Since winning American Idol in 2002 Kelly Clarkson has enjoyed a remarkably successful career. Her first five studio albums have notched up 10 RIAA certified platinum discs, while two of those have topped the US charts and three have hit the charts at number two.
Now, with her first Christmas album, Kelly shows how she has the voice, the confidence and the interpretive skills to cover a range of styles from the bluesy jazz sound of "Please Come Home For Christmas" to the rocking, country inflected sound of "Run Run Rudolph" and the pure pop of "Winter Dreams".
"Underneath The Tree" is replete with the sound of a Phil Spector production and "Blue Christmas", with a lovely piano led arrangement, is a perfect reflection upon loneliness but never sounding maudlin as so many versions have done. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" with a gorgeous piano and trumpet arrangement and a wonderful performance by Kelly is one of the finest versions of this Christmas favourite that I've heard.
She is as capable of gently delivering slow and wistful songs like "White Christmas" and "Just For Now" as she is belting out the big numbers simply because she has established herself as one of the most versatile performers around. There is a delightful version of "Silent Night". with country divas Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood, where the range and quality of Kelly's voice and the vocal arrangements are pure heaven.
From the joy filled opening track "Wrapped In Red" to the closing song ""Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" this is a collection where the individual parts of voice, arrangements, musicians and songs have come together to create the perfect Christmas album. It does not disappoint.