Starting in early November, that’s when we all begin to “hear” the first hints of the upcoming holiday season. You start hearing the familiar Christmas tunes everywhere you go right after Halloween. Since Christmas music is so infectious, most of us want to sing along too. It’s not hard to belt out that first line, but before you know it you’re humming along because (if you’re like most people) you don’t know the rest of the words. Well, there’s a new iPhone and iPad Music app called Christmas Karaoke: Christmas Carols & Christmas Songs (by italiamultimedia). This Christmas karaoke app offers 16 Christmas-themed songs, Karaoke-style sing-along videos with highlighted lyrics, background choir singers, and some tidbits of information for each song.
This simple and intuitive Christmas karaoke app features 16 Christmas song choices, with a slight variation in sound. The overall musical style throughout is choir singing: traditional carolers, adult choirs, children’s choir, and a few contemporary pieces sprinkled in — but even these have a choir in the mix. To me, it’s just not Christmas without a choir singing and is one of the things that I like about this Christmas karaoke app. You’ll find many classic songs like: “Jingle Bells,” “We Wish You a Merry Christmas,” “Hark The Herald Angels Sing,” and “Silent Night,” among others. But not all songs in this iPhone and iPad Music app were exactly what I expected. I was surprised to find the familiar 1967 gospel song arrangement “Oh Happy Day,” which was a pleasant surprise, but a little odd. Christmas wouldn’t be complete without those contemporary goodwill songs too, like: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” (by Band Aid), the 1984 hit to raise awareness about the famine in Ethiopia, and John Lennon’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” song.
Christmas Karaoke provides the familiar highlighted lyrics (words) to help you keep proper pace. It’s helpful to have the white words gradually fill in with red color as you sing each word. And each word doesn’t fill in completely until even the longest note is complete, so as long as you’re watching you’ll keep perfect timing. Another nice feature is the “beat dots.” These small dots fill in one at a time indicating the proper time to start singing or to take a break and rest in between — unless you’re looking for your own solo spotlight? Even if you don’t feel like singing, you can just listen to the short music videos and/or watch the lyrics and finally learn the words to the songs you don’t know. There’s always that Christmas song you don’t know all the words to, such as “Good King Wenceslas,” which I know by melody, but couldn’t sing the words to that song to save my life.
Being a bit of an information geek, I appreciated that the developers included some background history for each of these Christmas karaoke songs (song origin, composer, first performance, etc.). Although the information is not all that riveting, the facts are informative. On the downside (for me), some of the songs performed by well-known artists are stripped out of the voice recording, which is the lead part, but this is a karaoke app after all, so here’s your chance to take the lead. You won’t hear John Lennon, nor will you hear Bing Crosby belt out “White Christmas,” but they are nice renditions for you to shine in. Overall, I really enjoyed Christmas Karaoke: Christmas Carols & Christmas Songs. I think this iPhone and iPad Music app is a pretty clever idea, is portable, pleasant to listen to, and fun to try out with family and friends, but the best thing is I can now sing along to all those Christmas songs I didn’t know the words to before — and I don’t have to hum the words anymore — unless I want to.
Download Christmas Karaoke: Christmas Carols & Christmas Songs App Now Available