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Classic Tunes with Creative New James Taylor TwistJames Taylor is such a talented musician. That's what I like about him. He can take a classic Christmas tune and put a whole new twist on it so that it sounds unlike anything you've ever heard done with the song before! I own tons of Christmas albums and I've heard some of the tunes done the same way by every recording artists for decades. But this album is like a breath of fresh air, snow laden holiday air, that is. It is only October and I'm already listening to it.....repeatedly. this is my new favorite album by James Taylor. I love his soft, down home voice anyway. Pairing it with Christmas tunes seems a no-brainer. Trust me, if you like James Taylor you will LOVE this album!5A Christmas album that "feels" Christmas-y!Once upon a time I worked at a book/music store. During the Holiday Season we would play every genre of Christmas CD for the listening pleasure of our customers. I think I have probably heard them all, and I noticed that some collections were nice, some nostalgic and some ANNOYING. Many didn't even give a Christmas-y feeling or vibe at all!I sure wish that James Taylor's Christmas Album would have been available then. What a wonderful CD: the first time you hear it, I guarantee it will put you in a lovely Christmas mood. JT himself wrote in the album notes, this cd is intended to be played while "trimming the tree and quaffing eggnog..."I can't pick a favorite tune, they're all delightful: but here are some stand-outs: the breezy "Baby, It's Cold Outside" (the best version I've ever heard!), "Some Children See Him" (beautifully touching without being sappy), "Jingle Bells" (100% JT!) and the rousing, Celtic-flavored "Auld Lang Syne."A perfect Christmas Album.5Absolutely WonderfulYou probably have heard every song on this CD numerous times before and if you are like me, you may believe that you've never heard a bad Christmas song. Even so, James makes these songs his own ........ the tempo and his delivery is different than anything you have heard before with each of these songs. I went to college in Chapel Hill, NC from 1967 to 1971. I used to run into James occasionally. They had a Spring Festival every year(believe it was in April ....... it was such an enjoyable event and so much of a tradition, I'd like to think that it still goes on). One year, and I don't remember what year it was, I stopped by Fetzer field (an athletic field where they used to set-up a stage for the musical acts) and there was a person on stage with thin strand shoulder length hair just like mine, parted down the middle just like mine. I was sleepy and put my book bag under my head as I lay down to take a rest.I listened to him play and sing. When his performance was over, I heard his name mentioned and I remember saying to myself, "Not bad.". It wasn't too long after that that that his album "Sweet Baby James" hit the record stores ...... it was an immediate success. Not bad at all!!! Buy this album ....... no matter whatever you already have in the way of Christmas Music. It will become a favorite in no time. I love just about any instrument with strings on it. Yo-Yo Ma plays his cello on "Here Comes the Sun". Many Happy and Merry Christmases to all ....... may your life be long and peaceful.5Very nice Christmas musicI collect Christmas music and am always looking for something different. This fit the bill for me. James Taylor has a beautiful voice, the songs are a nice mix of traditional and modern, and the Beatles cover was a neat inclusion.5If you love JT, You need this Christmas album!I love this CD! I used to own this CD years ago and it went missing during a difficult time in my life. I had been looking for it quite awhile in local stores but had no luck. Then Amazon! It s a great mix of Christmas songs with a lovely JT twist! I highly recommend!! Thank5different from the first time I bought thisthey changed some of the tunes and 2 of them are not in English--didn't know the songs; therefore didn't enjoy as much as the first CD I bought with this cover. What gives?4Nope. Not a fan of this JT CDI was pretty disappointed in this CD. I think don't think it's up to his usual quality of singing and song choice. I do like the way he added a bit of jazz to one or two of the songs, though. Speaking of songs, I'm not quite sure how "Here Comes The Sun" fits into the holiday song category. I know, ...long, cold lonely winter...ice is melting..., etc., etc., but I still don't think it belongs on a Christmas CD. My fault for not checking the song listing. That song being on this CD certainly changed my review from being a three star, to a two star. I don't mean to sound harsh, because I really love James Taylor's music. This just isn't the norm from him.2For the Vinyl LP version: Poor Quality Pressing and Lot's Of Surface NoiseIf there was ever and album which should have had Amazon's AutoRip, it would be this one. The vinyl version of this album is a very poor pressing. First off, the record had a slight edge-warp which could be heard. There is excessive surface noise in-between tracks and especially in quiet passages like the record was played with a damaged stylus. Maybe this was a record that somebody else had previously returned. Maybe it would sound OK if it were played on a Crosley or U-Turn turntable? Cleaning on my VPI record cleaning machine didn't help.This is a good album though. It is James Taylor at his best. Some of the songs are kind of jazzy. Dave Gruisin's handywork is evident. If you like James Taylor and Christmas music, this album is a musthave!I have ordered a replacement LP and hopefully it will be of better quality.4Lovely rendition of Rossetti's "In the Bleak Midwinter"Lovely rendition of Rossetti's "In the Bleak Midwinter",, which James notes as Traditional. Not so, sir. Poem by Christina Rossetti, poem first appeared set to music in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. Popular and long-lived, but the poet and composer deserve mention.5Heal the HeartJames Taylor's Columbia holiday set is a gorgeous and friendly set that brings the smile of friends and good times to disc. Chris Botti's trumpet is lovely on the opener "Winter Wonderland" with James' voice oozing that warm friendliness that makes him sound like he's in YOUR living room singing just for YOU! James' voice is lovely on the gospel favorite "Go Tell It On the Mountain," "Shepherds watching over their flocks by night, out of the darkness shown a heavenly light." "Jingle Bells" is recast as blues funk track with some tasty lead guitar licks. The teasing duet with Natalie Cole on "Baby, It's Cold Outside" polishes the lovely melody with their voices playing well off each other. Joni Mitchell's classic "River" from her album "Blue" has now firmly become rooted in the Christmas cannon of modern singers with James' lonesome voice tailor-made (pun intended) for the tune. "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" is stunningly beautiful with the melody boasting its hopeful cheer and James' voice a dear lament for days gone by. "Some Children See Him" with Dave Grusin's piano is beautiful in this sparse musical setting. "Who Comes This Night" is a new song penned by producer Dave Grusin that first appeared on James' limited-release Hallmark set. With my family attending to a loved one who is all too quickly passing this holiday, its lovely message brings tears to our eyes, "Who sends this song upon the air to ease the soul that's aching, to still the cry of deep despair & heal the heart that's breaking." It is simply a lovely melody, superbly sung. The set ends with a classic version of the great New Year's song "Auld Lang Syne." James Taylor's "At Christmas" touches the heart in ways only his music could. Treasure this one! Enjoy!5
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