5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
Tied for the BEST Holiday Album...EVER, 8 Dec 2013
Kim Wilde released her first ever holiday CD with stellar results. One of the reasons this is one of the best holiday albums ever is simple. Kim doesn't force religion or Christmas in the theme of the CD. Her subtleties in the subject satisfy both the die-hard holiday music fans as well as those who normally don't enjoy holiday CD releases. Another excellent factor is that only half of the songs are remakes. Kim recorded 6 fresh, new songs. 4 are well-known classics. The final 2 are remakes however they are not well-known so still fresh for most.
First track - Winter Wonderland (Duet with Rick Astley)
Astley joins Kim on this classic track. Although it's a very good track, it's not one of the strongest so I feel it shouldn't be the lead track. She takes a classic approach in the arrangement which works for this particular track and the blend of their voices. They both sound beautiful and are still in their prime which helps them rise above the arrangement. Astley's whistle in the middle is a nice touch. This track - 4 stars.
Second track - Hope
This is an original track co-written by Kim. This is my favorite track on the album. Lyrically, vocally, musically it is pure heaven. It flows like beautiful music should and climaxes beautifully at the end. Anyone depressed around the holidays as many are should really listen to this track and take it all in. There is a simple but beautiful video for this track as well. This is one of those rare holiday songs that I could listen to every day of the year. I'd give it more stars if possible but for this track - 5 stars
Third track - One
This is also a new track written by Kim. It's simple arrangement and pure vocals make it also one of the albums best. This also has a promo video. Another track as well were the music, vocals, and lyrics all mesh with simple purity and beauty. Probably my third or fourth favorite on the CD. Also another rare occasion that this song fits in all year long not only during the holidays.
Fourth track - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Here is the second of four classics on the CD. This is one of only two songs with Christmas in the title reassuring the fact that this CD is appealing to everyone not just either the holiday CD lovers or haters. This is probably my least favorite track. Not that I dislike it at all however it is the most overdone song on the CD so I wish she chose a song not so popular. She puts in a lovely rendition however and keeps the arrangement simple yet modern with the guitar riffs. This track - 4 stars.
Fifth track - Winter Song
This is the first remake of the two non popular holiday songs. It was originally performed by Sara Barelles and I. Michaelson. I love her vocals on this and the haunting arrangement. I loved that she covered this little known song to give it more life. It fits perfectly on this CD and just shines in its simplicity. This track - 5 stars.
Sixth track - New Life
This is another original track co-written by Kim. This is my second favorite track on the CD very close to Hope. The fluidity of this track is pure joy. Again lyrically, musically, and vocally this track is perfection. Also this is another crucial track that is enjoyable any part of the year. Easily this track - 5 stars.
Seventh track - White Winter Hymnal (featuring Marty Wilde)
This is the other remake of a little known track. Marty Wilde joins Kim on this one. This track is one of those tracks your first listen to and say "OK that's different but not sure how I feel". Then maybe 3 listens later you say "I really love this song. It's so catchy it's addictive." So now it's one of my favorites from the CD but first I felt it was one of the worst. I don't know if you'll feel the same way but that's what I say about it - simply catchy and addictive. This track - 5 stars.
Eighth track - Burn Gold (Silent Night) (featuring Hal Fowler)
Mr. Kim Wilde Hal Fowler joins her on this original track written by the couple. Another stunning track that blends excellent vocals, lovely lyrics, and a terrific arrangement to result in another favorite. The first 2/3 is Burn Gold and the last 1/3 they end with the classic Silent Night. Silent Night has always been one of my least favorite holiday songs. Only Olivia Newton-John could do justice to that song until now. This track is so soothing and pure beauty. Close your eyes and enjoy! This is my other 3rd or 4th favorite from the album. This track - 5 stars.
Ninth track - Song for Beryl
Another original co-written by Kim. Another pretty song with very personal lyrics. Kim lays it all out in this tender, vulnerable track. The result is another simple winner that transcends past just the holiday season. Lay back and take it in. This track - 5 stars.
Tenth track - Let it Snow
Here is the third of four classics covered. This is a great pick that hasn't been overdone nor is it so holiday focused. Heck it can snow in June in Denver. Anyway this has a promo video as well. With a fun arrangement and excellent vocals, it helps lighten things up for the rest of the CD full of fun, upbeat tunes. This track - 4 stars.
Eleventh track - Hey Mister Snowman
An original written by Kim. This is the fun, carefree Kim. It reminds me of the younger Kim. It helps getting to the final track keeping things upbeat and happy. Playful lyrics and vocally she's having a ball. This track - 5 stars.
Twelfth track - Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree (Duet with Nik Kershaw)
British singer Nik Kershaw joins Kim on this classic. Again this is a great pick that hasn't been remade too often. Kim had a huge hit with this song in the 80's when she recorded it with Mel Smith. He recently died and they dedicated the video to him. In the video they poke fun at Kim's drunken escapades on a train singing this song sometime before. On this version it's got a danceable arrangement and stellar vocals. Nik is actually another favorite of mine and I've wanted them to duet since the eighties and they have done twice now. The first was Love Conquers All on her Come Out and Play CD. This is a perfect ending to a nearly perfect CD. This track - 5 stars.
I highly recommend this holiday CD. I will continue to listen past Christmas to most of the tracks, especially the original tracks. This was released independently on Wildeflower Records. If you like Kim, holiday music, or just plain good music, order yours today!