Joy at Christmas
Tinsel and Lights
Michael Bublé aside, do many artists release Christmas albums nowadays? I think the answer is no. Since the sweater-clad heyday of Como and Crosby, it's sad to say that the Christmas-themed album has (probably) been in sharp decline. Yes, we have had the odd single, but even that tradition seems to have been diminished by the singing baubles manufactured by Simon Cowell.
This changed a little a couple of years ago when dear Tracey Thorn of Everything But The Girl released the marvellous Tinsel and Lights [Amazon] — resolutely a Christmas album. Tracey covers lesser-known contemporary Christmas songs by undervalued songwriters such as Ron Sexsmith and Stephin Merritt, but the clear standout track for me is the one she wrote herself — Joy [Amazon], a reflective song exploring the need for simple expressions of joy at Christmas.
Two years out is enough time to consider Joy a Christmas classic. Over to you, Michael.
(Pop Trivia: We actually have a Sexsmith connection between Tracey and Michael. Michael covered Ron's 'Whatever it Takes'.)