4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Not the obvious Christmas songs,
This review is from: Tinsel and Lights (Audio CD)
Tracey has a long and distinguished career, not only solo but also with Everything But The Girl, although this is only the second album of her music that I've ever bought after Idlewild. (I must put that right someday.) I was surprised to learn about this album, but I expected it would be good, especially once I saw the track listing, which includes just one obvious classic, that being Have yourself a merry little Christmas. On the evidence of that track, if Tracey had filled the entire album, it would still have been a brilliant album (which I might have bought anyway), but I'm glad that she didn't do that. I love those classic songs, but I have plenty of versions of them already,
Apart from Have yourself a merry little Christmas, two of the other songs are very familiar to me, although neither was originally meant to be a Christmas song. Hard candy Christmas, written by Carol Hall for Dolly Parton to sing in The Best Little Chickenhouse in Texas. The song title is metaphorical; the song is not about Christmas, but that word being in the title is enough for it to be regarded as a Christmas song. Tracey's version is mellower than Dolly's version, and the slower tempo works well. Joni Mitchell's River is about a broken relationship around Christmas time. It's really about the feeling of loss rather than Christmas, but the song seems to be well on the way to becoming a Christmas standard.
The other tracks feature songs written by people who you might recognize, depending on what music you're into. Randy Newman is the most famous of them; he wrote Snow, which I might have heard somewhere. Among the other writers are Ron Sexsmith (Maybe this Christmas), Jack White (In the cold, cold night) and Sufjan Stevens (Sister Winter).
Tracey wrote two new songs, these being Joy (the opening track) and Tinsel and lights (the title track). The booklet provides the lyrics for these two, but not for the other songs. The title track is an uplifting song about a New York Christmas. At the time Tracey recorded the album in 2012, none of us could have imagined what misfortune would hit New York later that year, so this song has an unintended poignancy
For those who enjoy mellow Christmas music avoiding most of the obvious songs, this may be just what you`re looking for.