Every year I eagerly anticipate which divas are going to give in to the holiday spirit and grace us with their unique take on a traditional style of song. This year Santa’s sack is well-endowed with many dashing diva delights. A terrific twosome of singles, a dynamic duo of EPs and a perfect pair of holiday albums.
December is a good time to look back on the year past and years of yore. “Christmas Time Is Here” is a classic and who better to cover it than the classic 80’s diva, Jody Watley. This version of the song is a jazzy instrumental-heavy version that skimps a bit too much on the smooth and reminiscent voice that brought us hits like “Looking For A New Love” and “Don’t You Want Me,” at least in my gay opinion.
Twinnie’s new song “Elf Yourself” is anything but skimpy…unless we’re talking about the dress she’s wearing in the video. Who better than Twinnie to bring a slightly bitter and vengeful spirit to the holidays, on this new country classic. Leave it Twinnie to bring the holiday cheer in a brown paper bag with a wink and a smile.
Twinnie should meet up with Madison Malone at the bar for a girls night out and commiserate. Madison’s Heartbreak Christmas EP showcases her voice and style that suit the holiday music genre magically. Her EP of four singles individually dropped is comfy and mellow with a pair of covers and originals. What I like is that it’s not overly traditional, instead it’s seasonal and moody.
Molly Burch continues the untraditional holiday music fare with her new EP. She wrote two brand-new noels, “Cozy Christmas” and “December Baby,” that are light and dreamy. They nestle into my holiday playlist just like a street vender’s warm chestnuts.
If you’re looking for more traditional, Gloria Estefan invites everyone to an Estefan Family Christmas. This album has many holiday songs you’ll know (in English and Spanish), with new voices that you may not, as she collaborates with her daughter Emily and grandson Sasha. I’m a sucker for some non-singing banter which are aplenty and gives it an at-home feel…especially when the cacophony of furry four-legged family members join in appropriately on “The Chipmunks Song (Christmas Don’t Be Late).”
On her new “Winterlicious” album, Debbie Gibson also gets some help from family (Daddy Joe) and friends (Joey Mcintyre) on a few songs. I like that Debbie chose to pen many of the songs on this album, giving us some new holiday jams to enjoy for years to come. Some of the old carols, she put her own twist on…like who thought you could take “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and give it a dance beat? Thankfully, Debbie did. Winterlicious will have us Shaking Our Love and jingling our bells into 2023!