Glee: The Music
The Christmas Album
Music By: Various Artists
Distributed by: Columbia Records
Reviewed by Melissa Minners
Every year brings along tons of new Christmas albums from both artists old and new and sometimes compilations of holiday songs by both, but this year, the album I wanted to get my hands on was performed by the cast of one of my favorite shows, Glee. I had watched the Christmas episode and found it to be quite amusing. I couldnít wait to check out the inevitable album and lo and behold, I finally got my chance.
Like most Christmas albums out there, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album features some timeless classics like God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, We Need A Little Christmas, Jingle Bells, Angels We Have Heard on High and O Holy Night, performed in the cast members own unique style. Yes, many people have put out their versions of these songs, but it is always nice to hear new and unique versions that donít ruin the sanctity of the timeless classics. Trust me on this: you will not find one Glee version of a timeless classic on this album that will make you cringe. Each song is tastefully done and, in the case of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, infused with new life.
However, this album contains a couple of songs you may not find on other albums like Merry Christmas Darling, O Christmas Tree and The Most Wonderful Day of the Year. I wonder if you remember that last song? Think back to watching the animated classic Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Remember the Island of Misfit Toys and the Charlie in the Box, the train with square wheels and the polka dot elephant? Remember the song they sang? I always loved that song and I was delighted at the version presented on this album.
Then there is the one song unique to the Glee Christmas Album alone. Itís a mash-up of Deck the Halls and Up on the Rooftop entitled Deck the Rooftop. Iíve always marveled at how well some of Gleeís mash-ups truly sound and Deck the Rooftop is no exception. In fact, the song is a whole lot of fun!
My favorite track on the whole album surprised me a bit. Everyone has heard the Frank Loesser song Baby, Itís Cold Outside. There are numerous versions of the song performed by such artists as Dinah Shore and Buddy Clarke, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Jordan, Vanessa Williams and Bobby Caldwell, Dolly Pardon and Rod Stewart and more. But the Glee version of the song is perhaps the most unconventional version featuring the characters Kurt (Chris Colfer) and Blaine (Darren Criss). At one time, the world would not have been ready for two men singing this song to each other, but the times, they are aíchanging and Colfer and Crissí voices blend together perfectly creating a new and slightly unconventional version of one of my favorite holiday songs.
I was sad to discover that the powers that be did not see fit to add the Welcome Christmas, The Whoville Christmas Song featured in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. This song was performed in the Christmas episode of Glee and I thought it would add further uniqueness to the album as The Whoville Christmas Song is conspicuously absent from most Christmas albums on the market. Can you imagine that?! I mean, what a simple and sweet Christmas song! (Note: While laying out this article, I discovered that the Glee version of Welcome Christmas is available in MP3 format on Amazon - check it out here.)
Despite this omission, I really enjoyed listening and singing along with Gleeís new Christmas album. With the perfect variety of timeless classics blended with some rare Christmas songs and a never before heard mash-up, Glee: The Music, The Christmas Album is most definitely THE Christmas album to buy this year.