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Let It Be Christmas
     

Let It Be Christmas

4.7 8
by Alan Jackson
 
In 1993, Alan Jackson struck a blow for the old school with Honky Tonk Christmas, a bopping celebration in the spirit of its title. Nine years later, he returns to the Yuletide theme with Let It Be Christmas, but this time he casts ten seasonal standards, and one exceptional original tune, in the style of the Great

Overview

In 1993, Alan Jackson struck a blow for the old school with Honky Tonk Christmas, a bopping celebration in the spirit of its title. Nine years later, he returns to the Yuletide theme with Let It Be Christmas, but this time he casts ten seasonal standards, and one exceptional original tune, in the style of the Great American Songbook, with string-laden orchestral arrangements, by turns swinging and soothing, and a cooing background chorus. Singing with conviction and emotion, Jackson gets the most out of his sturdy baritone, which loses none of its country flavor in the midst of these pop arrangements, making for a most scintillating musical blend. You'd have to go back to Elvis Sings the Wonderful World of Christmas for a more moving interpretation of "O Come, All Ye Faithful." "Jingle Bells" gets some glide in its stride via a swinging big-band arrangement out of the '40s, and Jackson even gives Nat King Cole's definitive treatment of "The Christmas Song" a run for its money with a vocal that radiates warmth and bonhomie (with kudos to keyboardist extraordinaire Matt Rollings for his tasty, jazz-inflected piano accompaniment). Jackson's lilting, country-flavored original, "Let It Be Christmas," expresses hope that the holiday spirit will endure beyond December 25th: "Let it be Christmas everywhere/Let Heavenly music fill the air/Let anger and fear disappear/Let there be love that lasts through the year." It's an instant holiday classic -- the first such in years -- and the album as a whole belongs in that category as well.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Alan Jackson returned just months after the zeitgeist-defining, blockbuster success of "Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning)," with his holiday album, Let It Be Christmas. Jackson has always been a bit of a traditionalist, but it's still kind of surprising just how traditional this album is, recalling seasonal records from the '50s and '60s instead of the glitzy, lavish productions of the '80s and '90s. This is a brilliant move, actually, since the warm, intimate arrangements that dominate the album give Jackson's rich baritone a perfect counterpoint, even when he stretches out with big-band arrangements on occasion (where Garth Brooks sounded lost surrounded by blaring big bands on The Magic of Christmas, Jackson glides into the lazy swing of "Winter Wonderland" and "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town"). Smartly, these are almost all popular classics, apart from the title song which is a nice original from Jackson in the vein of "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "White Christmas," meaning it's closer to traditional pop than country music. Out of all country music, it's closest to Western swing when it veers toward big bands, but there's not even a touch of countrypolitan here -- it's all Sinatra and Johnny Mathis. Instead of sounding incongruous, it's a perfect fit for a warm crooner such as Jackson, and by concentrating on classics, Let It Be Christmas is much stronger than most contemporary Christmas album. In fact, this is the best holiday album, regardless of genre, in many a moon. It has a rich, burnished feel that's perfect for snowy nights by the fire and the Christmas tree.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/05/2002
Label:
Arista
UPC:
0078636706221
catalogNumber:
67062

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alan Jackson   Primary Artist
Matt Rollings   Piano
Lloyd Green   Pedal Steel Guitar
Eddie Bayers   Drums
Bill Elliot   Conductor
Erica Goodman   Harp
Karen Harper   Background Vocals
Kid Connection   Background Vocals
Brent Mason   Electric Guitar
Matthew McCauley   Conductor
Cassie Miller   Background Vocals
Bobbi Page   Background Vocals
Bruce Watkins   Acoustic Guitar
Glenn Worf   Electric Bass
Mark Fain   Acoustic Guitar

Technical Credits

Bill Elliot   Vocal Arrangements,Horn Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Debbie Fleming   Director
Gary Gray   Engineer
Alan Jackson   Composer
John Kelton   Engineer
Mark Linett   Engineer
Matthew McCauley   String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Keith Stegall   Producer
S. Wade Hunt   Art Direction
Mellissa Schleicher   grooming
James Pierpont   Composer

Customer Reviews

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Let It Be Christmas 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The entire CD is beautiful. He sings the traditional songs as they were originally recorded...he doesn't put try to put a new "spin" to them. The title song, "Let It Be Christmas" literally brings tears to my eyes, because of its message. This was my first Alan Jackson music purchase (I had seen him for the first time a month before and was so impressed with him). The Christmas special was great also. I watched it every chance I got and I play the CD continuously through the Christmas season. I highly recommend this CD. You won't find a better one with all the traditional songs, and the song he wrote, "Let It Be Christmas", is surely to become a classic.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is my absolute favorite Christmas CD. There's not a single song I want to skip when listening to it. "Let It Be Christmas" is a beautiful, moving song that really touches on the true holiday spirit. This CD has made "Oh Come All Ye Faithful" my favorite traditional Christmas song...I just love Alan's voice on this one. I love country music but I'm not a big fan of "country christmas music". This CD is not like that at all. Alan puts a slight country spin on "Jingle Bells" but in a fun, light-hearted way (which is how this song should be done anyway). I would recommend this CD to anyone who loves traditional Christmas music without it being super religious or classical.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Allan Jackson has done the impossible. Writing a Christmas song that can be rememberd is so difficult. To me it goes down with the great Christmas songs in history as it warms my heart and to hear it each day during the holiday season.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album will be a Christmas classic for years to come. Alan delivers each song with his beautiful, smooth baritone voice and the sound is like one of silk. His new song Let It Be Christmas will be a regular every Christmas season. One of the things I like best is that Alan does not try to put his signature on any of these classics. He lets them stand for themselves and just sings them. I never realized what a truly beautiful and melodic voice he had until I heard this album and I have been listening and owning his music for years
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wonderful song! Enjoyed the Christmas Special on CMT. It's a great song for the Season & all year long.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The entire cd is excellent. His new Christmas song is definitely going to be a classic. I've listened to it many many times (the entire cd actually) but I especially love the new song. Way to go Alan. This is a "pretty cd". Your mother must be so proud. If I could only sing this beautifully. :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the best holiday collections to come along in years. At the encouragement of his mother, Alan recorded this collection of traditional holiday classics and there is not a disappointment in the bunch. Alan Jackson is one of the most gifted songwriters of our time and ¿Let it Be Christmas¿ is just another example. The traditional collection of songs gives those who are not fans of country music the opportunity to experience and enjoy Alan¿s distinct baritone voice without the "honky-tonk" music.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago