Editor’s Note: This story was originally published on Omaha.com
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By Kevin Coffey
WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER
The end of the year is one of the most prolific times for album releases.
This year, part of that is because of Taylor Swift’s new record, but it’s mostly because of the Christmas and holiday music that drops in time for the season.
If you’re looking for new Christmas songs — and we’re sure you are since you can listen to Bing Crosby only so much — we’ve got you covered.
Dozens of Christmas albums made their way to us. Here’s the best from classics to new tracks, with some silly stuff, too.
Knocks against Bing aside, we really like classic tunes. RCA released five albums from Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, Barry Manilow, John Denver and, um, Kenny G that have fantastic songs including Elvis’ “Blue Christmas,” Denver’s “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and Nelson’s “Joy to the World.”
Lady Antebellum, “On This Winter’s Night”
The red-hot country trio cobbled together 12 Christmas and winter tunes. Most of them are classic songs such as “A Holly Jolly Christmas,” “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow” and “Blue Christmas.” There’s one original from the band, “On This Winter’s Night,” that paints a pretty winter picture of warmth and love.
Trans-Siberian Orchestra, “Dreams of Fireflies (On a Christmas Night)”
Every person who bought a ticket for the band’s current tour got this new five-song EP, so we bet some Omaha area folks have already downloaded the songs. The album is available as a download and a CD online.
Various Artists, “Holidays Rule”
You could rename this “A Very Alternative Christmas” as the artists represent that side of the musical spectrum. With artists such as The Civil Wars, The Shins, Paul McCartney, The Head and the Heart and Eleanor Friedberger, this turned out to be one of our favorites.
Mandisa, “It’s Christmas”
The Christian singer and former “American Idol” contestant has a new album full of classic songs and appearances from Michael W. Smith and Matthew West.
When your kids are tired of the same old stuff, give this one a spin. The album features cast members from Nickelodeon shows such as “Victorious” and “How to Rock” as well as the group Big Time Rush. Our favorite track is “Don’t Be a Jerk (It’s Christmas)” sung by none other than SpongeBob SquarePants.
Sufjan Stevens, “Silver & GOld”
This collection of the singer-songwriter’s continuing Christmas catalog includes Sufjan’s volumes six through 10. Recorded between 2006 and 2010, the set includes 58 new songs. Buy it as a download and it’s only $15, probably the best deal on this list. The collection also includes appearances from Sufjan’s friends including the National’s Aaron and Bryce Dessner as well as Arcade Fire’s Richard Reed Parry.
Cee Lo Green, “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment”
Our favorite from this poppy collection is “All I Need Is Love.” Cee Lo sings it with The Muppets. Also appearing on the record: Straight No Chaser, Trombone Shorty, Christina Aguilera and Rod Stewart.
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