Andrea Bocelli - My Christmas

2009-12-02 14:04
My Christmas
Celine Dion had her turn, Josh Groban made Billboard history with his and now another artist from hit making machine David Foster's stable cashes in on the holiday festivities. With a phenomenal 65 million albums sold worldwide, he is arguably one of the world's most famous and loved voices and it was only a matter of time before Andrea Bocelli had his own addition to the Christmas stocking collection. But making a Christmas album is a little like walking onto a minefield, it is very dangerous territory to venture into and you have to thread very carefully otherwise it will blow up in your face. In "My Christmas" the powerhouse vocalist ticks all the predictable festive boxes. He knows what's expected of him and sticks to it.

The opener is a keyboard and strings laden, sweeping rendition of "White Christmas/Bianco Natale". Bocelli's crossover appeal means he is able to do Christmas songs both sacred like "The Lord's Prayer" and secular, such as "Jingle Bells". The latter includes an unsavoury cameo by the Muppets that is not for anyone over the age of three. Miss Piggy sounds like a screeching toad or is it a screeching Kermit The Frog?

Bocelli is good at doing what he does best which can be both a good and a bad thing. On "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town," he is joined by a saccharine chorus of children who sound like they're missing a front tooth or two). Unsurpisingly he lacks the witty playfulness which is needed to make it fun and conjure up images of a pot-bellied white bearded Saint Nick surrounded by his little helpers.

But on the classic "Angels We Have Heard on High" he is in his element switching between Italian and English. The result is an impeccable showcase of his powerful vocals that is simply spine chilling. For most of My Christmas he belts out English and Italian, but can laso hold a note in German ("O Tannebaum" – O Christmas tree), French ("Cantique de Noel" – O Holy Night) and Latin ("Adeste Fideles" – O Come Ye Fatihful).

And let's not forget about those cameos. Some are expected ("The Christmas Song" with Natalie Cole), others not so much ("What Child Is This?" with Mary J Blige). But the pairing that stands out is his collaboration with Welsh mezzo soprano Katherine Jenkins on "I Believe". Their voices complement each other like warm milk and choc chip cookies.

My Christmas may not be everybody’s cup of eggnog but for Bocelli’s fans and carol lovers it is the perfect recession-friendly addition to your Xmas stocking because you will want to pull it out every festive season.

Complete with the mandatory white cable-knit jumper, Andrea Bocelli dutifully delivers a conventional mix of holiday favourites with a little help from little boys' choirs, tubular bells and Muppets (yes Muppets).
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