Make The Yuletide Gay With Kylie Christmas
Christmastime is often a special time. It’s the coolness of the air, the snow angels you make, sitting close to a fireplace wrapped in blankets. Or maybe it’s just the pine tree scent candle you can buy at any store that echoes the festive season. For me, nothing is more Christmas-y than holiday tunes, and this year, Kylie Minogue brings forth her own brand of Christmas music. Covering the classics as well as penning a few new tunes, Christmas seems more festive with Kylie Christmas.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year” is a classic, and Minogue hits all the right strides in her delivery. For it to be the opener on an album is a big deal, setting up what follows and that’s what the song achieves. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” features an appearance from Frank Sinatra. It’s no shocker to see a legend alongside the pop star, especially one who has embraced show tunes from the golden years. “Winter Wonderland” is a little ditty and I’m half-expecting for the Aussie to scat at some point. The longest track on the album is a blast from the past. Covering The Waitresses’ “Christmas Wrapping,” the song provides a change of pace, getting away from the usual Christmas standards with Iggy Pop even making an appearance.
Released as the album’s lead single, “Only You” is hauntingly beautiful. James Corden, surprisingly, complements the songstress. Though I’m not incredibly fond of it being released as a priority track, I understand that it is too early for actual Christmas music, thus resulting in the album’s only non-Christmas song to serve as the first single. “We met at a ski lodge,” Minogue starts off before giving off a rockin’ 60s vibe. Her cover of “I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter” is one of my favorites, keeping the essence of the re-recorded version of “The Locomotion” from The Abbey Road Sessions. Penned by Chris Martin, “Every Day’s Like Christmas” is a little more of Minogue’s element; a light pop song with enough air to keep it floating but nevertheless maintains a hint of Coldplay. Revisiting “Let It Snow,” Minogue’s version is pretty much the same as the one released in 2010.
Off to a new start, “White December” is an absolute tune from Minogue, Karen Poole, and Matt Prime. It should honestly rank as a new classic holiday tune like “All I Want For Christmas Is You” and “Underneath the Tree.” A Minogue staple, that of which being a ballad, resides in “2000 Miles.” It’s not profound or anything really, but provides a brief moment from the upbeat tunes. If you’ve never heard Kylie coo “Santa Baby,” where the hell have you been for the last 15 years?! It’s essentially the same version released in 2000 as a b-side on Please Stay. Another Minogue/Poole collaboration with Steve Anderson, “Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here” is the standard album’s last original song. It’s very festive and makes Christmas seem even more magical. “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” stays true to itself, ending the standard album with a kitschy and reflective moment.
The deluxe edition features three more original tracks. Aside from teaming up with Anderson, Minogue added Ash Howes and Richard Stannard (both members of Biffco who are responsible for Minogue’s “Love At First Sight” and “The One”) to the mix, ushering in a little jazzy moment with “Oh Santa” that transforms into a big band number. Bringing little sister Dannii to the album provides for a #DiscoChristmas moment. “100 Degrees” celebrates the sisters’ summertime holidays in Australia in a proper disco number. Matt Prime handles finishing the deluxe off with “Cried Out Christmas,” opting for an old-fashioned Christmas tune, complete with pining for their love to join them at the special time of year.
Kylie Minogue executes big band numbers in stride, and arranges for her new material to be showcased in a light that balances out the covers. There are the classics we know and love that are performed with heart, and then there are the new tunes that echo Minogue’s pop brand and only add to what she can achieve.
Kylie Christmas is out now!