1994 was the last time Mariah Carey gave the world her take on what a “Merry Christmas” truly means. Now that it is 2010, Carey is back to show us how to celebrate-Mimi style. She has again proven that her voice cannot be surpassed. The holiday songs sung on this album not only showcase her range, but serve as a reminder that she’s more than just an R&B artist- she can sing gospel, pop, traditional, and even dance and opera tracks without fail. This album offers more gems than expected- four new original tracks, two old favorites sung anew, and even a track Charlie Brown himself could appreciate.
The album begins with a slow traditional orchestra played introduction of “Santa Claus Comes to Town,” only to delve into track one, (most notably the first single of the album) “O Santa.” This song is reminiscent of “All I Want for Christmas is You”; it’s upbeat, fun, and a cheery pop Mariah original. You’ll get up and dance, whether you intended to or not. This one may outdo her 1994 hit.
Track two reminds us why Carey’s last Christmas album worked: She’s great with an accompanying gospel choir. “O Little Town of Bethlehem/Drummer Boy” medley will give you chills as it shows off the powerful voice fans have missed for so long.
Other tracks with the Christmas choir touch are: “One Child,” which is a ballad with holiday string instrumentals in background. It is also a Carey penned song. To top it off, a childrens chorus offers a sweet and pure seasonal touch.
One special holiday treat for fans is the collaboration with Carey. Yes, Patricia Carey, Mariah’s mom, the woman who taught her how to use the vocals mama gave ya, lends us her opera sound in “O Come O Ye Faithful.” Hearing both women hit those high notes in harmony is absolutely unforgettable, making this one of the most spectacular tracks.
The “First Noel /Born is the King” is a soprano keyed song with an R&B modern finish. This rendition stands on its own. Though it’s categorized as an interlude, it’s a great track with beginning with the infamous voice and piano arrangement and ending with a blues beat.
O Holy Night is a live version from 2000. Though the song is ten years old, it’s like fine wine; it gets better with age. The song’s a wonderful piece to add to the album. Fans will agree that this is better than the studio version. The song shows off her vocal quality as a live performer. Sung in a church, it’s complete with the traditional high note finish, and a very expected yet deserved, audience encore. You’ll be glad Carey saved this one for ten years and finally gave it a spot on this album.
All I Want for Christmas Is You- Extra Festive, is a track which may make you question, “How many times must we hear this?” However, die hard fans will have no complaints. This is a classic and needs to be included. Seriously, everyone knows it’s just not an authentic Carey Christmas without it.
Other Carey originals are: “Christmas Time is in the Air Again” a vintage vocal ballad with an R&B feel, and When Christmas Comes. The latter is another rhythm and blues tune, which sounds a bit like E=MC2’s “Fly Like a Bird,” due to the piano instrumentals and classy vibes. Both are nonetheless, very noteworthy tracks.
“Here Comes Santa Claus” has Jermaine Dupri written all over it. As part producer to this track, the song is festive and upbeat. This is the type of fun song that you’d play at this year’s holiday get together.
Carey also brings it on home with her version of a Charlie Brown Christmas. Snoopy would be proud. You will love this as you remember those traditional moments where you and your family sat by the tree and watched Charlie Brown and the gang realize the what true meaning of Christmas is all about.
“Auld Lang Syne” is the perfect conclusion to the album, as well as the holiday season. It’s a ballad quickly transformed to a dance remix. You will fist pump to this, but do not forget, as Mariah suggests, “Have a happy new year and have a drink on me”
Will do Mariah. Will do.