Stuart Varney says all we want is nostalgic music, largely for Sinatra. He might be wrong.
Friday, Fox News business analyst Stuart Varney asked if Christmas music is dead, considering that Christmas albums are selling in the hundreds of thousands, "not the millions like they used to."
Where to start? Should we point out that few albums sell millions anymore? By Varney's barometer, Christmas albums aren't dead; all of them are. As he harkens back to the days of yore, how far back is he going? A mere two years ago, Michael Bublé's Christmas was one of the year's top-selling albums, selling more than two million copies. This year, Kelly Clarkson's Wrapped in Red is number four on the charts and has so far sold approximately a half-million albums. Not millions, but it's hard to argue that a top 10 album is a harbinger of the death of genre.
Varney asks songwriter Sean "The Pen" Garrett, "Why doesn't new Christmas music sell?" and gets the answer: "That's a good question." Here's the scintillating conversation.
Varney's premise is that all people want from Christmas is musical memories. Nostalgia is unquestionably part of the appeal of Christmas music, but that doesn't mean we're all inexorably zeroed in on the Christmas music of our youth. Here are some worthy alternatives - some old, some new, but none is overly familiar unless you have very hip Christmases.
Jared Boxx put together "Soul Santa," a great R&B mixtape that was first distributed in 2008 as a Daptone Records podcast.
Here's another good R&B Christmas mix, "Santa Claus is a Soulman."
Last year, a number of New Orleans bounce artists put together A Bounce Christmas.
"Dubstep Top 10" created "A Dubstep Christmas" mix on YouTube last year. (For more EDM holiday music, check the A Very Decent Christmas with artists on Diplo's Mad Decent label.
Also at YouTube, RastaClaus85 has assembled a massive library of digitized reggae, dub, and dancehall Christmas songs.
These tracks aren't new, but they're new to most people.