December Bark Beats

Sabrina Dong

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Michael Bublé – Christmas

This album instantly became a Christmas classic upon its release in 2011. Bublé brings the warmth of the holidays into the hearts of his listeners by adding his own personal flare to classic Christmas tunes with his low, suave, melodic voice. People who love simple, traditional holiday music with no modern twists or added remixes, will thoroughly enjoy this album as it features many time-honored favorites such as: “Jingle Bells,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas,” and “White Christmas.” Bublé’s masterful vocals expertly capture the feeling of sitting cozily in front of a fire and drinking hot chocolate on a cold winter day.


Recommended: “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”

“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is a dynamic mixture of instruments and vocals. Bublé’s voice seems to float smoothly over a sea of beautifully mixed percussion and string. His version of this famous Christmas song that includes slow, lilting background music, gives listeners a calm, mellow feeling to carry throughout the holiday season.

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Mariah Carey – Merry Christmas

A true holiday essential, Carey’s famous seasonal album delights with its soulful collection of Christmas ballads. Carey’s widely ranging vocals are paired with a background gospel choir, jingle bells, and jaunty piano keys. Her explosive singing style adds a cheerful feeling to old holiday classics like: “Joy to the World” and “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” while also delighting us with some upbeat Christmas originals like, “All I Want For Christmas Is You.”  Although this album features original songs, most songs are unoriginal and offer standard melodies that do not show any different or unique vocal and instrumental choices.


Recommended: “All I Want For Christmas Is You”

The album’s biggest hit, this original song encapsulates all the feelings of the holidays. Complete with perfectly timed jingle bells and a gospel choir, the melody, unlike other songs on the album, is unique and interesting. Carey’s passionate delivery and catchy background music creates a tune to which you won’t be able to stop singing along.

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The Maccabeats – A Maccabeats Hanukkah

“A Maccabeats Hanukkah” offers a refreshing take on Hanukkah music. Sung in a capella style, the group uses no instruments, only their own voices to sing both the lyrics and background music. Each group member’s energetic voice comes together to form a beautiful, upbeat set of songs. This group of seven, all-male singers, creates catchy tunes in both Hebrew and English. Their one-of-a-kind, more modern approach to Hanukkah music gives the genre a fresh face and makes it all the more enjoyable to listen.


Recommended: “Light up the Nights”

This song is the best example of the Maccabeats’ strengths, showcasing a conglomeration of the Maccabeats’ harmonious voices, lively attitudes, and enthusiasm for the holidays. Sung in English, the group sings about the story of Hanukkah. The catchy chorus is bound to make you tap your feet and bob your head. This lively rhythmic tune is bound to get stuck in your head––in the best way.

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Justin Bieber – Under the Mistletoe

Featuring a young 2011 Justin Bieber, this album is an ultra-modern take on Christmas. The songs on this album exhibit Bieber’s boyish vocals paired with funky hip-hop remixes. Although there are some spin-offs of classic Christmas songs like “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town,” they’re completely different than the originals, often using hip hop mixes in the background and featuring uncommon vocal choices, adding modulating trills and modern slang like the word “shawty” in his song “Mistletoe.” Bieber’s contemporary take on old music is very interesting, fun, and enjoyable. This album is perfect for a person looking for a more modern, funky take on Christmas songs.


Recommended: “Santa Claus Is Comin to Town”

A unique take on the original song, Bieber’s version is energetic and hip, making the listener feel like dancing. He makes this song even more different by quoting lyrics from Michael Jackson’s “ABC.” The combination of strange instruments in the beginning of the song that fade into a melodic, smoothly sung cover over a hip-hop remix that makes you want to get up and dance makes this song one of the best on the album.

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Nat “King” Cole – The Christmas Song

For the listeners who crave a completely traditional Christmas album, “The Christmas Song” is a must have for this holiday season. Nat “King” Cole is definitely the king of holiday music; his low, smooth voice perfectly encaptures the holiday sentiment.  Released in the ’40s, This album features all of the Christmas classics, with no modern twists or remixes, just simple holiday music. Cole’s soothing voice, paired with an animated background chorus, stringed instruments and piano usher in feelings of nostalgia and warm contentment.



Recommended: “The Christmas Song (Merry Christmas To You)”

This holiday classic is a traditional Christmas melody. It has a slow, jazzy feel which will immediately put any listener into the holiday spirit.  Cole’s voice that expertly hits every note in just the right way along with the well-known lyrics of all his songs, create a perfectly crafted tune that will dance in your head long after the holidays are over.