Along with new holiday films, the Elf Squad always looks forward to hearing brand-new Christmas music every year. And in 2022, we got lots of great releases from artists of all genres — with some releasing their very first holiday tracks and others making their long-awaited return to Christmas music. In fact, many of these artists even went on accompanying tours, giving us fans lots of chances to experience all that new holiday magic live.
And just like with our top 10 holiday movie list for 2022, we had a super hard time narrowing this list down to just ten. To make things easier, we decided to focus on individual albums instead of compilations and soundtracks, so sorry fans of Spirited and The Guardians of The Galaxy Holiday Special. But in the end, we’re happy to call these our favorite new Christmas albums of 2022.
1. Backstreet Boys - A Very Backstreet Christmas
After almost three decades in the business, the legendary boy band finally released their first Christmas album ever. Old and new fans alike delighted in their renditions of some much-loved classics, along with their new songs ‘Happy Days’ and ‘Together.’ And if you bought the target-exclusive version, then you got to hear their 2012 single ‘It’s Christmas Time Again.’
2. Alicia Keys - Santa Baby
2022 also saw the first Christmas album for the Grammy-winning R&B singer, who gave us an extra cozy compilation. Along with plenty of wonderful covers, including the title song, she also released four original tracks. The Elf Squad especially loved ‘December Back 2 June’ and ‘You Don’t Have to Be Alone,’
3. Debbie Gibson - Winterlicious
The former teen idol, Broadway star, and acclaimed songwriter went fully-festive this year with the release of her first-ever Christmas album. From the carefully-selected songs to some very sweet guest appearances, this was definitely a labor of love. And you could definitely hear the Broadway influence in all of her songs from ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘White Christmas’ to her own original track ‘Christmas Star.'
4. Chris Isaak - Everybody Knows It’s Christmas
For those who enjoy a more retro sound to your holiday music, look no further than Chris Isaak. As always, the crooner channels his biggest influences from Elvis to Chuck Berry in all of his recordings. And instead of being cover-heavy, he’s given us eight incredible new songs — including our favorites, ‘Almost Christmas’ and ‘Help Me Baby Jesus.’
5. Andrea, Matteo, and Virginia Bocelli - A Family Christmas
The renowned Italian tenor has already performed live with his son Matteo and daughter Virginia. So, you can imagine the fans’ delight when he brought them along for this very special holiday release. And with a great mix of solos, duets, and trios, all three Bocellis get their chance to shine.
6. Switchfoot - This Is Our Christmas Album
These San Diego alt-rockers surprised us with the best California Christmas music since the Beach Boys. All season long, we got to enjoy some unique spins on classic carols and religious hymns alike. And let’s not forget about their six original songs, especially ‘Looking for Christmas’ and ‘Scrappy Little Christmas Tree.’
7. Lindsey Stirling - Snow Waltz
The spirited electronic violinist first delved into Christmas music with 2017’s acclaimed ‘Warmer in the Winter.’ And this year, Ms. Stirling followed it up with her first release in three years — the chart0topping ‘Snow Waltz.’ Between the amazing covers and some original compositions featuring Bonnie McKee and David Archuletta, it was well worth the five-year wait.
8. Louis Armstrong - Louis Wishes You a Cool Yule
While there were some great posthumous releases in 2022, this incredible compilation from Mr. Armstrong was definitely our favorite. Here you have all of his best loved holiday recordings — from ‘Zat You Santa Claus?’ to ‘Christmas Night in Harlem’ — and fully remastered for your enjoyment. We even got a previously unheard recording of ‘A Visit From St. Nicholas,’ with Sullivan Fortner on piano.
9. Nelson - A Nelson Family Christmas
Brothers Matthew and Gunnar Nelson combined their two previous holiday releases to give us one fantastic compilation. There’s high energy, rockabilly grooves, and even a few tributes to their father Ricky and grandfather Ozzie. They’re also joined by another famous sibling duo — Carnie and Wendy Wilson — on the surprisingly mellow single ‘This Christmas.’
10. Joss Stone - Merry Christmas, Love
Its summertime release meant that we could enjoy the Grammy-winner’s dreamy new Christmas music for longer. In fact, it even earned her a spot in last year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. And the lead single ‘What Christmas Means to Me’ was also featured in the Hallmark Channel Original movie Haul Out the Holly.
With so many great Christmas albums released in 2022, we can't wait to hear all the wonderful new holiday music coming in 2023. Here's hoping Lizzo follows her hit 'Someday At Christmas' cover into a full album and a few more blasts from the past surprise us with some new Christmas classics like Debbie Gibson. We also wouldn't be opposed to a full Christmas album from the Old 97's after their original holiday songs stole the show in The Guardians of the Galaxy Holiday Special!
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