Christmas albums 2017: Hanson, Gwen Stefani, Cheap Trick top new offerings

By | December 7, 2017

My AJC

If ever there was a year when soul-soothing holiday music was needed, this is it.

Although there still isn’t a worthy successor to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” there are some memorable aural moments from some unlikely sources – such as Sia and Cheap Trick.

Here are some new possibilities to add to your Christmas playlists.

Hanson, “Finally, It’s Christmas.” Fans have been waiting 20 years for a new Hanson Christmas album, and “Finally, It’s Christmas,” with its four original tracks and eight updated classics, delivers. It’s been a challenge for Zac, Isaac and Taylor Hanson to shed the “kiddie hit” tag of two decades ago (“MMMBop,” lest you forgot), but it’s about time they received recognition for their musical chops, evident on the rootsy title track and a version of “Please Come Home for Christmas” that resonates with guttural pleading and angelic harmonies. These guys have such a deep appreciation for music, it’s no surprise they’ve tackled Paul McCartney’s “Wonderful Christmas Time” and Aretha Franklin’s arrangement of “Winter Wonderland” – both, unsurprisingly, well. A-