Mariah Carey: Merry Christmas II You

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Posted December 8, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Sequel to Merry Christmas packs in similiar production with a dab of nostalgic pop sugar and urban spice

Next to Kenny G’s Miracles album, Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas stands out as one of the highest charted holiday albums in modern pop history. Furthermore the album was distinguished by its Walter Afanasieff’s score and Carey’s originals (“All I Want for Christmas Is You,” “Born This Day”). Fourteen years later, Carey returns to her timeless template to recreate the same magic of her holiday predecessor, even reviving her Christmas gem “All I Want for Christmas” with a receptive extended version. Lush strings bring out the best in the mashup medleys of familiar hymns and carols while new songs like the Toni Basil-inspired “Oh Santa!” and the dreamy R&B of James Poyser’s “When Christmas Comes” serves as a respectful update to her 1994 presentation. Luckily, there’s not much retraction on hip-hop extravagance. But when she does, she quenches the mood: Jermaine Dupri contributes a silly “Here Comes Santa Claus” and “Auld Lang Syne” uses electronica leftovers. But her voice is in tip-top shape, her whispery charm is present and when she belts on soulful gospel arrangements (“O Holy Night”), she’s still commands our attention.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 29 October 2010
  • Label: Island
  • Producers: Jermaine Dupri, James Poyser, Bryan-Michael Cox, Randy Jackson, James “Big Jim” Wright, Walter Afanasieff, Marc Shaiman, Mariah Carey
  • Track Favs: All I Want for Christmas Is You [Extra Festive], When Christmas Comes, O Come All Ye Faithful/Hallelujah Chorus

About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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