While I usually limit my holiday music listening to the day after Thanksgiving until New Year’s Day, this year I started a little early so I could check out two new holiday albums.

This Christmas by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

This Christmas by John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

This Christmas

The first album is This Christmas from John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John. The two have not released a song together since their “Grease” days. While the CD is mostly holiday standards where they’re joined by other celebrities, there’s also an original song, “I Think You Might Like It,” which was composed by John Farrar. He’s the same person who wrote, “You’re the One That I Want.”

The artists’ proceeds from the album will be donated to the Jett Travolta Foundation and the Olivia Newton-John Cancer and Wellness Centre in Melbourne, Australia.

Recommended for the Newton-John and Travolta fan. The music is fine, but it’s evident that Travolta is not a singer. The album was released 11/13/12.

This Christmas Track Listing:

Baby It’s Cold Outside;  Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree (featuring Kenny G); I’ll Be Home for Christmas (featuring Barbra Streisand); This Christmas (featuring Chick Corea); Silent Night; The Christmas Waltz; Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas (featuring Cliff Richard); Winter Wonderland (featuring Tony Bennett and The Count Basie Orchestra); White Christmas; I Think You Might Like It; The Christmas Song; Deck the Halls (featuring James Taylor); Auld Lang Syne/Christmas Time Is Here (Medley)

Cover of "James Taylor at Christmas"

James Taylor at Christmas

The second album, James Taylor at Christmas was hands down my favorite. This collection of 14 songs includes some fabulous jazzy renditions of some holiday standards. There’s also an original track, “O Christmas Tree” in French. Taylor is joined by cellist Yo-Yo Ma and he does a fabulously playful duet of “Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” with Natalie Cole.

Recommended for the baby boomer that enjoys the smooth styling of James Taylor. This CD is an eclectic mix of styles which thankfully doesn’t stray too far from the standards.

James Taylor at Christmas Track Listing

Winter Wonderland (Featuring Chris Botti); Go Tell It On The Mountain; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town; Jingle Bells; Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Featuring Natalie Cole); River; Here Comes The Sun (Featuring Yo-Yo Ma); Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas; Some Children See Him; Mon Beau Sapin; The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire) (Featuring Toots Thielmans); Who Comes This Night; In The Bleak Midwinter; Auld Lang Syne

This album was originally released in 2006.

I received access to a digital download to facilitate this holiday music review. All opinions are my own.