My Top Ten Christmas Songs, Young Artists Edition, By Rich Paschall
From the time your Halloween pumpkin turned to mush on your front porch until now, you have been hearing Christmas music in the stores, on the radio and television, and perhaps on your computer and mobile devices as well. As we have noted on past Top Ten lists, the airwaves have been filled with familiar voices singing the same holiday hits to us that they have been singing for decades. Of course, it is not Christmastime if we do not hear Bing, Perry, Andy, and Nat crooning to us, but perhaps there are some newer artists who will earn a spot on the radio station playlist someday soon.
It is in this spirit that I come to you with another holiday playlist in hand. I can see by the tired look on your faces, that you are ready for something fresh. For this edition, we have an eclectic assortment of original songs and holiday covers. Before we get too carried away with Aunt Maude’s apple cider or Uncle Harvey’s Gluhwein, I have an honorable mention for the talented producer, video editor, musician, and performer Kurt Hugo Schneider (age 28). Performing this “mash-up” of holiday tunes with him is actor, dancer, singer Max Schneider (24, and no relation), and Victoria Justice (23). I will leave it to you to figure out how KHS pulls this off. He really does not explain it at the end.
Now the weather outside might be frightful, but the following is so delightful, and since you’ve no place to go enjoy these tunes from the 30 and under crowd.
10. Christmas Must Be Something More, Taylor Swift (26) Released in 2007, this tune has not gotten the airplay of her rather uninspiring covers of “Last Christmas” and “Santa Baby.”
9. A Wonderful Christmas Time, Demi Lovato (24) The former Disney princess covers the Paul McCartney hit in a Disney Parade. I guess that means Ryan Seacrest needs to make the introduction.
8. Santa Tell Me, Ariana Grande (23) The former Nickelodeon star has made it big in television and film, as well as recording pop songs. The Christmas video comes with a series of “outtakes” at the end.
7. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Sam Smith (24) The typical presentation of this Grammy-winning artist is perfect for this melancholy version of the bittersweet tune.
6. Let It Snow – Baby It’s Cold Outside, Robby Word (19), and Alex G. (24). It’s another holiday mash-up from Kurt Hugo Schneider, a master at the one-take video. You can also wonder how they pulled off this one.
5. Winter Wonderland, Alexander Rybak (30) The 2009 winner of the Eurovision song contest released an album of holiday tunes in English in 2012, Christmas Tales. Not only did Rybak arrange and sing the songs, but he is also the entire string section on the recording. The multi-talented artist was born in Belarus and lives in Norway.
4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas, Sam Tsui (27) Sam writes, arranges, and sings on a large number of YouTube videos. On this selection, he goes a cappella with a crew of Sams singing along. Tsui has a Christmas EP so you can hear other familiar Christmas tunes as well.
3. All I Want For Christmas Is You, Steve Grand (26) This will be our non-traditional entry on the list. Grand plays the piano as well as sings the familiar tune. He is the featured character in the story being told, but how does it end? You can find a link to another video on how they made this one on YouTube. We have previously featured Steve as the “All-American Boy“.
2. Mistletoe, Justin Bieber (22) The Biebs scored a big hit with all the Beliebers in 2011 with this snappy tune. The video has picked up over a quarter billion views and still going strong. The radio airplay may have died down, but this song really deserves a place on the list.
1. Pat-A-Pan, David Archuleta (25) There were a lot of Christmas songs to choose from by the popular recording artist. He has multiple full-length albums of Christmas songs. He has performed on multiple Christmas television programs. In fact, he was the featured performer on a Mormon Tabernacle Choir Christmas program on PBS. That show received more ticket requests than any of their previous annual shows. Find a half-hour of highlights here. I chose Pat-A-Pan from a different show not just because he sings to us in French and English, but also because it shows off the strength and clarity of his voice.
Entire YouTube Playlist:
Christmas Yet To Come