It is officially the holiday season! Neighborhoods have started putting up the lights whether they are extravagant or lazy, the mad dash for shopping and sales is well underway, and the Christmas music is taking over the radio. I think we all like a good Christmas tune every now and then and of course this means we get a slew of holiday albums from various celebrities. Sure, there are the classics like Merry Christmas by Mariah Carey or the great Very Special Christmas compilations, but there is a dark side to the season: awful Christmas albums. They’re either based on a stupid meme or it’s some artist desperately trying to make a comeback. There a bunch of these stinkers out there, but here are 20 of the worst and mind boggling Christmas albums.
- Christmas with You– Rick Springfield
I got nothing against Rick Springfield, I mean “Jesse’s Girl” is a decent song. But let’s face it having one massive hit under your belt doesn’t really mean you should start releasing Christmas albums. Who sees this in the store and says “Wow! A Rick Springfield Christmas album! I haven’t seen him in 20 years and he did a song I liked once. Hell yes I’ll get this!” Also, he sounds pretty awful. I listened to one song off the album and he sounded like his lungs were damaged by years of smoking. Nice try, Springfield.
- My Kind of Christmas– Christina Aguilera
I actually had this album so many years ago because I loved this girl and when I found out she did a Christmas album, I thought it was going to be beautiful with her amazing voice. Unfortunately, this was a very young Aguilera who didn’t have control of her voice and thought dragging out every note made her sound better. The album is nothing but wailing over Christmas classics. I listened to it once and then promptly got rid of it. Now that she’s older and knows how to control her voice I wish she would try again, but I guess she’s pretty happy with her first effort.
- Halford III: Winter Songs– Rob Halford
Yes, you read that right. The same Rob Halford of the leather loving metal band Judas Priest released a Christmas album in 2009. A metal artist doing Christmas tunes can go one of either two ways: it’ll be face melting amazingness or it will stink. This stinks. The songs aren’t really all that metal and aside from that Halford sounds awful, which is weird because he has one of the most unique voices in metal. This is just a prime example of why metal bands should not release holiday albums. I honestly expected better from him, but let’s just hope he won’t do this again.
- Glee: The Christmas Album
I really hate Glee. I hate how they take all these great songs and turn them into something…not awesome. Somehow they manage to do the same thing with Christmas songs. Granted, the singing is not all that terrible, but when you have someone else singing Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You” without the vocal range, everybody is unhappy. Also, there’s nothing different or unique about the album that makes it different from other compilations out there that have better singers and better Christmas songs. I’ll take a pass.
- Cee Lo’s Magic Moment– Cee Lo Green
At this point I don’t understand why Cee Lo exists. He captured the hearts of everyone with “Crazy” and with the Burno Mars penned “Fuck You,” but now he’s just become one big joke. He’s become nothing but someone who sits around in outlandish costumes while holding various animals trying to tell someone how they suck at singing. With this release I don’t know if he expects anyone to take him seriously anymore. Just look at the album cover! I’m surprised those aren’t unicorns pulling his car sleigh thing.
- Under the Mistletoe– Justin Bieber
I understand that it’s some unwritten rule in every teenage “heart throb’s” contract to make a Christmas album, but not only is Bieber terrible in general, he just can’t make the Christmas songs sound good. The title of the album should be “A Merry Autotuned Christmas.” And what is up with the trend of new artists ruining the Mariah Carey classic Christmas song? Just stop Bieber, please.
- Happy Holidays– Billy Idol
I love Billy Idol, but when I saw him posing awkwardly with the piano, I thought this was made up by someone for a photoshop contest. When I realized it was a legit album, I thought maybe it won’t be so bad. He’ll apply some of his bad boy, “Rebel Yell” attitude to the often boring Christmas songs. Boy, was I wrong. The biggest problem with the album is that Idol is not being his rockish self. Instead, he tries to channel Frank Sinatra and Elvis and failing at both. I don’t know what’s worse, hearing him sing his way through “Jingle Bell Rock” or watch the accompanying video that finds him winking and constantly pointing to something off camera. It’s like he had a snort of cocaine with that eggnog.
- The Best of Christmas– John Tesh
For some reason John Tesh has more Christmas albums than any human being on the planet should be allowed to record. I don’t know why someone would really want to make more than one, maybe two albums that people are only going to listen to once every year if you’re lucky. But as most people know, John Tesh was an anchor for Entertainment Tonight, who decided to make his musical hobby a permanent career. This is why Tesh is bad. Just because you used to report on who musicians were sleeping with or what Starbucks they went to doesn’t mean you suddenly have singing talent. Maybe this is where Paris Hilton got her inspiration for her singing career.
- The Gift of Rock- Smash Mouth
This is one band that we just can’t seem to get rid of. They really should be left in the craze of 90’s nostalgia for that one song that we all liked at one point in our lives. This is why I don’t understand why they felt the need to make this album. Is there really someone out there who was craving for a bland rendition of “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” from the unremarkable Smash Mouth? No amount of love for the 90’s can make this band relevant or good ever again, if they were even good to begin with.
- Christmas in tha Dogghouse– Snoop Dogg
There’s nothing wrong with non-traditional artists covering holiday tunes or even creating their own holiday classics. Run DMC successfully did it with “Christmas in Hollis,” but do we really need to hear songs about Christmas from Snoop Dogg/Lion and his crew? Just by looking at the album cover you expect there to be numerous references to weed, liquor, and being a pimp on Christmas. By taking one look at the track list you see that this is pretty much the case. Everyone knows that “My Lil Mama was Trippin’ on Christmas,” “Landy in my Eggnogg,” and “A Pimp’s Christmas Song” are holiday gems that should be heard by the entire family.
- Santa Hooked Me Up This Year- B2K
I don’t know if anyone remembers this boy band from the mid-2000’s, but just in case you need a refresher, they are responsible for the movie You Got Served. You’re welcome. Anyway, there was a time where I was in love with this band and of course I played this album through and through during the season. I like to think deep down inside I knew back then that this album was stupid. I mean, there’s actually a song called “Sexy Boy Christmas,” where they talk about freaking you on Christmas. And they just sound flat out goofy singing “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer.” There’s even a bastardized cover of “Santa Baby” by some artist they were trying to promote who sounded like a Smurf who inhaled too much helium. Unlike the Nsync album, this is not something I look back on fondly.
- Ho Ho Ho – RuPaul
I grew up with RuPaul and I still love her hit “Supermodel,” so I thought this was probably going to be a fun album. Unfortunately, it is one of the most painful things I’ve heard. RuPaul doesn’t hide the fact that she’s not an amazing singer, but she usually does enough to sound interesting. For some reason, she could not do that for these Christmas songs. And because it’s RuPaul a lot of the songs are filled to the brim with innuendos. One of the weirdest songs has to be “All I Want for Christmas.” Rather than wishing for two front teeth, the drag queen wants liposuction, breast implants, and a nose job. Not something to listen to while trimming the tree I would say.
- The Christmas Album- Regis Philbin
When I saw this my only question was why does this exist? Philbin is the last person I would expect to try their hand at singing. Granted, he sounds better than Lindsay Lohan, but that doesn’t mean he should actually go ahead and do it. And when you’re thinking of music to listen to while decorating the house or cooking the Christmas dinner, would you really want an album by a guy who used to shout “Is that your final answer?” I didn’t think so.
- This Christmas- John Travolta and Olivia Newton John
We were blessed with this piece of work this year by the duo that gave you Grease. I guess because their chemistry was so strong on that film, they decided to rekindle it some odd years later for a Christmas album that no one asked for. To get a better idea of why I exactly hated this album, I listened to one song. I swear I couldn’t tell the difference between John and Olivia singing; that’s how bad it is. Also, why is Travolta trying to sing anyway? If we don’t want to see him in movies anymore, we sure as hell don’t want to hear him berate us with Christmas songs.
- A Colt 45 Christmas– Afroman
If you are in college, still listen to “Because I Got High,” and think everything College Humor posts is hilarious, then this is the Christmas album for you. This is definitely something you don’t want to play while in the car with the family going to grandma’s house. Afroman takes traditional Christmas songs, but replaces the lyrics with references to sex, weed, and drinking. So it’s like the sequel to that Snoop Dogg Christmas album we talked about earlier. Also, I didn’t think people actually bothered to listen to Afroman after his one sort of hit song.
- The Night Before Christmas– David Hasselhoff
I know what you’re thinking and no, this wasn’t an exclusive to Germany. In 2004, the Hoff decided things were going so well for him on America’s Got Talent that people were ready for him and his singing once again. After listening to a few of the songs here, it makes me wonder if he was drunk while recording this and I’m not just saying that because he had a much publicized drinking problem. He actually sounds like he had too much of the happy juice and told someone to grab a microphone because he was going to rock around the Christmas tree.
- Crazy Hits: Christmas Edition– Crazy Frog
Remember how in the late 90’s and early 2000’s everyone was obsessed with any CG thing that moved and made aggravating sounds? That’s basically how we got Crazy Frog and even if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I assure you that you’ve heard its annoying song at least once before. Either way, someone decided people loved him so much that we wanted to hear him ting and bing his way through “Jingle Bells” and other Christmas songs. Yes, it’s as awful as you’re imagining it to be. It’s bad enough that he has more than one album on the market, but must he destroy Christmas?
- Christmas in the Stars– Stars Wars
This just proves that George Lucas has no shame or boundaries way before he did those prequel, sequel movies. Rather than having R2-D2 and C3PO singing “Jingle Bells,” which probably would’ve been better, this album is full of Christmas related stories and original songs involving Stars Wars characters. There is even a song called “What Can You Get a Wookiee for Christmas (When He Already Owns a Comb?)” This is something you get for someone else as a gag gift. No one wants this. I don’t even think the most die hard Stars Wars fan wants to be reminded of this monstrosity.
- Any album by the Jingle Cats
This is a series (that’s right, there’s more than one) of Christmas albums that have cats meowing along to various Christmas songs. And dog lovers can get in on the fun because they recently made an album in the same vain with dogs barking. This is LOLCATS taken way too far. Unless you’re a crazy cat lover, the world shouldn’t be aware of its existence. I don’t want to live on this planet anymore.
- Hung for the Holidays– William Hung
We are responsible for this atrocity getting out of hand in popularity and we should all be ashamed. There are no words to express how awful, wrong, and ear killing this is. You don’t even have to listen to it to know it’s going to make you want to kill yourself. And to think people actually paid $13.99 for this at one point. The cover is insultingly terrible enough to make you want to punch American Idol for introducing Hung to the world.
“Funky, Funky Christmas”- New Kids on the Block (or NKOTB if you’re cool)
This song is amazingly bad. I don’t even know if there are actual words to it besides “Have a funky, funky Christmas.” It’s so awful that it’s instantly hilarious. And it all gets better when the funky fresh boys performed the song on Arsenio Hall in 1990 complete with sweet dance moves and jackets with sparkles on them. I don’t know what’s worse about the performance: Joey McIntyre shaking his 14 year old butt for a bunch of old ladies or Jordan Knight pulling down his jacket to show off his prepubescent chest. Oh NKOTB, how you never stop entertaining us.
Are there any awful Christmas albums that I missed? Let me know in the comments and enjoy the holidays!