Christmas recordings add to the festive cheer

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Christmas recordings add to the festive cheer

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Top to above:Bob Dylan’s “Christmas In The Heart” ; Barry Manilow’s “In the Swing of Christmas”; Andrea Bocelli’s “My Christmas”;Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song

Christmas is in the air.

The holiday spirit has edged its way into shopping malls, restaurants and streets in the form of elaborate Christmas trees, lights and other seasonal decorations.

But most noticeable of all is the music. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without the music industry releasing a slew of albums aimed at the holiday market.

Some of the records are performed by artists whose voice and musical style have long been deemed Christmassy. Nat King Cole is one such singer.

Other performers are riskier ventures, such as unexpected crooners in the shape of K1 fighter Bob Sapp and the eccentric politician Heo Gyeong-yeong.

This year American singer-songwriter Bob Dylan, 68, has also joined the bandwagon, releasing the first Christmas album of his 50-odd-year career. “Christmas In The Heart” is Dylan’s 34th studio album and contains songs like “Here Comes Santa Claus,” “Little Drummer Boy” and “Winter Wonderland.”

“The songs are sung in a very simple, easy manner, as if recorded in a bedroom. They’re sung in a way a grandpa would sing to his grandson sitting on his lap,” said Nino Lee at Sony Music Korea.

Some fans have openly expressed in blogs and other media about how baffled they are with Dylan’s unexpected move.

Nonetheless, the musician hopes to spread the spirit of giving to the world, as the proceeds from the sales of the album will be devoted to three charities dedicated to feeding the hungry around the world - Feeding America, Crisis UK and the World Food Program.

For those of you who like jazz-style carols, “The Christmas Song” by American artist Nat King Cole should suit your taste. Cole is a perennial favorite at this time of year in addition to the likes of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.

Among the 20 carols on the album, there is “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas to You),” a posthumous duet with daughter Natalie. Natalie mixed her own voice recordings with her father’s from a 1946 recording.

The Christmas Song is the most played holiday song on U.S. radio, according to a recent poll.

American singer-songwriter Barry Manilow has also recently released a holiday album. “In The Swing Of Christmas” also takes a jazzy approach to carols, except it’s more of a joyful one with some swinging tunes added.

If you want to go classical, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli’s first Christmas album, “My Christmas” should be the way to go.

Beside standard carols, he has recorded “God Bless Us Everyone,” a song featured in the recent film “A Christmas Carol” starring Jim Carrey, “What Child Is This?” a duet with Grammy-winning pop diva Mary J. Blige, as well as “The Christmas Song,” again featuring Natalie Cole.


By Kim Hyung-eun [hkim@joongang.co.kr]
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