December 25 looms, and for most people, their holiday shopping is finally done. But there's always that last-minute gift you need to bring the host of the Christmas Eve or Christmas Day party that you've suddenly decided to attend or something to be sent to a relative who's sent you a present out of the blue. And since the idea of dropping into an actual store at this point fills even the heartiest shopaholic with a little dread, let the power of digital music allow you to look like you've put a lot of time into a gift.
With a few mouse clicks, a host of music is available through iTunes, Amazon.com and other online outlets. You can download a dozen or so songs and drop 'em onto a CD and create a nicely crafted gift that doesn't break the bank. Furthermore, if you need to get the music to someone you won't actually be seeing, you can "gift" the music to his or her email address and let the recipient bask in your thoughtfulness.
So, in the holiday spirit, TheaterMania has put together a quintet of playlists from recordings released in 2010 that have been curated (down to the play order) to make the process as easy, and hopefully ear-pleasing, as possible!
A Holiday Mix
This playlist features a baker's dozen of seasonal tunes that range from inspirational to ironic, starting off with Annie Lennox's soaring "Angels From the Realms of Glory," along with two other exceptional traditional tunes, before moving into original songs by Josh Groban, Jason Forbach, and Everett Bradley that bring New York at this time of year to life in wonderfully different ways. This compilation then moves into a mix of the classic and the original, featuring both well-known voices (Bing Crosby's oh-so-smooth "White Christmas" and Natalie Cole's glorious "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," performed with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir) and some less familiar (Sue Matsuki and The Puppini Sisters). The disc ends with Roy Zimmerman's wonky, but delightful, "Christmas on Mars."