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Tag: Christmas (1-5 of 5)

Rod Stewart, John Travolta, Cee Lo Green, and the best (and best-worst) of the season's new Christmas music

For some of you, the focus on Christmas shifted roughly 20 minutes after swallowing the last bite of Thanksgiving pie and you set out to find the best spot for your Black Friday tent.

One of the great joys (or, depending on who you are, nightmares) of the holiday commerce season is the never-ending stream of Christmas music filling in all the empty airspace in your local shopping malls and department stores. But what if you’re shopping online, and somehow avoiding every other vestige of public-space holiday-music inundation?

To help you, here’s a rundown of some of the new stuff added to the yearly snowpile of Yuletide releases (and at the end of this post, a Spotify playlist to let you try out the wares like so many Costco samples.)

Rod Stewart, Merry Christmas, Baby
The undisputed champ of this season’s holiday music bonanza is Stewart, whose first holiday album is currently doing big business (it narrowly missed preventing Alicia Keys from being the top album in the country this week). His approach is very much “Over-Eggnogged Uncle Croons Hugs ‘Round the Tree,” but it’s still Rod-ily charming, and his original composition “Red Suited Super Man” will be an alternate-universe hit next Yuletide season.

Cee Lo Green, Cee Lo’s Magic Moment
The music world was half-expecting a new album from Green’s old hip-hop group Goodie Mob this holiday season, but instead we got The Voice favorite’s blast of red-velvet funk (and that’s red velvet like Santa’s suit, not the sexy cake kind). Its Motown bounce recalls all the great Stevie Wonder Christmas tracks of yesteryear, and the inclusion of the Muppets (on “All I Need Is Love”) is never not awesome. READ FULL STORY

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John exceed your wildest expectations with Christmas music video

Might-Like-It

What happened to Danny and Sandy after they flew Greased Lightning off into the sky? Evidently, they landed, grew middle-aged together, bought a plane — wait, what? They already had a flying car — and separated before the holidays just so that they could make a music video about coming back together. The clip also features a family reunion that has nothing to do with Danny or Sandy because, sure, why not.

What the hell am I talking about? I’m talking about this newly-released music video for the only original tune on Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta’s fantastically cheesy Christmas album. (EW’s Nakisha Williams calls it “Grease goes to Shady Pines.”)

The song, “I Think You Might Like It,” is supposed to be the “sequel” to “You’re The One That I Want.” In the sense that it’s an up-tempo duet between Travolta and Newton-John, it succeeds. In every other way… well, maybe you should just watch for yourself:

READ FULL STORY

Hear Pentatonix's amazing 'Carol of the Bells' from their upcoming Christmas EP -- EXCLUSIVE

Hoping to get in the Christmas spirit a little early? You’re in luck. EW has an exclusive present for you courtesy of futuristic a cappella troupe Pentatonix, the winners of season 3 of The Sing-Off, who are gearing up for the release of their second EP, a Christmas collection called PTXmas, which will be available on Nov. 13.

The vocal band, who frequently make headlines with their inventive covers — like this recent take on “Gangnam Style” — have already successfully released one EP this year and toured the country. And the group has just announced a 2013 tour (dates available on the group’s Facebook page) that will run from January 24 to mid-March of next year.

But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves — first we have to get into the Christmas spirit. “But we’re only at Halloween,” you say? Trust me, once you hear Pentatonix’s version of “Carol of the Bells,” which you can stream exclusively right here on EW, you won’t be complaining.

The track features an arrangement of the classic carol that is at once both spirited and haunting. Mitch Grassi’s formidable tenor leads the song, and he’s well supported by the rest of the group, though Avi Kaplan’s incredible bass notes deserve a special shoutout (Seriously, how does he go that low?!). They’re basically like a chorus of angels wearing skinny jeans… or something like that. Check it out (especially the breakdown at 2:14) below: READ FULL STORY

Hear the Civil Wars play 'I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day' for 'Holidays Rule' compilation - EXCLUSIVE

It may not even be Halloween yet, but Christmas is already in the air.

Case in point: next week sees the release of Holidays Rule, a new compilation of eclectic seasonal songs from contributors ranging from Paul McCartney and fun., to Rufus Wainwright, the Shins, the Head and the Heart, and Calexico.

That lineup also includes Americana breakouts the Civil Wars, who put their own lo-fi spin on “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day.”

Check out the exclusive premiere below (and check out the rest of Holidays Rule’s lineup here):

READ FULL STORY

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John reunite for fantastically cheesy Christmas album

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We’ve got chills! They’re multiplying! And we’re looooosing control — because John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John have apparently collaborated on a Christmas album that features special guests like Tony Bennett, Barbra Streisand, and Kenny G.

This is not a joke.

The album, This Christmas, marks the first time Grease‘s Sandy and Danny have recorded music together in nearly 35 years. According to a release, Travolta got the idea to make the record “after receiving a Christmastime text from his old friend Olivia noting that their 1978 smash, ‘You’re the One That I Want,’ had just become the best-selling duet in pop music history.”  READ FULL STORY

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