Holiday Album Thursday: Songs for Christmas Vol. I-V

Happy Thursday! For our second week of holiday album reviews, we have Songs for Christmas Vol. I-V by Sufjan Stevens. This 5-album collection recorded from 2001 to 2006 is packed with holiday classics such as “Angels We Have Heard on High” and “Away In A Manger,” and also original songs like “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever” and “We’re Goin’ to the Country!” Sufjan Stevens is known for creating a new folk sound involving more electronic resonance, and he treats his Christmas albums no differently.

My personal favorite from the first album, Noel: Songs for Christmas, Vol. I,  is “It’s Christmas! Let’s Be Glad.” The words “Since it’s Christmas let’s be glad, even if the year’s been bad” encompass the happiness and fun (maybe chaos?) that is associated with being with family during Christmas time and gets all sentimental. On Ding Dong!: Songs for Christmas, Vol. III, the opposite emotion is sung with “That Was the Worst Christmas Ever” by describing unfortunate things that have happened. Christmas time is also about sharing happiness to those who need it and songs like this shed light on others who are less fortunate. As the Beatles said, all you need is love.

The classic tunes on the albums definitely get overhauled into sounding like folk ballads. “The Little Drummer Boy” is calm and simple with just a guitar and simple snare beats in the background. “The First Noel” is turned into a short instrumental piece with a very simple piano and guitar duet with a hint of folk. Some songs like “Hey Guys! It’s Christmas Time” and “Star of Wonder” are a little more rock, and adds an exciting edge in contrast to the folk tracks.

There are so many songs in the collection that are perfect for intimate Christmas party. Songs for Christmas will be the only playlist you need for the entire night. From electronic instrumental tracks to folk ballads, Sufjan Stevens shows his appreciation for Christmas time with his musical offerings. Add this collection to your holiday playlist for some unique sounds you can’t find anywhere else.

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