With the fresh new ‘Snow Queen Edition’ now at retail around the country, David slides under the mistletoe for a Kylie ‘Christmas’ album review!
Now I am a big fan of Christmas, but when it comes to Christmas music, there is really only one album you need to know about; ‘Merry Christmas’ by Mariah Carey. It’s just not Christmas without Mariah.
Many other artists have attempted Christmas albums and failed (Ashanti anyone?) but there are other great examples to call on.
Michael Bublé and Josh Groban come to mind, but our girl Kylie forayed into this genre last year with pretty good success.
For 2016, she’s repackaged ‘Kylie Christmas’ into a Snow Queen Edition with six new songs and some cute new artwork.
So is it worth upgrading?
This diehard Kylie fan says ‘yes’! But the music reviewer in me also says ‘yes’.
Kylie’s approach reminds me of ‘The Abbey Road Sessions’, using mostly live instruments, little to no auto tune and showcasing her vocal chops. It’s a bit nostalgic and a bit modern all at the same time.
At 22 songs, it’s a good length to put on and listen while preparing for Christmas lunch or opening presents. The other thing it’s very good at doing is not putting you to sleep. The tracks carry you forward so you don’t get caught in a turkey coma and wake up three days later. i.e. it gets you in the festive mood.
The original track listing had some beautiful gems in it like ‘Only You’ with James Corden, ‘White December’ and (of course) disco Christmas banger for us Australians ‘100 Degrees’ with sister Dannii. These are still enjoyable a year later and still feel fresh.
From the six new tracks on offer, most are a welcome addition.
Kylie’s cover of ‘Stay Another Day’ (not traditionally Christmas fare but given a nice holiday touch) has been turned into a lush Christmas ballad which gave me goosebumps. It’s the strings in the latter half of the song that did it for me.
I seriously need an extended orchestral version because of how well arranged it is. Producer Steve Anderson has worked his magic again.
New lead single ‘At Christmas’ is also a nice addition to the album, with a piano riff that reminds me a lot of her track “2 Hearts,” which is a nice tie in. Again it does a good job to keep the mood jovial and not a complete snooze fest.
Something I can’t fault here is the production. Everything feels lush and shows that no expense was spared in getting musicians in the studio.
This quality of production is what saves some of the more overused Christmas tracks from fading into obscurity. The best tracks here for the most part are the original ones, but it’s good to see some familiar faves.
If you’d like to add another quality Christmas album to your festive collection, I’d suggest this one.
Kylie has done a fabulous job to get you in the spirit, whether it’s a cold or hot holiday ahead.
VERDICT : 4/5.
MUST LISTEN : 100 Degrees, Stay Another Day, At Christmas.