I've never been a fan of talent shows such as x factor, but found myself enjoying "underneath the tree" last christmas, and bought the album on the strength of that. Wow! can this girl sing!! vocal range, power, resonance, beautiful light and shade, and that wonderful gift of how to deliver a song and embrace an arrangement. Frankly, x factor or no, Kelly would have made it anyway! i particularly like " just for now" ..a touch of christmas melancholy, and the haunting " oh come emmanuel " but there are no poor tracks or fillers here, this album's a real gem, which i have been enjoying in august !! whoops!! there is an agreeable mixture of traditional and new songs, some of which you can get away with listening to away from christmas ( Or be like me and don't worry about it!! ) i have now downloaded a couple of her other albums ...for whatever it's worth Kelly, you have a new fan!
Since winning American Idol in 2002 Kelly Clarkson has enjoyed a remarkably successful career. Her first five studio albums have notched up 10 RIAA certified platinum discs, while two of those have topped the US charts and three have hit the charts at number two.
Now, with her first Christmas album, Kelly shows how she has the voice, the confidence and the interpretive skills to cover a range of styles from the bluesy jazz sound of "Please Come Home For Christmas" to the rocking, country inflected sound of "Run Run Rudolph" and the pure pop of "Winter Dreams".
"Underneath The Tree" is replete with the sound of a Phil Spector production and "Blue Christmas", with a lovely piano led arrangement, is a perfect reflection upon loneliness but never sounding maudlin as so many versions have done. "I'll Be Home For Christmas" with a gorgeous piano and trumpet arrangement and a wonderful performance by Kelly is one of the finest versions of this Christmas favourite that I've heard.
She is as capable of gently delivering slow and wistful songs like "White Christmas" and "Just For Now" as she is belting out the big numbers simply because she has established herself as one of the most versatile performers around. There is a delightful version of "Silent Night". with country divas Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood, where the range and quality of Kelly's voice and the vocal arrangements are pure heaven.
From the joy filled opening track "Wrapped In Red" to the closing song ""Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel" this is a collection where the individual parts of voice, arrangements, musicians and songs have come together to create the perfect Christmas album. It does not disappoint.
BRILLIANT, LOVE THIS, ENJOYING LISTENING TO THIS, HAS TO BE MY FAVOURITE THIS YEAR, KELLY STYLE OF CHRISTMAS MUSIC IS A REFRESHING CHANGE TO THE USUAL SUSPECTS EVERY YEAR THAT COMES ON TO THE CHRISTMAS MUSIC MARKET. REALLY GOOD. VERY GLAD TO PURCHASE. ALSO INTEND TO BUY SOME FOR PRESENTS FOR PEOPLE TO SPREAD A LITTLE GOOD CHEER FOR FAMILY AND FRIENDS THIS YEAR. LOVE AND PEACE FOR 2015 EVERONE. XX
Five songs co-written by Kelly for this album, a cover of the Imogen Heap song (Just for you) that I hadn't heard before by anybody, and ten covers of familiar songs that appear on plenty of Christmas albums. One of those standards (My favorite things) wasn't written as a Christmas song, but it has appeared on plenty of Christmas albums and I don't mind, because the lyrics make it appropriate for Christmas.
I didn't realize that there were two editions, but the deluxe edition appears to be standard in the UK, from where I bought my copy. It contains two songs not on the standard American edition - I'll be home for Christmas and O come o come Emmanuel. Both tracks are superbly performed in keeping with the rest of the album, but if the price differential between editions is significant, customers must make up their own mind as to whether the extra cost is worth it. If I'd been faced with the choice, I'd pay a little extra for these two tracks, but not too much.
The CD case came with a sticker proclaiming the first two tracks (Wrapped in red, Underneath the tree) as the new classics. That may be optimistic as I've heard plenty of fantastic original Christmas songs that haven't become classics, but if either of theses songs or Kelly's other originals here (Every Christmas, Winter Dreams (Brandon's Song), 4 Carats) become accepted as classics, it will be no more than Kelly deserves. I particularly like 4 carats, but they are all wonderful.
Of the standards, Ronnie Dunn (formerly of the country duo Brooks and Dunn) sings the male parts in Baby it's cold outside, and is fantastic in that role, while Reba McEntire and Trisha Yearwood join Kelly in a fine version of Silent night. These two have recorded their own Christmas albums, Trisha recorded Sweetest Gift, The, while Reba recorded Merry Christmas to You, which is a very traditional country album. and The Secret of Giving - A Christmas Collection, which is pop-country.
The cover of ust for you, mentioned earlier, features a portion of the traditional Carol of the bells. Carol of the bells in its entirety might have been interesting for Kelly, Reba and Trisha to sing together, but I'm very happy with this album as it is.
Another thing the sticker on the front said is that this is Kelly's first Christmas album. Let's hope it's not the last. I'd love to buy the second whenever it appears.