Sheryl Crow: Home for Christmas

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Posted December 7, 2010 by J Matthew Cobb in Reviews 1.0

Sheryl Crow whips up one of the best brews of Southern soul and blues for festive holiday set

Think of Dusty Springfield with a sprinkle of Stax soul and Southern blues and you have a strong assessment of what Home for Christmas, Crow’s sole holiday album. Although assembled as a retail speciality disc (for Hallmark first, Target later), this is a full-length project that chronicles Crow’s musical epiphany of Memphis’ “sweet soul music.” She enters into Southern roots gospel on “Go Tell It On the Mountain” and paces well on Otis Redding’s “Merry Christmas Baby.” And then Crow, hip on her arranging abilities, delivers some of the most delicious holiday gems in modern time:”The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On a Open Fire)” sounds like a Jerry Butler/Gamble & Huff creation while “White Christmas” exchanges Bing Crosby’s take for a warmer jazzy blues layout. Although a lackadaisical “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear” opens up “O Holy Night,” the song turns into a soulful arrangement with warm Booker T. Jones-esque organ while using Otis Redding gospel-honed tapestry. Technically, her voice isn’t suited for such strong material, but Crow’s envision of her folk-pop on warm soulful arrangements comes with surprisingly strong impressions. Towards the back of the disc, she contributes “There Is a Star That Shines Tonight,” and quiets the mood with a peaceful lullaby, “All Through the Night.” The expanded Target disc provides listeners with the overlooked inspirational “Long Road Home;” taken from her 2010 Southern soul tribute 100 Miles from Memphis. Probably because of its laidback simplicities, people will turn the other cheek on Crow’s holiday affair and retreat to the superstar pop offerings. If only they knew they were passing up on one of the better holiday albums to come out of the 2000s.

J MATTHEW COBB

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HIFI DETAILS

  • Release Date: 30 September 2008
  • Label: A&M
  • Producers: Bill Bottrell
  • Track Favs: The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On an Open Fire), White Christmas, Merry Christmas, Blue Christmas, There Is a Star That Shines Tonight


About the Author

J Matthew Cobb

Managing editor of HiFi Magazine


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