Under the Mistletoe
"Under The Mistletoe" A QD Review ~!
As 2012 begins to wrap up, we get to one of my favorite times of year. First off to anyone reading this review, “Under The Mistletoe” is a definitive buy. This is one of the most well thought out Starbucks Christmas mixes I’ve ever heard and I’ve been actively following their output over the last six years. Christmas mixes have a tendency to sound disjointed when you’re covering the gambit of different genres/eras, again I can’t believe the cohesive vision/sound that the arranger had in mind as this was carefully constructed.
This review will be a little longer than normal as there is so much to cover, I’ll begin by talking about the wonderful lesser known gems I discovered. Stevie Wonder’s “Everyone’s A Kid At Christmas” a wonderfully upbeat piece that I still can’t believe was left on the cutting room floor when he recorded "Someday At Christmas". Ella Fitzgerald’s take on “The Secret Of Christmas” was something I’ve never heard before, what a breath taking piece, a very simple yet haunting arrangement. I love discovering new tracks like this full credit has to once again go to the thoughtful track selection..
I can’t give enough praise specifically in the time span category, as this music selected was from the last fifty or so years. Yet fresh takes from Bob Dylan (“Here Comes Santa Claus”), She & Him (“Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”) and of course the truly special take on the ‘Wham’ classic “Last Christmas” supplied by The Puppini Sisters, lined up with classic cuts from The Drifters (“White Christmas”) and Johnny Mathis (“Sleigh Ride”). I have no idea how a 2013 edition will compete as the bar is set so high on this disc!
Finally the standout cuts, first off Peggy Lee’s “The Christmas Waltz” presented in elegant fashion here. Sidney Bechet’s “Silent Night” is an incredible New Orleans flavored concoction, such an upbeat interpretation. Diana Krall’s take on “The Christmas Song” is simply a classy classic rendition. Otis Redding’s classic take on “Merry Christmas Baby” is a staple more folks need to hear, Starbucks has done a wonderful job of showcasing Otis this year! Finally Bing Crosby’s take of “Winter Wonderland” recorded in the sixties stands out as the song of the disc for me, because really is there anyone else that comes to mind as the "Definitive Christmas Crooner"?
Seriously everyone run out and get this, like NOW! Fantastic job Starbucks, I look forward to 2013 and all the compilations you have in store! Merry Christmas and the Happiest New Year to everyone ~!
November 15, 2012