It took 16 years for Mariah to make her 2nd festive album, perhaps a surprise given how much she seems to like Christmas, and how huge the first album was! But how would it measure up?
I’ve made a Christmas playlist of all sort of seasonal treats, but it just feels too early still… it’s less than 3 weeks away though, I haven’t even done any shopping yet! I’m being pressganged into the winter mentality by enduring the first of the snow today. Only a little bit hazardous though as it was only a thin layer, but it’s still there. I’m not looking forward to going out in it tomorrow when it’s semi-thawed and re-frozen though!
09 Santa Claus is comin to town / Oh Santa – A lovely intro again, I do love “Santa Claus is coming…”, and into … !?! Well she’s at least trying to make lightning strike twice with a fun original song. It doesn’t really come close to THE song, but it’s still a lot of fun. I think it falls down because it’s quite difficult to sing along to, the tempo is a little too frantic. Still, it topped the Billboard Holiday Digital Songs chart, and there is NO GREATER ACCOLADE.
06 O little town of Bethlehem / Little drummer boy – Another MASHUP, and while I could never take Little Drummer Boy too seriously, this seems like a decent match-up. The first verse of O Little Town doesn’t really merge particularly well, it’s more like switching the station between songs, but before you know it, the BA RUM PA PUM PUMs are mixing in nicely. It’s a bit of a mess but it’s alright. I THINK I NEED A BETTER DRUMMAAAAAAHHHH
07 Christmas Time is in the air again – Another newie, and while I’m sure many people like this rather sedate Sinatra-esque schmaltz fests, I’m on the fence a bit. I have to be in the right mood for it, though sadly I’m not quite in that mood yet. Pleasant though, if a little dated.
06 The First Noel / Born is the king – I do like this as a song, but this isn’t having a lot of impact on me really. It’s ALRIGHT but I’m struggling to find anything to say about it. Never mind, eh? At least it’s better than the comatose interlude straight after, which sounds like it could just be off any generic SLOW JAMZ CUT.
06 When Christmas comes – I have to admit I’m zoning out a bit here, I need some more uptempo numbers already. Oh Santa was a great start, but everything after this has been quite safe and unadventurous. I think we are veering into Vonda Shepard territory once again.
08 Here comes Santa Claus / Housetop Celebration – Ha! This is more like it, a bit of a modern twist on a relatively modern track. I’m not sure if Santa is getting up to any “mixing and blitzing” (?) but it sounds like he’s making a decent go of it. Threatens to stray into rent-a-rapper territory but that doesn’t encroach too much on a fun little track. Oh maybe she’s singing about Vixen and Blitzen… oops.
08 Charlie Brown Christmas – WTF? I do have this weird warm feeling about the Peanuts gang and that Christmas special that I vaguely remember but haven’t seen for about 20 years (I’m so old…). The song itself is a bit drippy and doesn’t fit the intro much at all. But her voice is really gorgeous, so it gets a thumbs up from me. I would give this a 7.5 but IT’S CHRISTMAS.
07 Oh come all ye faithful / Hallelujah – Back to the grind though, a rather overly acrobatic and overbaked version of another classic. Sorry guys, not really doing a lot for me. It’s sentimental enough to make me feel a TWINGE of festivity, and that rather unexpected operatic moment does improve matters. I do like Mariah SCREECHING that poor diva down to size, how disrespectful! *whistle note*
10 O Holy Night (Live) – Now THIS is the shit right here. I already appreciated this on the other album but this live version really deserved inclusion. The audience clapping at rather straightforward notes evidently didn’t expect just HOW epic her vox were going to be. When was this made? I really hope she can still hit those heights these days. Anyway not much more to say, great song, fantastic performance.
07 One Child – Poor song, sandwiched between two EPICS. I’m not really getting into this one, it’s quite reminiscent of MJ now I think about it. It has a nice-ish climax towards the end but I’m not really feeling this.
10 All I want for Christmas is you (Extra Festive) – Well I can’t say they’ve done a LOT to this, but still, you can’t argue this this TITAN. The extra intro is lovely, but it’s just window dressing. The song, as I have said already is STILL AMAZING.
09 Auld Lang’s Syne (The New Year’s Anthem) – Oh!! … well it’s always nice to have a little forward planning, New Year is only a week away of course. I wasn’t quite expecting such a gaytastic cheesy dance version to come from the rather subdued intro. It’s a great version though, I love it. I think craptacular is the word though! Does anybody really know the words??
Well that’s that! While I wasn’t QUITE into some of the content, I think that’s more a personal taste thing than a judgement on Mariah’s handling of the material. Her ventures into original Christmas material are hit and miss, but when she hits it, MY GOD DOES SHE HIT IT.
Please just take a moment to enjoy the incredible production values on this video though!!