Arts, Music, Review

Pop Artists Release Fresh Batch of Christmas Music

Just as the Halloween season wraps up and the Christmas season begins, many artists have released their latest Christmas music. Among them, Meghan Trainor shares a new album that offers a pop and R&B twist on classic Christmas songs and some original tracks. Trainor’s album A Very Trainor Christmas has 18 songs that allow listeners to settle into the holiday season. 

Trainor’s music career set off in 2014, when she released some of her most famous songs, including “All About that Bass” and “Like I’m Gonna Lose You.” “All About that Bass,” inspired by the doo-wop genre, explores the singer’s struggles to accept her appearance and promotes positive body images and self-acceptance through poppy vocals. 

With her latest album, Trainor incorporates these pop themes into a festive album that will make it on everyone’s seasonal playlists this year. The album features Christmas classics such as “Last Christmas,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” and “Holly Jolly Christmas.” The classic songs are the highlights of the album since Trainor can showcase her strong vocals on them. 

“Sleigh Ride” has a beat that diverts from the classic song, but it works with the upbeat album to help emit the holiday joy. Trainor also uses a ukulele as the main instrument in “Winter Wonderland,” which softens the song’s tone. In “Holly Jolly Christmas,” Trainor’s raspy vocals sound similar to Michael Bublé’s version of the Christmas song. 

But Trainor’s original songs on the album, such as “My Kind of Present,” “Christmas Party,” and “I Believe in Santa,” have a predictable holiday tune. Her vocals are decent, but the songs aren’t catchy or anything you would want to listen to more than once. The lyrics are essentially classic Christmas vomit—where everything associated with the season is thrown into a song. 

Trainor’s song “Christmas Got Me Blue” has an upbeat sound but is misleading since it’s about being broken up with during the holiday season. “I Believe in Santa” quickly turns into a hip-hop song that sounds as though it came from the 2000s. This original song stands out from her other songs, but her covers of the holiday classics are better. 

Her original song “The Christmas Song” showcases her vocals and sounds serene. It feels like something that could be played while sitting by the fireplace under a fuzzy blanket. 

The most exciting songs on the album are “Holidays (feat. Earth, Wind & Fire),” and “White Christmas (feat. Seth MacFarlane).” In “Holidays,” the ’70s band brings a little bit of “September” to December. This upbeat track perfectly balances Christmas music with pop, soul, and jazz. The duet of “White Christmas” is a beautiful rendition between Trainor and MacFarlane. Many may not know that MacFarlane is just as good at singing as he is at being a comedian and voice specialist. With his incredible vocal abilities, MacFarlane’s feature is one of the most impressive and entertaining songs on the whole album. 

Overall, Trainor performed the original songs with justice, and she added a couple more fun and upbeat songs to Christmas playlists. Her album sounds as though it could be played in a mall Christmas meet-and-greet line while kids wait to meet Santa Claus.

Other famous artists have also joined Trainor in releasing Christmas singles.

“Under the Mistletoe” – Kelly Clarkson

Kelly Clarkson is no stranger to Christmas songs. The former American Idol winner dropped a Christmas album in 2013 called Wrapped in Red, so it’s no surprise that she has released a new single with Brett Eldredge and Atlantic Holiday. The trio sings “Under the Mistletoe,” but not a typical version of the song. In this version of the song, there are new and joyful lyrics. With “Under the Mistletoe,” listeners are reminded of Clarkson’s musical talent and why she won the first season of American Idol

“Naughty List” – Liam Payne

Former One Direction singer Liam Payne created a new single in collaboration with TikTok star Dixie D’Amelio. Although the parts solely with Payne are not terrible, this song is truly an embarrassment for Payne. The collaboration with D’Amelio seems like it was created to generate publicity for Payne—and to generate a newer and younger audience for him.

“It’s Not Christmas Till Somebody Cries” – Carly Rae Jepsen

“Call Me Maybe” singer Carly Rae Jepsen released her new Christmas anthem. Instead of singing about classic Christmas elements such as trees, snow, and mistletoe, Jepsen sings about a more realistic Christmas season. The humorous song discusses a vegan boyfriend, an uncle talking politics, and a grandfather eating edibles. 

Featured image courtesy of Epic Records

November 8, 2020

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