‘Tis the season for holiday tunes


Jackson Prince, co-editor-in-chief
This holiday season, a plethora of fine music has been released for the public’s pleasure. Old artists and new have added to the playlist, making for a delightful-sounding December. Here are four of the season’s hottest songs.

No instruments? No problem for Pentatonix. Photo by: JINO SCHNEIDER
No instruments? No problem for Pentatonix. Photo by: JINO SCHNEIDER

“Mary, Did You Know?” by Pentatonix 
Three years ago, this group took the stage of Sing-Off, blowing away judges and bringing prominence back to the fading a capella genre. Featured on their gold record “That’s Christmas To Me”, this more-recent Christmas tune was twisted and turned by Pentatonix, transforming the song into an ominous, intricate piece, carried by Kevin Olusola’s hard-hitting beatboxing and Avi Kaplan’s deep bass. The song isn’t from your grandmother’s playlist, as the group is targeting the youth. May I add, they did one hell of a job, as they made Christmas music cool. And even a bit sexy.
“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” by Sam Smith
Sam Smith doesn’t have the voice of an angel. He is an angel. The heartbroken singer stood on top of the Capitol Records building in Hollywood and wooed America with his live rendition of this holiday classic (originally introduced by Judy Garland), just before “In The Lonely Hour” was nominated for Best Album of the Year by the Grammy committee. It is the perfect Christmas song for the soul man, as Smith caresses each word, combining the beauty of the simple lyrics with his unearthly voice. If anyone can top Beyoncé this year, it’s Sam Smith.
“Baby It’s Cold Outside” by Idina Menzel and Michael Buble
I’m on the fence about this one. The music video is awkward: it features inappropriately-dressed children in a hotel instead of the classic adults-on-couch setup. And they changed the lyrics! Ugh. Anyway, we all know that Menzel and Buble are gifted artists, and they save the integrity of the song with their theatrics and flawless approach to the tune. But, with all due respect, some holiday items have to keep to tradition, including “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” No more actual babies, please. Some traditions need to remain traditional.
“Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” by Seth MacFarlane
I love this guy. What doesn’t he do? Besides being the brilliant mastermind behind “Family Guy” and “American Dad”, as well as the executive producer of the revival of “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey”, MacFarlane sings. Beautifully. And the song is an absolute hit. It’s charming and cute, yet refined and bold, as the youthful nature of the instrumentation complements MacFarlane’s matured voice. It’s nice to know that swing isn’t dead.