A Classic Christmas – Blake
It has to be said that Blake, the classically trained vocal trio, have really captured the spirit of Christmas with their uplifting Classic Christmas album.
Besides their irresistible pairing with Dame Shirley Bassey on The Christmas Song, the warm seasonal glow of jazz fusion continues on fresh interpretations of tracks such as Bing Crosby’s Its Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas and The Beach Boys’ Little Saint Nick.
There’s also a breath of fresh air on traditional songs O Holy Night, In The Bleak Midwinter and Silent Night. An album that lives up to its name, it certainly deserves to sit alongside some of the best seasonal offerings of Christmas past to be enjoyed well into the future.
Kylie Christmas – Kylie Minogue
Kylie Christmas features the pop queen putting her own slant on old favourites such as Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow and Santa Baby (a track she performed on Top of the Pops some years back and seems to have become an annual festive favourite to watch as well as listen to).
To add variety to the album, James Corden, Iggy Pop and the late Frank Sinatra all make audible contributions to Miss Minogue’s diverse portfolio of duets (previous musical pairings have seen Kylie matched with Nick Cave, Jason Donovan and Robbie Williams).
Not sure if Kylie Christmas is a Christmas classic though, perhaps it needed a bit more originality, although anyone who has been dreaming of a Kylie Christmas for the last quarter of a century aren’t likely to be disappointed.
- A version of these reviews by Andy Howells appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement, The Guide on December 18, 2015