Christmas Cornucopia

Christmas Cornucopia

3.3 13
by Annie Lennox
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

Most artists treat Christmas albums as toss-offs; something to get into the marketplace and have on the shelf when punters come in and snap up the holiday offerings. There is usually little forethought, production and arrangements are entrusted to studio stalwarts who paint by numbers. Annie Lennox doesn't fit this mold remotely. She considered a ChristmasSee more details below

Overview

Most artists treat Christmas albums as toss-offs; something to get into the marketplace and have on the shelf when punters come in and snap up the holiday offerings. There is usually little forethought, production and arrangements are entrusted to studio stalwarts who paint by numbers. Annie Lennox doesn't fit this mold remotely. She considered a Christmas Cornucopia with all the intuitive care and devotion her other studio albums reflect. Lennox spent much of her youth singing in choirs, and that is reflected in both the song selection (all but one of these she sang as a child in choir) and arrangements. Working once more with producer Mike Stevens (who also helmed the sessions for her last offering, 2007's Songs of Mass Destruction), Lennox recorded many of the choral vocals herself by overdubbing. The pair did employ a 30-piece orchestra; they also recorded the African Children's Choir who are prominently featured throughout, especially on "The Holly and the Ivy" and the French carol "Il Est de le Divin Enfant." Textures and atmospheres are the name of the game in these interpretations, and they're employed in unusual ways: note the Middle Eastern rhythms and modalities on "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" that collide -- albeit harmoniously -- with Celtic pipe, flute, and accordion sounds. It's a fantastic track, though it does engender a minor complaint: why on earth would a vocalist of Lennox's caliber use Auto-Tune even momentarily? Other standouts here include the majestic "The Holly and the Ivy," the sparse instrumentation on "In the Bleak Midwinter," and the the dramatic darkness in the obscure carol "Lullay Lullay" that tells the Christian story of King Herod's infanticide in trying to eliminate the threat posed by the Christ child. "Silent Night" and "O Little Town of Bethlehem" are given wonderful arrangements and sung with a sincerity approaching absolute devotion, especially with the African Children's Choir underscoring Lennox's voice. The lone original here, "Universal Child," is the lead single (proceeds are being donated to the Annie Lennox Foundation); it's a beautifully written and arranged pop song, delivered soulfully and enigmatically; it is worth the price of the album itself. A Christmas Cornucopia is a real contender for best Christmas album of 2010.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
11/16/2010
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0602527533094
catalogNumber:
001499202

Related Subjects

Tracks

Read More

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Annie Lennox   Primary Artist,Dulcimer,Flute,Percussion,Piano,Accordion,Harmonium,Keyboards,Marimbas,Triangle,Vocals,Vibes,Santur,Pipe organ,fender rhodes,Wurlitzer,Whisper,Reed Organ,Vocal Percussion,African Drums,African Percussion,Pan Pipes
Dave Robbins   Conductor
Mark Stevens   Percussion,African Drums
Mike Stevens   Organ,Acoustic Guitar,Bass,Strings,Glockenspiel,Keyboards,Hammond Organ,Oud,Drones,Music Box,Guitar (Nylon String)
Rod Dunk   Conductor
Barry Van Zyl   Percussion,African Drums
Tim Warburton   Leader

Technical Credits

Annie Lennox   Arranger,Composer,Producer,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements,Whistle
Matt Allison   Engineer
Mark Stevens   Engineer
Mike Stevens   Arranger,Programming,Producer,Engineer,String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Traditional   Composer
Marcus Byrne   Engineer

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >