Michael Bolton – A Swingin’ Christmas

Michael Bolton – A Swingin’ Christmas / 2007 The Second Time Around / 10 Tracks / http://www.michaelbolton.com / http://www.concordmusicgroup.com /

Ah, Michael Bolton. Your “A Swingin’ Christmas” has you covering some of the best known Christmas-themed songs. There are versions of “Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland”, “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town”, “White Christmas”, “Let It Snow”, and more. In fact, there is only one song that I did not know from a quick glance over the titles: “The Christmas Song”. What individuals can expect from “A Swingin’ Christmas” is a slightly emotional, slightly jazzy rendition of these Christmas classics. Thus, “Walkin’ In A Winter Wonderland” is essentially the same as the typical version that is played in malls all through the country.

The only thing that is different is the inclusion of horns during the space between the stanzas, as well as a little bit more emotional inflection in the Bolton-delivered vocals over the other versions. After hearing “The Christmas Song”, it becomes obvious what song it is, and it also becomes obvious that Bolton’s desire for this album is to not stray too far from the original recordings of each of the songs that ey covers. I mean, there may be a little bit of a tremble or modification present on each line’s ending, but there is nothing in the way of full-scale changes to the songs that Bolton covers here. While each of these Christmas songs were created with different circumstances and contexts in mind, the one strong thing in this CD is that Bolton links together all of the tracks well. Individuals, if they had not heard any of the songs in the past, would likely guess that Bolton created all of the tracks and recorded them all in the same studio, during the same dates.

There is nothing truly special about Bolton’s recreation of these Christmas classics, but individuals will be able to stick this on during a Christmas party, turn a couple of heads, and not have to worry that there will be some odd variation that Bolton creates that will embarrass or detract from the Christmas spirit in the room. Bolton does have a strong voice, the brass present on each track provides an equally strong counterpoint to this voice, and while there are not any new tracks, individuals can get behind this Christmas album easier than they would get behind random studio acts performing these tracks. Give the disc a go if you want to have a good Christmas album; if you are not a fan of the season, avoid it.

Top Tracks: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town, Silent Night

Rating: 6.0/10

Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University.

I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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