Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, 17 Nov 2012
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This review is from: Ceelo's Magic Moment (Audio CD)
Christmas is coming. So along with the old decorations being brought out from the loft - we normally blow the dust off our 'Greatest Christmas Hits' album, featuring every overplayed song that assails us as early as mid-September. If you want something new that still carries the old fashioned spirit of Christmas - I'd give this one a look. It probably won't make Christmas No1... but it's a splendid soundtrack for the season

I'd only really noticed CeeLo Green after his superb 'Lady Killer' Album of 2010 - And I fell in love with his charming ability to give old school jazz, swing, soul and blues a fresh kick into modern life. And I'm delighted to say that he has once again done the same with this fantastic Christmas covers album. It's delightful, soulful and has the warmth and a charm of a hot chocolate on a cold evening

With CeeLo's over-the-top (yet charming) swagger and the current musical state of affairs - you could be forgiven for thinking that a 'modern' twist means rap, synthesised music or heavy club bass... Don't worry - Not so. We have classic songs driven with the modern leading instruments of the piano, drums and bass - Lovingly lavished with a healthy helping of strings and brass, topped off with CeeLo's fantastic voice which, dare I say, rivals the likes of Sinatra

Don't worry if you don't recognise any of the songs (I only knew 3) - You'll quickly be swept up by their charm

1. What Christmas Means To Me - This pretty much sets the scene of what's in store. A faithful rendition of the toe-tapping original that feels a bit less cheesy (just a bit) and more jazzy
2. Baby It's Cold Outside - A charming bluesy duet with Christina Aguilera. The drums take a light backseat here and allow a gentle piano and vocals to deftly lead the song which sounds like it'd find a nice home in a blues club
3. This Christmas - Nothing overly special, but Christmassy all the same
4. The Christmas Song - We take a quick break from the upbeat cheesiness for a slower pace - yet still keeping the warmth of the album
5. White Christmas - I actually know this one! A big, bold, lovable version of the classic
6. All I need Is Love - Ridiculous and over-the-top... but incredible fun! Whoever teamed CeeLo with The Muppets is a genius. The fact that they got the Muppet's 'monnomonon' in a song is brilliant. We even get a closing remark from Statler and Waldorf
7. You're A Mean One Mr Grinch - This one is, shall we say, 'distinct'... It's a quirky cover of Dr Seuss' story-song with the a cappella group 'Straight No Chaser' providing a superb backing. It's weird to think that there's actually no instruments - only their vocals. CeeLo's energy and enthusiastic emphasis help to liven up the slightly duller narration of the song
8. Please Come Home For Christmas - A charming song that really brings the fuzzies. It's sweet and very tempting to sway to
9. Run Rudolph Run - It wouldn't be a Christmas album if there wasn't something incredibly cheesy... And this one is it - Lively and fast-paced
10. All I Want For Christmas - A fantastic cover of Mariah Carey's hit - The backing vocals are simply divine. It's a little slower and driven more by the drum line, but it works really well
11. Mary, Did You Know? - Here the album starts to wind down, with this beautiful cover. CeeLo's vocals really come into their own here. It sounds like a hymn with the soundtrack you'd expect from a Blockbuster film
12. River - My personal favourite. A wonderful, sweet ballad with some delicate strings that compliments CeeLo's soothing vocals
13. Merry Christmas, Baby - A fun duet with Rod Stewart, supported nicely by Trombone Shorty. A nice upbeat Christmassy tune to break up the ballads
14. Silent Night - We finish with a wonderful rendition of the classic hymn. With an unimposing gentle start, it builds into an astounding orchestral finale. No better way to sign off the album

All in all... it's superb. It's cheesy enough that you'd cringe as your parents dance to it, but not to the extent that the songs become a guilty pleasure. Thoroughly enjoyable and impressive to see CeeLo taking his work even deeper into the realms of swing, jazz, blues and soul

Peace... and yes, I know it's only November...
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Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 10 Dec 2012 17:25:59 GMT
DL Infamous says:
I've followed his music since the early days and can safely say that this is his worst...yet. The man used to greet us with inspiring messages over a soulful tone, now he's a Christmas turkey full of musical stuffing. I guess he must have fallen out of love with music.

Cringeworthy stuff!

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2012 23:01:04 GMT
That's a really interesting point - I hadn't considered that

Y'see I've only discovered CeeLo with 'Lady Killer' and took to his jazz/swing style, so this album felt like a nice venture from that

But yes, for those who followed his much earlier work, this probably feels like an unpleasant assault on the style he was: As you yourself have stated

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Dec 2012 23:53:57 GMT
DL Infamous says:
I'm glad that you didn't see it as an attack on your review, rather as a different perspective. I've always known that one day, with the right production, he would be one of the greats. So you see that it's not his success that I rue, it's the direction. Gnarls was positive as it allowed him to experiment more with his eclectic side, which was present on his early stuff. Lady Killer, although by no means a clunker, lacked the variety and messages that his early stuff had.

I guess this album will serve its purpose of breaking the monotony of the Christmas play list.
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