Out of the Cookie Jar — EXTRA
One of the best Christmas traditions has become an annual release of the newest “Christmas Queens” holiday collection, complete with re imagined and original holiday anthems from some of our favorite RuPaul’s Drag Race queens. This year’s collection, true to form, has a little bit for everyone.
Season One winner, Cameroon stunner Bebe Zahara Benet kicks off her own version of “Little Drummer Boy” with a fantastic twist, where Benet brings ‘the holiday to the ball.” Fan favorite Alaska Thunderfuck checks in with a slinky “Santa Baby” that is right up her alley (chimney?) and Jujubee checks in with a vocally fantastic and fun “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”! Season Ten sisters Eureka O’Hara serves up an electrified version of the cheeky classic “Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer” and the sultry Kameron Michael’s displays her vocal prowess on “Let It Snow,” making us anticipate her upcoming solo release that much more. Another stand out is definitely Blair St. Clair’s “Last Christmas,” the perfect dance-ified footnote to St. Clair’s already strong debut album “Call My Life.”
The crown jewel of this holiday package though, is definitely Ginger Minj’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” The pureness and the beauty in the track is only matched with Minj’s smooth and soothing vocals, ushering in the fiercest holiday we have had yet.
While not technically a “holiday themed” album, Michael Buble’s aptly titled Love is the perfect treat to find under your tree. Back in the finest form yet, Buble is back doing what he does best; recording some of the most luscious standards and classics and putting his signature stamp on them. Buble’s dreamy and smooth vocals are sublimely perfect for tracks like “When I Fall In Love” and gorgeously dark and almost Bond-esque version of “My Funny Valentine,” which are both standouts. As always, Buble has some friends join in on the fun for some stellar duets, with Ceclie McLorin Savant joining on his version of the Piaf classic “La Vie En Rose.” And Loren Allred joins on the country tinged “Help Me Make It Through The Night.” As always though, on almost every Buble album he delivers an emotional punch on one particular track, and on “Forever Now” it’s definitely the title track. The words can be applied without doubt to his children. With a year behind him that has dealt he and his family significant challenges, Love serves as the most lush and gorgeous new chapter in Buble’s career.
Diana Ross’ appearance with the entire Ross clan at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was one of the most eagerly anticipated appearances during the entire parade. And her holiday album Wonderful Christmas Time has been equally as anticipated by her fans worldwide. Right from the beginning, this package is both quintessential and vintage Miss Ross. “Wonderful Christmastime” is the lush and breathy vocals we love from Ross, while “Winter Wonderland” is the peaceful and pure kind of vocals we could stand to listen to throughout the whole season. “What The World Needs Now” is a great redo of a classic by Jackie DeShannon with a simple Ross spin put on it. And her cover of the Lennon/Ono classic ‘Happy Christmas (War Is Over)” puts a soaring and completely different take on this classic, yet keeping some of it’s best elements. The best parts of the whole package are not necessarily holiday anthems. Hearing Ross’ take on the gospel classic “His Eye Is On the Sparrow” shows off why she is a musical legend. And her version of “Ave Maria” is truly a Ross you have never heard, but we never knew we needed.
It’s gotten to the point that if we don’t have some new RuPaul Christmas bops every season, it just isn’t the holidays as it should be. This year, Mama Ru blessed us with a full album, Christmas Party and it is exactly that. This year, Ru gives us the dance anthems we need and the holiday frivolity we crave from her. “Get To You (For Christmas)” and the pulsing “Hey Sis It’s Christmas” both feature the spectacular Markaholic, while the title track “Chrismas Party” is the kind of ear worm that drags you to the holiday dance floor whether you plan on it or not. An added treat this year was that Christmas Party served as the soundtrack to RuPaul’s Holi-Slay Spectacular featuring some of the most amazing queens of the past seasons of RuPaul’s Drag Race in full holiday regalia. And they were stomping the runway and lip syncing holiday themed Ru tracks! As the latest season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 4 kicks off and the strains of “Super Queen” are heard as the ladies hit the runway weekly, we are able to enjoy this Christmas Party straight on through 2019. Now how is that for holiday fierceness?