I believe against all logic that there are in fact several good holiday-music albums out there. No Mannheim Steamroller, no Dolly Parton, no shitty compilations, just good ones. As proof, I offer my three favorites:Chris Isaak, Chris Isaak Christmas
He does some old standards, of course, as well as a few uncommon "standards," and about a half-dozen originals. There's hardly a dud in the bunch, and there are quite a few surprises. His originals, for example, turn out to be pretty good. And his takes on the standards are really surprisingly good.Allison Crowe, Tidings
A Christmas album with very few strictly "Christmas" songs. Crowe chooses songs that evoke the feeling of the season, rather than just songs that are directly associated with it. So there are ones like "The First Noel," "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear," but there are also (some of the best covers I've ever heard of) songs like "Let It Be" and Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". This is the one Christmas album that I listen to songs from all year round. Oh and by the way, the whole album is available for free download
.Vince Guaraldi, A Charlie Brown Christmas
Come on, who doesn't love these songs?
So, those are my recommendations. But I'm looking for some more. Any suggestions?