Recently, Kelly Clarkson told Time magazine how much she liked her new Christmas album, Wrapped in Red. In fact, she says that it is her favorite album that she has ever made. 

“A Christmas album is fun because you don’t get labeled anything.” Clarkson says. “I have a hard time being cheesy, but you can be cheesy with Christmas music, so I felt I could be vulnerable.” 

Self-admittedly, she told that her new album is more upbeat than her usual fare. “That’s what was so awesome about writing Christmas stuff because really all my stuff is depressing or angry.”

America was first introduced to Clarkson in 2002 during the first season of “American Idol.” She was the show’s very first winner and is having one the most successful post-Idol careers of any contestant. Like Donny & Marie Osmond, sometimes she’s a little country and other times she’s a little rock n roll. 

“I never want to make just one sound. The worst thing to me is when all the songs on an album sound the same. If you have that choice, why wouldn’t you want to bring out all the different sides and colors of your personality?”

Clarkson has sold over 20 million albums world-wide, but Red is her first Christmas release. It is a mix of new songs and favorite classics, some with a country twang and some with a little more oomph. Despite her remarks about the album being upbeat, it does feature three sad songs back-to-back-to-back. The trio of songs begins with Charles Brown’s “Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells will be Ringing)” then the new “Every Christmas” followed by Elvis’ famous “Blue Christmas.” All three deal with missing loved ones during the Christmas season.

The rest of the album is more upbeat. Perhaps all this talk about loving relationships and missing others has something to do with her recent marriage to Brandon Blackstock. The album’s title song seems to reflect that with lyrics like:

Blue is where I’ve been
Green can’t run to you
Silver does remind me
That mistletoe’s for two

So I found a color
That only tells the truth
That paints a picture
Of how I feel for you

Red also features a fun rendition of “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with Ronnie Dunn. But Clarkson’s favorite song on the album is “Underneath the Tree,” better known by some as “The Christmas Song” or “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire.” 

“It’s a fun song,” said Clarkson. “You feel like you can go shopping and have hot cocoa and all that stuff.”

Some will be disappointed by the lack of religious carols on album. The standard album features only one, “Silent Night.” Target stores are offering an exclusive version of the album with one bonus song, another carol, “O Come, O Come Emanuel.”

Here is the complete list of songs on Wrapped in Red.

1. Wrapped in Red

2. Underneath the Tree

3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas

4. Run Run Rudolph

5. Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing)

6. Every Christmas

7. Blue Christmas

8. Baby It’s Cold Outside (with Ronnie Dunn)

9. Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)

10. White Christmas

11. My Favorite Things

12. 4 Carats

13. Just for Now

14. Silent Night

15. O Come, O Come Emanuel (Bonus track available at Target)

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