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December 10, 2010

Are there too many Christmas albums?

Every week, there's a new one in my mailbox. Annie Lennox's "A Christmas Cornucopia," "Christmas with the Rat Pack," "Christmas with the Chipmunks."

The last straw came with "Now that's what I call Christmas IV."   

Even Aaron Neville, who's made two holiday albums, says in today's Live! there are too many of them. He prefers to listen to Marvin Gaye during the holidays. 

The problem with the genre, if we can call it that, is that it rarely offers anything new.  The albums consist of songs that have been covered so much even Santa would blanch.

Mariah Carey's new one, "Merry Christmas II You," includes only four original songs besides the umpteenth versions of "O Holy Night" and "O Come All Ye Faithful."

Yet, they keep getting made, which means that people love them, or they just need stocking stuffers. Here's just hoping I won't get "Christmas with the Hasselhoffs" any time soon.

Update: Alternatively, NME has posted ten free Christmas song downloads, by people like Sufjan Stevens.   Not sure this is any better, but hey, it's free.

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Posted by Erik Maza at 10:42 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: Live!


Does anyone actually buy Christmas albums? With Pandora and lite 102, who needs to actually buy them all? Since, yes, they are all the same thing over and over!

I'm not a huge fan of Christmas music, but when I do listen to it, I prefer some of the classics by Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Burl Ives. I do not want to hear an Annie Lennox or Mariah Carey Christmas album. They need to stick to what they know, and they do not know Christmas music.

We need some 'new' classics! How this can be accomplished I don't have a clue. Lennox or Carey don't seem to have the right presentation to really make a permanent mark on the Holiday music venue. Again, I don't have the answer but I'm also tired of listening to songs that were recorded when I was a kid and explaining to younger family members who Crosby, Cole, Ives, etc. were.

I like the two Merry Axemas albums, mostly because I don't have to hear the same words over and over (there aren't any vocals), and while the music may be the same, it's at least a somewhat fresh take on the old standards. Otherwise, I'll pass.

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About Erik Maza
Erik Maza is a features reporter at the Baltimore Sun. He writes for several sections of the Sun paper and contributes weekly columns on music and nightlife. He also writes and edits the Midnight Sun blog. He often covers entertainment, business, and the business of entertainment. Occasionally, he writes about Four Loko, The Block, the liquor board, and those who practice "simulated sex with a potted palm tree." Before The Sun, he was a reporter at the Miami New Times. He's also written for Miami magazine, the Orlando Sentinel, the Sarasota Herald Tribune and the Gainesville Sun. Got tips? Gripes? Pitches? He's reachable at Click here to keep up with the dumb music he's listening to.

Midnight Sun covers Baltimore music, live entertainment, and nightlife news. On the blog, you'll find, among other things, concert announcements, breaking news, bars closings and openings, up-to-date coverage of crime in nightlife, new music, round-the-clock coverage of Virgin Mobile FreeFest, handy guides on bars staying open past 2 a.m. on New Year's Eve and those that carry Natty Boh on draft. Recurring features include seven-day nightlife guides, Concert News, guest reviews of bars and concerts, Wednesday Corkboard, and photo galleries, as well as reader-submitted photos. Thanks for reading.

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