Strange sound: Hol­i­day mu­sic de­liv­ers odd, eclec­tic sam­ple

New Christ­mas mu­sic con­tin­ues an odd tra­di­tion

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

“What’s up guys? How you doin’?” says the ec­cen­tric singer/re­al­ity show host.

His com­pan­ion, a frog pup­pet, an­swers with a ques­tion: “What do you want for Christ­mas, Cee Lo?” “For Christ­mas?” And so goes the weird hol­i­day mu­sic sea­son, with a frog, a pig, a bear, a rap­ping shrimp and Cee Lo Green.

While Christ­mas mu­sic might go un­no­ticed as back­ground sound dur­ing a stress­ful rush for gifts at a de­part­ment store or cof­fee shop, this year’s crop of mistle­toe-in­spired al­bums adds an­other layer to what might be the strangest cor­ner of the mu­sic world, one with its own set of rules that an­nu­ally tran­scends bound­aries of genre and au­di­ence.

If you’re look­ing to add to your an­nual hol­i­day playlist this year (check out our con­test), there is plenty of new mu­sic from which to choose: Rod Ste­wart, Col­bie Cail­lat, Lady An­te­bel­lum, Blake Shel­ton, Kem, and John Tra­volta and Olivia New­tonJohn all re­leased new al­bums, as did Suf­jan Stevens, who re­leased a five-disc set con­sist­ing of orig­i­nals and clas­sics.

In the hol­i­day mu­sic busi­ness, it’s per­fectly OK for five or 10 or what­ever num­ber of artists to re­lease record­ings of the same song at the same time. Irv­ing Berlin wrote “White Christ­mas” in 1940;

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS 2011 CHARLES SYKES/

Cee Lo Green per­forms at the 2011 Rock­e­feller Cen­ter Christ­mas tree light­ing, in New York. He’s back in the hol­i­day spirit this year with an al­bum of sea­sonal songs ti­tled “Cee Lo’s Magic Moment.”

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