Top positive review
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An absolutely wonderful Christmas album
on 1 February 2005
Few commercial Christmas albums really appeal to me - too many of them mangle the traditional classics I love, especially the hymns, with all sorts of fancy modern sounds that ring hollow to my ears, and, loving the traditional songs so much, few modern Christmas tunes manage to win me over. Ten years after its release, though, Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas CD remains a perennial Christmas favorite of mine. Mariah's vocal talent puts her head and shoulders above every female vocalist out there, and she injects true feeling and spirit into every song she sings. On this album, she combines the new with the old, making this a Christmas CD that almost everyone can love.
Like many, I was drawn to this CD after hearing the song All I Want For Christmas Is You; I believe it's the best secular Christmas song since Elvis' Blue Christmas. I had to buy the album for this one song alone, but I was also very anxious to hear what Mariah would do with traditional hymns such as Oh Holy Night - my pick for the greatest Christmas song ever written. Many a soprano shies away from truly hitting the high notes at the end of Oh Holy Night, and given Mariah's vocal range, I felt confident she would do the song justice. I was right, as this is one of the best versions of Oh Holy Night I've ever heard. Mariah's voice is equally angelic on Joy to the World, Hark the Herald Angels Sing, and a properly subdued Silent Night. Jesus Oh What A Wonderful Child is a song I was less familiar with, but it makes for a stunning conclusion to an album that does pay real heed to the reason for the season.
Besides All I Want For Christmas Is You, Mariah co-wrote two other songs on the album: Miss You Most (At Christmas Time) and Jesus Born on This Day. The latter is an especially beautiful song that expresses the true meaning of Christmas. She also throws in an exceedingly fun version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town (and, thankfully, I can now think of Mariah rather than Bruce Springsteen whenever I hear this song). The perfect complement to All I Want For Christmas Is You, though, is Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).
Put it all together and you have a true modern Christmas classic featuring a wonderful mix of religious and secular songs that radiate both the fun as well as the serious aspects of the Christmas season. Anyone who loves Christmas - and Christmas music in particular - really should make this CD an annual part of his/her holiday celebration.