UW-ChristmasIt’s a yearly tradition to listen to Mariah Carey’s divine voice belt out the lyrics to the most popular Christmas song, “All I Want for Christmas is You”. But after 20 years of this seasonal staple, UrbanWire feels that it’s time for a change in tempo to ring in the most wonderful time of the year.

Here are 8 records from artistes from the swinging standards age to modern pop era that would be the perfect additions to your Christmas playlists. Play it, and Santa baby will be hurrying down your chimney tonight.


  1. Winter Wonderland by Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett

2 superstars from 2 very different generations came together at Rockefeller’s Christmas Tree Lighting to serenade the crowd with their jazzy rendition of the 80-year-old classic. While promoting their latest album Cheek to Cheek and scoring a H&M ad campaign, Gaga and Bennett turned the legendary pop standard into a cozy, fireplace-worthy tune best enjoyed with a glass of whisky on the rocks or cinnamon coffee. Gaga’s octave range perfectly allows her to hit the highs and lows of this classic, while Bennett’s deep croon finishes off with a dreamy vision of walking in – where else – a winter wonderland.


  1. Santa Tell Me by Ariana Grande

One of the rising stars of 2014, this pint-sized bombshell is leaving her mark all over the music industry, including collaborations with artistes like Jessie J and Nicki Minaj, and now this addictive tune that potentially rivals Carey’s aforementioned Christmas hit. Grande’s most famous nickname is ‘Mini Mariah’, after all. “Santa Tell Me” has both the hints of a young lady moving on from her Victorious days, as well as the little girl whom she hasn’t really let go of. The chorus of voices towards the end is undoubtedly the best part of the song, making you want to move to the groove and sing along. Don’t worry Ariana, even if Santa’s not here next year, we’re sure your song will be.


  1. All Is Well by Michael W. Smith, feat Carrie Underwood

Another oldie-but-a-goodie, this version takes us into the territory of country music with the addition of Underwood’s big-range vocals. This gospel tune tells the tale of the birth of Jesus sung by both singers with carollers. If you thought the studio version was great, check out the live performance the duo gave at the Country Music Awards Christmas special, and don’t hold back those tears.

The things we’d do to have the angelic voice of Underwood and the sweet harmonization of Smith be at our front gates…


  1. All I Want for Christmas is You by Fifth Harmony

This female quintet still has a long way to go before reaching the star appeal of the multitudes who’ve covered this song, but this rendition proves that they’ve just what it takes. It’s very refreshing to hear 5 distinct voices perform a textbook rendition of this holiday classic. Normani Hamilton’s stunning quavering runs set the stage for the rest to chime in with their own vocals in this contemporary cover. The accompanying music video. though, was pretty literal. Seriously, they made a list to be sent to the North Pole for Saint Nick, only to tear it up while singing. Now all we want for Christmas is for these 5 zealous girls to charm us with every Christmas hit this season.


  1. I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor

It’s not just all about the bass for this multi-hyphenate talent. “I’ll Be Home” is a ballad that hits all the right notes on the family traditions that revolve around Christmas, resonating with those who aren’t with their loved ones in the days leading to the 25th. Trainor’s promise to a loved one is something that we all hope to be able to receive someday, because the words “I’ll be home” is infinitely more meaningful than the other three words we’re so used to hearing. It’s not Christmas if you can’t stand under the mistletoe with your other half.


  1. Baby, It’s Cold Outside by Seth MacFarlane, feat Sara Bareilles

One of the most notable duets in musical history (this song is 70 years old!), MacFarlane’s “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” brings us back to the swinging era of showbiz, with its blaring trumpets and heavy percussions..

If you were wondering why MacFarlane’s voice is so familiar, it’s because he also voices 3 of Family Guy’s main characters – Peter, Stewie and Brian – and sings on the show as well.


  1. Text Me Merry Christmas by Straight No Chaser, feat Kristen Bell

We’re in the digital age where we text our season’s greetings instead of saying it in person like we should, but we aren’t blaming anyone here. Cheekily addressing one of the most prominent social problems that people might face around Christmas, “Text Me Merry Christmas” mixes in some of the lingo we’re so accustomed to (LOL). Innuendos are also abound in this very chirpy number, where Michael of SNC won’t tell if you text him something naughty, and Bell can’t wait for her pants to vibrate – because of a notification, duh.


  1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas by Sam Smith

Rounding up our list is one of the finest breakout artistes of 2014, Sam Smith. The Brit has taken the world by storm with his chilling vocals that gives our yuletide goosebumps and a case of good-willed envy. Touted as the male Adele, we can’t help but agree as “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” focuses only on Smith’s performance with a piano accompaniment. It’s ironic how this song implores us to be merry, yet Smith’s rendition is so full of emotion that it had us reaching for the Kleenex. This tune is really the star upon the highest bough.


Take a listen to our Spotify playlist of these 8 tracks!

A Very UrbanWire Christmas