Despite my take that Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” is the worst Christmas song of all time, I actually really enjoy holiday music. Of course, there are the classic carols that we were all forced to sing as young children at our school’s annual Christmas Concert (sidenote: do they even still have those? If so, is it called a Holiday Concert to be politically correct?), but if I’m being fully transparent, my true favorites are pop-star Christmas albums. Listen to OG diva Christina Aguilera belt out the standards My Kind of Christmas or Beyoncé Destiny’s Child tackle “Opera of the Bells” on 8 Days of Christmas. And of course, there’s this holiday classic from my fav girl, Hilary Duff:
But let’s be honest…the true holiday gifts come to us courtesy of the boy bands. Now these aren’t from the boy bands of Christmas present (The Jonas Brothers or One Direction never even made a Christmas album); instead, they come to us from boy bands past…even if some of them are still oddly putting out holiday music.
9. 98 Degrees, Let It Snow (2017)
Was there a big hankering for 98 Degrees to come out with a new holiday album? Their original 1997 effort (more on that later) was more than enough of the Lachey brothers and those two other dudes singing Christmas tunes for me, but who I am to judge? I don’t know that being on Dancing with the Stars pays that well, so the guys probably needed to cash that comes with producing holiday collection of standards (“Let It Snow,” “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) and originals (“Seasons of Love.”)
8. Hanson, Finally It’s Christmas (2017)
Oh come on, Hanson, you’re better than this. You’re better than 98 Degrees. You left the spotlight and did some cool shit (Mmmhops beer, anyone?), and this is how you come back? With a second holiday album that’s nowhere near as good as your original one? Although, I must admit low-budget You-Tube video you dropped to preview the album is amazing in its absolute lack of frills. Is that your basement?
7. B2K, Santa Hooked Me Up (2003)
My main beef with this entry is the name of the record. Santa hooked you up? Why do you have tarnish Santa’s good name like that? And before you tell me I’m reading too much into the title here, let’s note that included along with “Santa Baby” and “Jingle Bells” is a song called “Sexy Boy Christmas.” Case closed.
6. New Edition, Christmas All Over the World (1985)
One of the original boy bands kicked off the boy band Christmas album trend way back in ’85. Of course, there were only six songs, so I’m not sure we can call it a whole album, but I’ll count it out of respect for the starters of the trend. Fun fact: this was the last album Bobby Brown appeared on before he left the group to pursue his solo career…which I guess was his prerogative. (Get it? His Prerogative since his only good song ever was “My Prerogative?”)
5. 98 Degrees, This Christmas (1999)
Much respect must be given to anyone that’s willing to try and belt out “Ave Maria,” so props to the guys on that. Of course that respect was killed by them coming out with a second Christmas album this year, but it was a good 18-year run. I also hate to admit how much I enjoyed the original song “The Gift,” but we all have our secret shames, don’t we?
4. Hanson, Snowed In (1997)
The bestselling holiday album of 1997, this is actually a really good collection of Christmas standards like “Merry Christmas Baby,” “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree,” and “White Christmas,” with a few original arrangements by the shaggy haired brothers.
3. *NSYNC, Home For Christmas (1998)
While Mimi may hold Christmas pop music crown that with trash song mentioned above, Justin Timberlake and friends are the rightful honorees with the preeminent jam from this album, “Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays,” and I will fight anyone that disagrees.
2. Boyz II Men, Christmas Interpretations (1993)
If we are talking about sheer vocal talent, Boyz II Men is far superior to any of the other groups on this list, which means that their take on Christmas classic “Silent Night” is simply much better than anyone else’s. Interestingly, the rest of this album is original songs written by the band members, and to be honest, they aren’t half-bad.
1. New Kids on the Block, Merry, Merry Christmas (1989)
New Edition may have started the trend, but NKOTB took it across the finish line with this 1989 entry, which like most records on this list, is a mix of originals and standards. If you don’t absolutely rock out to “”Funky, Funky Xmas” and tear up a little bit at “This One’s For The Children,” you’re dead inside.
And now for my Christmas gift to all of you: a Spotify playlist of all of the best boy band holiday jams.
Merry Christmas, you heathens. .
Image via YouTube