Ever wondered what happened to the likes of Hanson or mid-2000s pop princess Gwen Stefani? Look no further than the slew of Christmas albums released over the past few weeks.
Even the shy and introverted Sia is decking the halls with tinsel and mistletoe this year. The Adelaide export has recorded10 original songs full of festive cheer, and she’s far from alone.
Fellow n Sam Sparro has also dropped a yuletide special, while some old favourites have come out of the woodwork.While pop stars have always jumped on the Christmas bandwagon, it was arguably Mariah Carey’s 1994 singleAll I Want for Christmas Is Youthat really got the songwriting elves working overtime.
After all, the song rockets towards the top of the music chartsevery time December rolls around – along with festive favourites (or nightmares, depending on your musical taste) from the likes of George Michael and Michael Buble. More importantly, ithas reportedly earned the diva-in-chief more than $70 million in royalties.
With that in mind, it’s not surprising other artists want a slice of the Christmas pudding.
Here’s our pick of this year’s festive offerings.
1. Everyday Is ChristmasSia’s album is sure to delight her fans, with original odes to candy canes, puppies and sunshine – the latter a staple of sweltering Aussie Christmases. The songs are high energy, and backed by Sia’s powerful voice.
Music executives must think so too, because the album’s been heavily promoted on television with ads galore. It was also spruikedduring the pop star’s recent n tour.
(The one stumbling block is in the title. Other grammar pendants will have noticed it should be “every day is Christmas”, not “everyday”.)
Sia’s Christmas album features 10 original songs. Photo: AP
2. You Make it Feel Like ChristmasGwen Stefani continues to offer gems to fans who’ve stuck with her since the height of her fame in the mid-2000s. Her most recent studio album,This is what the truth feels like, came out in early 2016.
This year, everyone’s favouriteHollaback Girlis back with a Christmas-themed album. She isn’t doing it by halves, either, with 12 tracks putting a new spin on old classics fromJingle BellstoLet It Snow.
But it’s in the original songs that Stefani’spowerful whiskey-tenor truly shines.My Gift Is Yousends a powerful Christmas message, telling the world she “don’t need no money … [or] even a wedding ring”.
Gwen Stefani performs her Christmas album ‘You Make it Feel Like Christmas’ live on NBC. Photo: Paul Drinkwater / NBC
3. Finally, It’s ChristmasHanson might be all grown up, but the trio still love Christmas.
Finally It’s Christmascomes 20 years since pop group released their first Christmas albumSnowed In. The new album’s feel-good energy is well worth the weight and sure to appeal to those nostalgic for the 1990s.
The pop band Hanson are back with some catchy Christmas tunes.
4. Warmer in the WinterViolinist Lindsey Stirling has a sizeable following in thanks to the legions of YouTube fans who helped catapult her onto the main stage.
This is her first ever Christmas album and it’s a little left-of-centre, showcasing the violin with a few songtunes interspersed throughout. It also features guest appearances from artists such as Becky G, Alex Gaskarth and Sabrina Carpenter.
This album is definitely a stocking filler for anyone who loves show tunes or classical music with a modern twist.
Lindsey Stirling performing in Atlanta as part of her Warmer in Winter tour. Photo: Katie Darby / AP
5. Christmas In BlueAussie singer and music producer Sam Sparrois best known for his catchy pop trackBlack and Gold.
This year, he’s done something a little bit different and recorded four covers that will definitely have traditionalists nodding in approval.Evenhis cover of George Michael’sLast Christmasis slow and smokey.
The short album is just enough to showcase Sparro’sversatility while avoiding self-indulgence. The songs are a perfect matchfor a celebratory glass of eggnog late at night once all those presents have been wrapped.
Sam Sparro has released four smokey covers of everyone’s favourite Christmas songs.