As the ending of the first week of December has come and gone, music fans everywhere can celebrate the releases of Canadian singer and songwriter Shawn Mendes’s Wonder and South Korean singer and songwriter BoA’s Better. However, even though these albums have shown amazing representations of these musicians, they are not the only albums released this past week. In fact, thirteen albums were released, with only two of them being holiday-themed.
Each album released last week highlighted the hearts and souls of all of the bands and musicians who created these albums during a difficult time. However, five albums released on Friday, Dec. 4, stood out from the rest. In no particular order, here are the five albums that one should listen to right now.
Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special
In the holiday season, it would be no surprise if the first song on everyone’s minds is “All I Want for Christmas is You.” However, newly released Christmas music from singer and songwriter Mariah Carey may overpower that classic Christmas hit due to the success of the Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special that aired on Friday, Dec. 4 on Apple TV+. Although the special included performances from multiple guests, “Oh Santa!” became the Christmas song everyone is talking about due to Carey’s collaboration with singers and songwriters Ariana Grande and Jennifer Hudson. Album listeners will likely want to watch the Christmas special after they’re done.
Must Listen Songs: “When Christmas Comes (Magical Christmas Mix)”, “Oh Santa! (feat. Ariana Grande & Jennifer Hudson)”, “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane) / House Top Celebration [feat. Snoop Dogg & Jermaine Dupri]”
Death of an Optimist
Singer and songwriter Jordan Benjamin, known by his stage name grandson, created an alternative debut studio album that can make one feel out of this world. Even though each song has similar styles towards one another, they all contain strong lyrics to a point in which the music is nothing lyrical support. Another thing to point out is that this is the only full album on this list that contains no collaborations. This just comes to show that Benjamin knows how to stay true to his musical style individually.
Must Listen Songs: “Left Behind”, “Dirty”, “Riptide”
After delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic, YUNGBLUD released their second studio album that delivered Pop and Alternative songs but also threw in Electronic/Dance vibes here and there. The mix of these genres is usually seen in K-Pop albums, which was why YUNGBLUD created an album that was a bit of fresh air. Featuring collaborations with American singer and songwriter Machine Gun Kelly and American musician Travis Barker, this album will make you want to laugh, cry, sing, dance, and have fun! Everyone could definitely use a little fun this holiday season.
Must Listen Songs: “love song”, “god save me, but don’t drown me out”, “the freak show”
Christmastide – EP
Though this release may not be a full album, it is still special. After releasing fifteen studio albums, veteran singer and songwriter Tori Amos recorded and released her first EP in eight years. Unlike most Christmas albums, one won’t listen to any traditional Christmas songs on this EP. Instead, they will hear holiday music that is a mixture of Pop and Alternative genres. When reaching the end of the album, “Better Angels” was a perfect conclusion because it was the only song applying a rock guitar. This addition made this song whimsical and fun for any Alternative music lover. Even though there were no holiday song collaboration on this EP like there were for the Mariah Carey’s Magical Christmas Special album, Amos has shown that she is just fine singing on her own.
Must Listen Songs: “Christmastide”. “Holly”, “Better Angels”
Notes From The Underground
Out of all of the music releases this week, this is the only Electronic/Dance album that came out. Going by the stage name High Contrast, Welsh electronic producer and DJ Lincoln Barrett created an album containing songs that you could dance to at a party or while relaxing at home. Each track combines past and present time frames while remaining modern and different from one another. Everyone has always said that music from the past is better than the present after all. Although he’s already released more than ten full and compilation albums in the past, Barrett will likely not slow down anytime soon.
Must Listen Songs: “Going Up”, “Arcadia (feat. Bim)”, “Dolphin”
Even though these five albums were incredible, other musicians (aside from Shawn Mendes and BoA) not included in this list who’ve released albums this week include Geographer, Hollywood Undead, Inna, Gone is Gone, Rico Nasty, Grandson, and Tini. Those who wish to listen to all of this week’s released albums are now streaming on Spotify and Apple Music.