I only discovered Chris Isaak when I borrowed a copy of this album. Born in the fifties, Chris found success hard to come by and by the time he achieved it, his style of music (more like the sixties than the nineties) was not exactly fashionable. The obvious influences are Roy Orbison and Elvis Presley. Chris cannot match either of those vocally but is still a fine singer. He is a more prolific songwriter than Roy, while Elvis never wrote any songs despite being sometimes credited as co-writer for the purposes of royalty payments. For this album, Chris wrote five songs ranging in mood from sad to upbeat - the five are Hey Santa, Washington Square, Christmas on TV and Brightest star. The other eleven are all covers, extremely well performed, among them being Santa Claus is coming to town (with Stevie Nicks) and the rarely recorded Mele Kalikimaka (a Hawaiian song previously recorded by the Andrews sisters in the forties). The inclusion of Blue Christmas (originally recorded by Ernest Tubb but later made much more famous by Elvis) and Pretty paper (a Willie Nelson song made famous by Roy Orbison) re-inforce the influences. Chris Isaak is a singer-songwriter-guitarist whose style may belong to a bygone age but he clearly has plenty of fans as his gold and platinum selling albums show. Fans of sixties pop will find this album is most enjoyable.
Chris is a brilliant performer with a laid back attitude to life and his wonderful music. This is a fab cd and I would recommend it to anyone that appreciates a singer with influences of Elvis and Roy Orbison highlighted in his style. He's a genuinely charasmatic guy and for anyone who's interested in seeing him live, he'll be in the uk during part of April 2007. I personally can't wait!!