5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Aled the man's Christmas album,
This review is from: The Christmas Album (Audio CD)
Aled Jones originally found fame as a boy singer of a British hit single titled Walking in the air, a cover of a Christmas song that Peter Auty recorded for The Snowman. Aled recorded a whole Christmas album built around that single. With this second Christmas album, Aled showcases his very different, warm adult baritone voice. He chose not to re-record Walking in the air, but has subsequently put together a new version of the song, creating a duet with his two different voices.
Without any versions of that classic song, this is still a brilliant album. Aled is supported by the English Session Orchestra, who provide tastefully restrained instrumentation, together with Libera, a boys' choir who are more prominent on some tracks than others but who, like the orchestra, never overpower the album's star singer. Hayley Westenra, the brilliant singer from New Zealand, joins Aled for a duet version of Silent night.
Aled noted in the credits that he set out to record a stylish and heartfelt collection of Christmas classics and believes he achieved it. It's certainly stylish and heartfelt , while most of the songs are indeed Christmas classics. There are some less obvious song selections here that, it may be argued, have not achieved classic status. Candlelight carol (a John Rutter song), The little road to Bethlehem and Whence is that goodly fragrance? Are all excellent and deserve to be better known that they are. With the exception of Candlelight carol, which Neil Diamond also included on one of his Christmas albums, I don't remember hearing these songs elsewhere, but I'm glad that Aled chose these rather than three more famous classics.
Of the familiar songs, I was particularly pleased to find that Aled included In the bleak midwinter, which is one of my favorite carols. Given that Aled set out to record a heartfelt album, this song was an obvious choice and it suits him ideally.
This is a great album from start to finish. Although Aled is officially regarded as a singer of classical music, you don't need to enjoy classical music to love this album. It is more of an easy listening album that would sit comfortably alongside Christmas albums by Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Perry Como and the aforementioned Neil Diamond.