Mini-Review: LeAnn Rimes – Today Is Christmas

LeAnn Rimes

Today Is Christmas

Label: Prodigy Entertainment

Release Date: October 16th 2015 (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Today Is Christmas (Holiday Theme for NBC’s “TODAY”)
  2. We Need A Little Christmas
  3. That Spirit Of Christmas (feat. Aloe Blacc)
  4. I Still Believe In Santa Claus
  5. Holly Jolly Christmas / Frosty The Snowman
  6. Celebrate Me Home (feat. Gavin DeGraw)
  7. Must Be Santa
  8. Christmas Time Is Here
  9. The Heartache Can Wait
  10. Little Drummer Boy
  11. Joy: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen / Angels We Have Heard On High / Hark The Herald Angels Sing
  12. Auld Lang Syne

Initial thoughts: LeAnn’s 2015 Christmas album Today Is Christmas may start off with the cheesy original that is the title track, but this album is like a familiar hug and a warm cup of hot chocolate. It’s like a friendly family friend give you a sage piece of advice; and what better way to listen to a Christmas album that to be dancing to and/or being completely overwhelmed (in a good way!) with almost every single track!

Reason to listen: If you are a fan of country music or strong female vocals or positive and uplifting music or tradition Christmas carols or bouncy holiday music… then this album will resonate with you. I guess you’d have to be The Grinch to dislike this album!

Reason to buy: LeAnn’s voice is superb, sublime, near flawless, and every other positive adjective you can think of. Her voice was made for belting our Christmas carols, and that fact alone is one reason to buy this underrated holiday project. There is also a perfect mix of carols/holiday songs to original songs/covers (8 to 4).

Reason to skip: If you dislike LeAnn’s voice, or are turned off by her current new-age practices and ‘strange’ musical direction at the moment and can’t separate the art from the artist, then Today Is Christmas may not be for you.

No. of carols/holiday songs: 8 (including a powerful, compelling and worshipful medley of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Angels We Have Heard On High” and “Hark The Herald Angels Sing”

No. of originals/covers: 4 (inclusive of a Brandi Carlile cover and a Bob Dylan cover)

No of guest artists: 2 (Aloe Blacc on track 3 and Gavin DeGraw on track 6)

Does it have heart?: Is the sky blue? Yes, this album has heart. It has so much heart that I reckon it’ll burst with sunshine and rainbows! And yes, that is a positive thing indeed!

Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: See above. Ditto. There are limited bells and whistles, but there is an underlying holiday and Christmas atmosphere, nonetheless.

Uniqueness?: Sort of. There’s a Christmas atmosphere, and though LeAnn has a distinct country voice, there isn’t anything terribly unique musically about this project. It has extreme heart and passion though; and this is what propels Today Is Christmas from being a mediocre album to a solid Christmas offering.

Christmas message: LeAnn sings a couple of worshipful Christmas carols near the end of the album, but by and large, this is a holiday album through and through.

Closing thoughts: I would buy this album if it was available and cheap. If it was any price above $15, then I wouldn’t- because I reckon 2-3 songs are unnecessary, like “Must Be Santa” and “Christmas Time Is Here”.

3 songs to listen to: That Spirit Of Christmas, Celebrate Me Home, The Heartache Can Wait

Overall rating: 4/5

Yes/no; why/why not?: LeAnn Rimes isn’t my favourite female vocalist, but this album is a solid Christmas project. I wouldn’t seek it out, but this album to me is far more powerful and impacting than Michael Bublé’s Christmas. That should be saying something, don’t you think?

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