Strange sound: Holiday music delivers odd, eclectic sample
New Christmas music continues an odd tradition
“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;
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.”