Friday, November 1, 2013

This Season's Susan (Music Review: Susan Boyle, Home For Christmas)

I will never apologize for liking moat of Susan Boyle's *recordings*.  She has a voice that is perfect for records. It's an accessible soprano, and she (or her producers) has a knack for choosing the best vocal arrangements that highlight her voice. Plus, she makes record that have an element of "old fashioned" flair while still appealing to modern tastes. She already has a previous album, and she has released another one for this year, titled "Home For Christmas." And maybe because she has home on the title of her album, I imagined this record as set in the villages outside London, England: you know those hearthy wholesome Christmas scenes like we see on those miniature villages. Most of these songs can be fitting music for those scenes. I especially love her slight lilt in her "I'll Be Home For Christmas," the person singing is upbeat and positive, in anticipation of a reunion with loved ones. And I love that she covers "I Believe in Father Christmas," a "controversial" Christmas song that is kind of bitter and angry. She duets with Johnny Mathis (the ultimate Holiday song singer, in my opinion) in "When A Child Is Born" and it's a perfect match. A slight misfire is her 'duet' with Elvis Presley in "O Come All Ye Faithful," because the track sounds just like two people singing together with no connection between them. But the rest of the album is a keeper: an angelic choral lifts up "Hark The Hearald Angels Sing,"  melancholia reigns supreme on "In The Bleak Midwinter," and the sparse arrangement highlights Boyle's beautiful instrument on "The Christmas Waltz." I think I mentioned recently that I have experienced a little bit of saturation with regards to Holiday music, but I listened to this straightaway and felt light and joyful afterwards. I think that's close to what truly is the real meaning of Christmas, ain't it?

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