inspired and completely brilliant festive offering of 2012 comes courtesy of the fabulous Dragonette. Martina, Dan and Joel have crafted a number that is beyond catchy and yet hidden underneath is a tale of heartbreak and despair but with a hint of positivity and overcoming “snow is falling seven inches deep, I’m feeling better than I think I have in weeks, I’m keeping cosy and warm without you all on my own” – it’s as good as Wham!’s Last Christmas!

The divine Martina sounds gorgeous throughout… her vocal sounds timeless – forlorn yet spirited…

A clean version of this track exists as well, so should you prefer your Christmas music expletive free, check it out here.

Karmin – Sleigh Ride

Fantastical duo Karmin, take on the classic ‘Sleigh Ride’. Whilst it breaks the rule for not being an original composition, the hugely talented and creative pair, have given the track a fresh twist, with modern production, chants and a new verse supplied by Amy – yes, it’s another of her genius raps, so it can be excused! Naturally, Amy sounds on spectacular form but it’s also great to hear Nick throughout the track too. In short, it’s the best and most exciting, this often over used number has sounded in years.

What’s more, the video is a festive spectacle and best of all, the track is available for free thanks to US fashion site Coach – download yours here.

Alphabeat – ‘X-mas (Let’s Do It Again)’

Alphabeat have taken their impressive formula for infectious pop to create the superb ‘X-mas (Let’s Do It Again)’. The track has all the familiar sounds of classic Christmas numbers from the 70’s which have been combined with group’s 80’s styled production, thrown in are plenty of sleigh bells and cheer for good measure – it’s an enduring tale of sharing, togetherness and enjoying the holiday season – it’s terrific plus Stine sounds particularly dazzling throughout!

The fan-made video features a number of classic old-school Christmas images that evoke the magic of this season…

Colbie Caillat – ‘Christmas In The Sand’

The wondrous Colbie Caillat released her rather brilliant Christmas album entitled ‘Christmas In The Sand’ in October. Hailing from Mailbu, California, Colbie has written festive songs from a refresh perspective, as not everyone has snow at Christmas. The album blends newly written tracks with classic numbers and sees Colbie duetting with the likes of Brad Paisely, Gavin DeGraw and Jason Reeves. The album also features a reworking of her magnificent previous Christmas hit ‘Mistletoe’, with her father Ken on production duties.

The title track and accompanying video is a jaunty, warming tale of Santa, bating suits, sun and surfing – it’s evokes gorgeous Christmas feelings…

Cee-Lo Green – ‘All I Need Is Love’

Cee-Lo Green released his Christmas extravaganza ‘CeeLo’s Magic Moments’ last month. The album evokes a sesnse of nostaglia with it’s vast and expansive Spector style production, yet it’s very much a modern affair. There are many standout moments throughout the album, the duet on ‘Baby, It’s Cold Outside’ with the incredible Christina Aguilera is outstanding as is the dramtic and emotive ‘Mary Did You Know’ but ultimately it is Cee-Lo’s collaboration with The Muppets on ‘All I Need Is Love’ that is the real gem. The track itself is a delicious slice of retro soul combined with The Muppets classic ‘Mahna Mahna’

The fun and playful video is set to make it an instant Christmas classic, that will endure for many years to come… no-one can deny its sheer brilliance!

Backstreet Boys – ‘It’s Christmas Time Again’

Everyone’s favourite boys from the backstreets, the Backstreet Boys are a five piece once again – what better way to celebrate this joyous news than with a Christmas track which features Nick, Howie, Brian, AJ and Kevin together again for the first time in six years.

‘It’s Christmas Time Again’ is a big giant Christmas romp – bells, jingles, doo-wops with references to snow, presents and Santa – it has everything you want and need from a yuletide number. The track also has a hugely impressive animated comic book style video…

The Killers – ‘I Feel It In My Bones’

Now, an annual tradition, The Killers have released their seventh Christmas number in conjunction with (RED), which raises awareness and money for AIDS / HIV in Africa. The tongue-in-cheek video once more takes a similar thread from previous years by exploring bands complicated relationship with Santa and his with them them. The thick bassline, catchy chorus together with Brandon exquiste vocal makes it another winner.

As it’s for a very worthy cause, you should absolutely buy this track – it’s available for download exclusively from iTunes here.

On Tuesday, we mentioned the sheer excellence provided by Tracey Thorn’s ‘Tinsel And Lights’ – for more thoughts about the album click here. Another yuletide offering to consider come from Christina Perri, her EP ‘A Very Merry Perri Christmas’ offers understated beautifulness. 

Finally, THE ultimate Christmas track has to be Mariah Carey’s ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’. Right?!? This glorious re-imagining with Jimmy Fallon, The Roots and little help from some pop-up children makes for a heart-warming and sumptuous listen. Plus, Mariah sounds AMAZING…

Merry Christmas everyone – happy listening! Should you have any recommendations, please do get in touch!