It’s that time of year again: Christmas decorations out the day after Halloween, holiday music playing on speakers in Walmart, and Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” streaming everywhere. When thinking about Christmas music, Elvis Presley, Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby and Mariah Carey all come to mind. While these gems of music are fantastic, one album stands out from the rest: Bob Dylan’s “Christmas In the Heart.”
Released in 2009, Dylan’s Christmas album is not very well known unless you’re a Dylan fan. Critics have been quick to call the album “weird, but fun,” pointing out Dylan’s gravelly voice not being suited for Christmas. Despite the vocal sounds, the album is a blast. For example, “Must Be Santa” is action packed, with a faster tempo, accordions and a big-band feel that can’t be felt in other recordings. Dylan’s gravelly voice gives songs like “Silver Bells” and “I’ll be Home for Christmas” a unique edge to them, something that isn’t common with typical holiday songs. He’s no Frank Sinatra or Mariah Carey, but his voice gives the songs a much-needed charm.
Uniqueness makes “Christmas In the Heart” an underrated holiday album, not only from a musical standpoint but from a humanitarian standpoint. Dylan made sure that all of the profits that the album generated went to homelessness food programs, like The World Food Programme. Not many artists do this; many are looking for a quick cash grab. Dylan, with more than 30recorded albums under his belt, doesn’t necessarily need the money.
If you’re looking for something underrated to listen to this holiday season, pick up “Christmas In the Heart.” The album is slam-packed with classic holiday tunes that are fun, upbeat, and enjoyable to listen to. It’s also not overplayed, unlike some artists. Plus, the proceeds go toward a good cause.