A Definitive Guide to the Best New Holiday Albums of 2019

The day after Thanksgiving is a day closer to Christmas, amirite? And that means presents and parties and feasts and drinks and pine-scented candles — and holiday music! It’s finally socially acceptable to blast Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas Is You” but let’s be honest, there’s never a wrong time to sing along to holiday tunes. So whether your music taste runs from the classics to the playful (and everything in between), we know there’s something out there to satisfy that itch you’ve been waiting to scratch.

Kacey Musgraves The Kacey Musgraves Christmas Show

She’s got so much Christmas spirit that it can’t be contained within just one album — this is her second holiday-themed album which made its way into her Amazon Prime special that is kitschy, schmaltzy, and an utter delight.  Both the album and the show feature Musgraves’ beautiful country twang on its own and paired with megastars James Corden (“Let It Snow”) and Camila Cabello (“Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” but it’s her duets with critically acclaimed artists such as Leon Bridges “Present Without A Bow,” Lana Del Ray “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and Troye Sivan “Glittery” that really make this an album you’ll come back to year after year.

Lea Michele: Christmas in the City

Fill your heart with glee (see what we did there?) with Michele’s third studio album, and her first for the holidays. Sit back with the fire going, a cozy throw from the sofa and some eggnog as she takes on classics old and new — did you know that “Do You Want To Build A Snowman” is now a Christmas song?

WHAM! and George Michael: Last Christmas Soundtrack

Ok, this one is a perhaps a bit of a reach because technically there’s only one (albeit one spectacularly tremendous Christmas song amongst the 14 tracks but hear us out, it deserves to be on this list. The themes of compassion (“Praying for Time”), faith (“Faith”), taking care of yourself and your friends (“Heal the Pain”), and gifts (“Everything She Wants”) really do make this feel like what the Christmas season is all about.

Idina Menzel: Christmas: A Season of Love

There are 525,600 reasons to love Idina Menzel’s voice, and you’ll find it’s everywhere during this season with Frozen 2and her first Christmas LP both out now. Menzel’s entry in holiday songs is a nice mix of standards “It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, duets “I’ve Got My Love To Keep Me Warm” with Tony winner and all-around icon Billy Porter, a sweet personal Chanukah blessing featuring her son that makes us kvell “Walker’s 3rd Hanukkah” and the inclusion of a decidedly non-traditional Christmas song that well, should be one, “Seasons of Love”.

Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas Deluxe Anniversary Edition

The Queen of Christmas and her five-octave vocal range brings back her chart-topping, best-selling Christmas album of all time with an incredible 25th anniversary edition (the original came out in 1994!) You better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout, I’m telling you why — the original 11 songs are still here and the bonus album features six of those magical songs live at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in New York City. You’d have to be the scroogiest-scrooge to not jingle your bells and sing along at full volume when you hear “All I Want for Christmas Is You” but maybe skip over the remixes, there’s no need to mess with perfection.

Ana Gastyer: Sugar and Booze

The title of this one wins Christmas as far as we’re concerned —and it’s the album you’ll actually want to gift your nearest and dearest because it’s so darn fun, and, um accurate — the best part of the holidays is sugar and booze! The whole album feels like the soundtrack to the perfect holiday musical, sorry Radio City Rockettes. “Nothing Rhymes with Christmas” cedes that you have a better shot finding something to rhyme with Chanukah, although we can’t figure that one out either— “Secret Santa” is the Maya Rudolph duet you never knew you were missing (but you were) and “Children Go Where I Send Thee” shows that Gastyer isn’t all silly games. We’re just sad that there’s no mention of Schweddy Balls.

John Legend: A Legendary Christmas Deluxe Edition

If you’re looking for a Christmas classic with a few twists, here’s your pick. People’s Sexiest Man Alive has updated, and we mean really updated the Dean Martin standard, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” — to be fair, we’d play this album all year long because Legend’s voice is like butter.

Jonas Brothers: Like It’s Christmas

The Jonas Brothers are enjoying quite the renaissance, having emerged from their insanely successful boy band days as a part of Disney into full-grown men with a successful comeback album and world tour. With their first Christmas release since 2008’s cover of “Joyful Kings” Kevin, Joe and Nick are singing a happy, handclap heavy tune that clearly reflects their current state of loved-up bliss.

Alessia Cara: Make It To Christmas

Cara, who won the Best New Artist Grammy in 2018, found fame with “Scars To Your Beautiful” and the juggernaut smash “Stay” with Zedd — takes the approach here that if you “can just make it to Christmas” everything will be okay.

Keith Urban: I’ll Be Your Santa Tonight

If you’re like us and you watch award shows like you personally know the people nominated then you know you’ve caught more than a glimpse of power-couple Keith Urban and Nicole Kidman showing the gooiest of emotions for each other. That’s what makes it so easy to imagine Keith in a log cabin serenading his beloved Nicole with this sweet holiday original and yes, we’re more than just a little bit jealous.

Michael Buble: White Christmas

Does this guy have a voice made for Christmas carols or what? Yes is the only acceptable answer. While “White Christmas” is a 77-year-old song that has been covered from by everyone from Sinatra to OneRepublic to Kelly Clarkson — Buble’s take is a lively update that really swings.

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