"We think it's all a bit vulgar, you know, cashing in on Christmas," Lowe says of the British. He says he took it as a challenge: Quality Street tackles old classics and adds originals to the mix.
Whether glossy and heartfelt (Clarkson's Wrapped in Red) or earnest and playful (Lowe's Quality Street: A Seasonal Selection for All the Family), these albums can help conjure a holiday mood in the month before Christmas.
In his new book, the guitarist, singer and songwriter shares stories from life growing up in a musical household and talks about collaborating and sharing the stage with the likes of Rosemary Clooney, Frank Sinatra and Paul McCartney.
Thorn has recorded a holiday album, Tinsel and Lights, that critic Ken Tucker says might just work for warmer weather, as well. Tucker praises Thorn's voice as "bolstered by a firm intelligence," and says she avoids the fatty treacle that often weighs down Christmas albums.
Songwriter Hugh Martin, who co-wrote the classic song "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" for Judy Garland's 1944 movie, Meet Me in St. Louis died on Friday. He was 96. Fresh Air remembers Martin with highlights from a 1989 interview.