Mini-Review: Ronan Keating – Winter Songs

Ronan Keating

Winter Songs

Label: Polydor Ltd

Release Date: November 16th 2009 (Amazon mp3/iTunes)

Track Listing:

  1. Winter Song
  2. Stay
  3. Scars
  4. Homeward Bound
  5. River
  6. It’s Only Christmas
  7. Little Drummer Boy
  8. Ring Them Bells
  9. Caledonia
  10. Silent Night
  11. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  12. I Won’t Last A Day Without You

Initial thoughts: A collection of obscure Christmas songs and covers from iconic artists- is this release from Ronan Keating a true Christmas album or a hybrid holiday themed/introspective ballad album? Does a definition of what this album is really matter? Because Winter Songs is lyrically and musically awesome- one of Ronan Keating’s best!

Reason to listen: Because Ronan Keating is one of the most underrated artists currently! As we hear Ronan’s spin on melodies from iconic artists, as well as give us his own take on a few Christmas classics- we are met with a hopeful and inspiring collection of songs which on the surface do not make sense together, but in reality mesh well in the best way possible.

Reason to buy: I don’t think this album is popular enough to be sold in stores as a physical copy. Maybe in Walmart? So even if you wanted to buy this album (and I say buy it indeed!), you might not be able to?

Reason to skip: Seriously? You don’t want to listen to a Ronan Keating album? Just think about that for a second and rephrase your question. Shouldn’t you all want to listen to every Ronan Keating album just to simply marvel at the quality singing and songwriting?

No. of carols: 4 (including a modern Scottish folk ballad)

No. of originals: 8 (inclusive of a Sara Bareilles cover, a Simon & Garfunkel cover, a Bob Dylan cover and a Joni Mitchell cover)

No of guest artists: 1- Hayley Westenra on “It’s Only Christmas”. Kate Ceberano guests with Ronan on the same track instead of Hayley in the Australian edition of the album.

Does it have heart?: Ronan Keating is as passionate and hopeful as ever here- so the question is kind of like asking if the sky is blue!

Does it have a Christmas-y atmosphere?: The album has an atmosphere of light piano reflective material, Sorry but no Christmas atmosphere here (except on the traditional carols!)

Uniqueness?: Very unique! I mean if you include a modern Scottish hymn as a ‘Christmas song’, how much more unique could you get?

Christmas message: Winter Songs is all about family and remembering your roots and knowing you identity. The Christmas story of Jesus is sadly condensed to “Silent Night”… but that doesn’t make this album any less compelling, impacting and inspiring!

Closing thoughts: Ronan Keating has done it again- and this album needs to be spun at least once! It’s such a unique album- and the beauty of it is that most of these songs don’t need to be sung during Christmas time for you to enjoy them!

3 songs to listen to: Winter Song, Homeward Bound, Ring Them Bells

Overall rating: 4.5/5

Yes/no; why/why not?: Yes of course! But you’d be hard pressed to find this project as a physical copy. Not to worry- because there’s always Spotify!

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