Mini-Review: Human Nature – The Christmas Album

Human Nature

The Christmas Album

Label: Sony Music Entertainment

Release Date: November 8th 2013 (Standard Edition) / November 20th 2015 (Deluxe Edition) (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. White Christmas
  2. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
  3. Sleigh Ride (feat. Jessica Mauboy)
  4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  5. Winter Wonderland
  6. Please Come Home For Christmas (feat. Smokey Robinson)
  7. Silent Night / O Holy Night
  8. Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
  9. Christmas Without You
  10. Give Love On Christmas Day
  11. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
  12. This Christmas
  13. Amazing Grace
  14. Mary’s Boy Child
  15. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow (feat. Delta Goodrem) [DELUXE]
  16. Run, Run Rudolph [DELUXE]
  17. I’ll Be Home For Christmas [DELUXE]
  18. Have A Holly Jolly Christmas [DELUXE]

Initial thoughts: Imagine if Pentatonix was Aussie, and recording Christmas albums with instruments and a backdrop of big band/jazz and 50’s/60’s brass instruments! That’s what The Christmas Album (unoriginal title!) from Human Nature sounds like!

Reason to listen: For the reason that I reckon aside from Pentatonix, you could never find a more harmonious vocal group that is as passionate and encouraging as Human Nature!

Reason to buy: To experience joyous, infectious, hopeful, inspiring and encouraging vocal harmonies, if you don’t love Pentatonix. Even if you do, and want to hear another vocal group sing Christmas songs for variety, then this project is for you!

Reason to skip: If you’re the Grinch or Scrooge. Which means no one should skip this joyous and happy collection of toe-tapping pop style holiday tunes!

No. of carols: 16 (including a cover of the timeless “Amazing Grace”)

No. of originals: 2 (inclusive of a Jackson 5 cover)

No of guest artists: 3 (Jessica Mauboy on track #3, Smokey Robinson on track #6 and Delta Goodrem on track #15)

Does it have heart?: Passion, heart, joy, bubbly optimism, inspiration, Christmas spirit… whatever you want to call ‘it’- The Christmas Album has ‘it’ in abundance. Especially on “This Christmas”!

Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: One of the most Christmas-y albums I’ve heard in recent memory. But also a big band/jazz/50’s/60’s musical atmosphere as well!

Uniqueness?: As unique as maybe John Legend’s A Legendary Christmas. There’s an equal atmosphere of Christmas atmosphere with big band and jazz together with the chills we get from hearing vocal groups in harmony. Does that make this album unique? I’d say yes, but you be the judge!

Christmas message: 3 out of 18 songs (including “Amazing Grace”) are worshipful songs. So this album is along the same veins to Michael Bublé’s Christmas! Does this make the album bad? No, not by any means. It’s just that the target audience is for listeners who love Christmas for the family, community and camaraderie over Jesus during the holiday season.

Closing thoughts: A fun-filled holiday album that will bring a smile to your face all throughout the holiday season, I find that this project doesn’t have a high replay value. But this may be because I’m more partial to the worshipful Christmas albums seeing as I am a Christian and I love to hear every Christmas song sung about Jesus. However, as a holiday album Human Nature have outdone themselves and have delivered one of the best ‘holiday’ albums in recent memory.

3 songs to listen to: Christmas Without You, Give Love On Christmas Day, Amazing Grace

Overall rating: 4/5

Yes/no; why/why not?: If you’re a fan of worshipful Christmas albums then you won’t love this one. But I believe that God works through music of all kinds. Therefore for Human Nature’s album, I’d say yes. Simply to hear the sublime and exquisite vocal harmonies… and also to hear God move in unexpected ways!

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