Written by the members of ListenUpReviews.com.
Since it’s Christmastime and we here at ListenUpReviews love music (particularly the rocking variety ), we’ve put together a special list of the best Rocking Christmas music— conveniently sorted into series, album, EP, and single categories— for your fun and festive listening pleasure. Plus, we always keep it current— if and when we need to add some music to the list, we do!
Read (and Rock) on!
Tooth and Nail’s onrunning series of Happy Christmas compilation albums bring together both classic Christmas covers and brand new originals from Tooth and Nail/BEC/Solid State artists (and even some artists from outside labels). Because of this, there’s incredible variety— the songs basically range the genre and style gamut, from the sweet Folk Pop of Sixpence None The Richer, to the classic Punk of MxPx, to the Ska of The O.C. Supertones, to the Experimental Electronic of Joy Electric, to the bouncy, joyful jamming of All Star United, to the one-of-a-kind vocals of Spoken, to eclectic indie styles, to good ol’ straight-up Rock… and much, much more. Happy Christmas is an compilation series, and a cornerstone of any Rocking Christmas collection.
Part of the onrunning X compilation series, X Christmas is X’s first holiday-themed release, and it’s a good one. Featuring a style mix similar to Tooth and Nail’s, it includes unique song takes from artists such as Kutless, KJ-52, Seventh Day Slumber, The Almost, Project 86, Thousand Foot Krutch, and more— hence its Supplement To Series 1 tag and equal rating.
Using their unique and distinctive combination of full classical-style orchestration with full-on Rock, Trans-Siberian Orchestra created a trilogy of rock opera Christmas CD’s, each with its own storyline (Christmas Eve And Other Stories, The Christmas Attic, and The Lost Christmas Eve). They’re available either separately or as a box set (The Christmas Trilogy) which also comes with a DVD of their story/performance movie special.
Relient K’s Let It Snow Baby… Let It Reindeer is easily one of our favorite standalone Christmas records, and it’s a Rocking Christmas must-have. Containing completely unique and downright excellent covers and originals, it’s a definite staple of any Rocking Christmas collection. (See the full album review here.)
As we state in its full review, Family Force 5’s utterly unique music and typical good humor make their Christmas Pageant a Christmas record unlike any other— and, again, an easy top favorite. With several clever lyric twists (“Little Drummer Boy”, etc.), cover versions cooler than you’d ever imagine (“My Favorite Things”, etc.), and of course a lot of just plain fun , it’s an excellent (and quite addicting) album, and another Rocking Christmas must-have. (See the full album review here.)
Duvall’s O Holy Night is another excellent Rocking Christmas release. Their joyful but straightforward presentation, smooth and classy Rock style, and frontman Josh Caterer’s great, medium-high-range voice perfectly update the Christmas favorites they cover; and they also throw in some interesting variety, such as a very layered, builds-in-steps “Do You Hear What I Hear?”, an Acappella “O Come All Ye Faithful”, and a dynamic Rock instrumental of “Joy To The World”.
August Burns Red’s …Sleddin’ Hill contains a host of almost entirely instrumental Rock, Heavy Punk, Hard Rock, and Metal tracks, which range in tone from serious to epic to just plain fun (and are excellent throughout).
Our Hearts Hero’s Love Is Breathing features tracks that range from Pop/Rock to Rock, including the catchy 3-song combo “Bells”, some very unique takes on “We Three Kings” and “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, a great bouncy version of “Little Town Of Bethlehem”, and more.
House Of Heroes’ …Christmas Classics EP is short but sweet. It features three tracks: First, a thoroughly enjoyable bouncy rock version of “All I Want For Christmas Is You”; next, a very memorable, full-sounding acoustic rendition of “Silent Night” with amazing vocal layers and harmonies that pull you in; and finally “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel”, which musically builds in staggered steps up through rock to a triumphant finish.
This single actually contains two songs (hence its placement in the EP section of our list )— “It Came Upon The Midnight Clear” and “Christmastime Is Here.” Both are dark Hard Rock tracks, and both are fantastic.
While they do take a serious tone on a song or two, Hawk Nelson’s Christmas EP mostly consists of bouncy and fun Pop/Punk/Rock covers of such tracks as “The Wassail Song”, “Up On The Housetop”, “Joy To The World” (indeed, this one is quite frankly hilarious!), and more.
While Seabird’s Over The Hills And Everywhere… is at some times not quite as Rocking as others , it easily makes up for those times with its originality. All of the songs feature very unique melodies (both musically and vocally), which make them feel like almost entirely new tracks. From the rhythmic, memorable “Go Tell It On The Mountain” to the dynamic “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” to the emotive “O Come, O Come Emmanuel”, it’s yet another great addition to your Christmas collection.
Wolves At The Gate’s “The King” is a Christmas track unlike any other. Fantastically heavy (showcasing the band’s excellent, dynamic Screamo/Rock style) and epically passionate in both its lyrics and its vocals, this track gave us goosebumps, and is— in complete honesty— one of the best original Christmas tracks we’ve yet heard!
Featuring Owl City’s trademark Electronic Folk Pop/Rock music style and cleverly whimsical lyrics, “Peppermint Winter” is a sweet little Christmas track that makes you smile (and perhaps even laugh out loud at one line ).
This epic Metal cover begins traditionally enough with piano and a chorus of voices (though in an unusual, darker musical key), but builds in steps from there, first to those same voices over a bed of excellent, heavy Melodic-style guitars and then to full-on dramatic Metal!
Finally, for those who love Hip-Hop and Rap, there’s Christmas music for you, too! The Cross Movement & Friends’ Gift Rap compilation contains 11 original Hip-Hop, Rap, and Urban Christmas tracks from artists such as Ambassador, The Cross Movement, Da T.R.U.T.H., FLAME, J.R., M.O.D., Phanatik, T.R.U.-L.I.F.E., and more.
So, there you have it— ListenUpReviews.com’s Rockin’ Christmas Picks! We hope you enjoy them… and have a safe, Blessed and Merry Christmas!