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Thursday, November 04, 2010

Merry Christmas II You Is New from Mariah Carey

Mariah Carey is in perfect voice for her second Christmas album release and 2010 follow-up to 1994’s Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas II You opens with a short, fully orchestrated instrumental ode to “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” segueing directly into the new “Oh Santa."

Bouncy, bubbly, and bold, the album opener “Oh Santa” tips the hat to Toni Basil’s 1981 cheerleader anthem “Mickey” using a catchy hook to drive the song along.

"O Little Town of Bethlehem/Little Drummer Boy Medley” is a great showcase for the melodramatic phrasing of Ms. Mariah, who hits this song-pairing out of the park.  It’s well arranged, creative, and solidly delivered.

"Christmas Time Is In The Air Again” sparkles as a pop standard slow arrangement that you might expect from a Sarah Vaughan or Carmen McCrae.  A Classy impression from Carey that floats on air.

"Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)/Housetop Celebration,” with the help of a bass line inspired by Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” puts a party face on this happy track.

I was blown away by the operatic interlude in “O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus” featuring Patricia Carey.

3 New Mariah Carey Christmas songs are included in this release, as are 8 traditional holiday songs.

The contemporary remix of “Auld Lang Syne” rocks ‘house music style.’

Fans young, old, and new will certainly enjoy this classy collection.

Merry Christmas II You is a rare holiday combination of great songs, top notch arrangements, diverse material, and Mariah Carey, who finally displays her gifted sonic range through nuanced maturity rather than reverting to showy vocal gymnastics as used in the past.

When I saw this album was going to be released, I was skeptical.  Now that I’ve heard it, shame on me!

Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas II You is excellent.

  1. “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town Intro”
  2. “Oh Santa”
  3. “O Little Town of Bethlehem/Little Drummer Boy Medley”
  4. “Christmas Time Is In The Air Again”
  5. “The First Noel/Born Is the King Interlude”
  6. “When Christmas Comes”
  7. “Here Comes Santa Claus (Right Down Santa Claus Lane)/Housetop Celebration”
  8. “Charlie Brown Christmas”
  9. “O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus”
  10. “O Holy Night”
  11. “One Child”
  12. “All I Want For Christmas Is You” - Extra Festive
  13. “Auld Lang Syne” - The New Year’s Anthem

Listen to 30 seconds of Mariah Carey’s “Auld Lang Syne” - The New Year’s Anthem.

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Posted by King on 11/04 at 08:00 AM
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