Top positive review
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Excellent Christmas album
on 25 November 2013
This is Susan's second Christmas album and maintains the standard of the first. It contains mostly songs that her fans will be familiar with, and which are always popular at Christmas time. I love those songs, but because I listen to a lot of Christmas music, I like to see at least something different. The last three tracks cater for that desire, being The Christmas waltz (an old song from the thirties or forties that is rarely recorded these days, although it's not that difficult to find on collections of Christmas oldies), In the bleak midwinter (also not that difficult to find, but not among the most-recorded Christmas songs either) and for the climax, Miracle hymn, which I've never heard before and might be an original song, though I'm not sure if it is.
Another feature of the album is Susan's duets with Elvis Presley (on O come all ye faithful) and Johnny Mathis (on When a child is born). Personally, I think they would have sounded better as solo tracks, though they work quite well as they are. The original recordings by the two men are fantastic. There is at least one comparable precedent for Elvis's voice being posthumously overdubbed, in the album Christmas Duets. As I said in my review of that album, I enjoyed it but still preferred the original Elvis recordings, even though I'm a fan of some of the singers who contributed their voices. So it is here - the duets sound great, but duets work better if the two singers are in the studio singing together. Johnny Mathis recorded his parts for "When a child is born" in America, while Susan recorded her parts in Scotland.
Despite my minor quibble over the duets, this is a fine album that should please Susan's fans.