Current Album Reviews

Our take on some of the latest material from a variety of artists.

john denver - classic christmas albumJohn Denver - The Classic Christmas Album (RCA / Legacy) This Classic Christmas Album features the widest scope of material - pulling from Denver’s four holiday albums - Rocky Mountain Christmas (1975), A Christmas Together (1979), Christmas Like a Lullaby (1990), and the posthumous Christmas in Concert (2001).

 

willie nelson - classic christmas albumWillie Nelson - The Classic Christmas Album (Columbia / Legacy) Nelson has only recorded one holiday album over the years, Pretty Paper (1979), and theClassic Christmas Album contains all 12 tracks from that original record.  The remaining songs come from a variety of sources.

kenny g - classic christmas albumKenny G - The Classic Christmas Album (Arista / Legacy) The multi-platinum artist has delved several times into the holiday vein.  The Classic Christmas Album pulls from Miracles (1994), Faith (1999), and Wishes ((2002).  Most of the tracks here have his signature soaring soprano sax throughout (wow, say that three times real fast).

barry manilow - classic christmas albumBarry Manilow - The Classic Christmas Album (Arista / Legacy) This Classic Christmas Album draws from Manilow’s three holiday albums - Because It’s Christmas (1990), A Christmas Gift of Love (2002), and In the Swing of Christmas (2009).  The opening track is an all acapella rendering of  “Silver Bells,” made more impressive when you realize that all the voices are Manilow himself.   Same for a medley of “Joy to the World/Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” - we don’t often think of the singer as a master of harmony, but these two tracks are stunning.

luther vandross - classic christmas albumLuther Vandross - The Classic Christmas Album (Epic / Legacy) review It doesn’t get smoother than Luther Vandross.  The Classic Christmas Album (click here to preview on amazon) collects all the tracks from his excellent This is Christmas album from 1995, and then adds to it.  What’s truly amazing is that while most artists are content to simply rehash the classics, Vandross penned nine of the 14 tracks himself.

Elvis Presley - Classic Christmas AlbumElvis Presley - The Classic Christmas Album (RCA / Legacy) review The ultimate holiday album from the King

Even though they’ve been repackaged many times, Elvis only recorded two holiday-themed albums: Elvis’ Christmas Album in 1957, and Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas in 1971.  This new Classic Christmas Album (preview on amazon.com) takes the best from both of those records, and then adds a few surprises to make the finest Elvis Christmas record yet.

love me do - 50 songs that shaped the beatlesVarious Artists - Love Me Do - 50 Songs That Shaped the Beatles (Fantastic Voyage) review A 2-disc audio genealogy of the greatest band in the world. .

What made the Beatles so great is how diverse their music was.  The same band that wrote the pop confection of “She Loves You,” delved into the deeply personal “Julia,” the Tin Pan Alley homage “When I’m Sixty Four,” and the raw mix of hard rock and politics of “Revolution.”  But, the Beatles didn’t come up with all of this variety by living in a bubble. They were profoundly affected by a wide array of popular music, which then filtered into their own songs.  A new, two-CD compilation, Love Me Do - 50 Songs That Shaped the Beatles, takes an unique look at the multi-colored landscape that helped meld the Beatles into worldwide superstars.

Beatles Vinyl Box SetThe Beatles - Vinyl Remasters (Capitol) review Old School meets New School as the Beatles’ albums return to vinyl, taken from digitally remastered sources

The Beatles catalog is available once again the way nature intended it - on vinyl LP.  Just in time for the holidays, you can purchase any one of their 13 albums individually, or grab them all in a handsome box set, which also features an exclusive, 252-page hardbound book, chronicling the journey of these historic albums.  For the first time, these classic records have been pressed using the recent digital remasters on 180-gram vinyl - allowing for warmer bass, richer high end, and an overall improvement over the original recordings

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