This album has truly captured the essence of what this time of year is all about and Annie has done it in style. The production, the vocals,the choirs and the choice of songs has gone far beyond what I was expecting and I am delighted with the result.
When I heard back in August that Annie was planning to record an album full of Christmas Carols I was admittedly very skeptical. After all there are so many artists out there who do this each year ...go and record an album of festive songs except they come away with an end product full of lacklustre results.
Like 'Medusa' from 1995 this albums sounds as is if Annie had written these tradtional songs herself. How she has the ability to make the hairs on your neck stand up just listening to these songs is sensational. 'Lullay, Lullay' is truly haunting and yet so beautiful. 'The First Noel' is majestic and yet timid starting off with just a piano and soprano backing vocals from Annie. This is then followed by the most beautiful encore of Annie and the choirs reciting 'Noel, Noel born is the King of Israel' until the song ends. Absolutely stunning.
'As Joseph Was A Walking' starts off in a rather unusual but yet cheeky manner which builds to the most majestic bridge forming another beautiful Cathedral like encore of Annie singing an almost operatic 'Hallelujah, Hallelujah' which just builds and builds with each line gaining more power and beauty, The ending of this song of Annie with the Choir is absolutely stunning. You just don't want this too end...sooooooo beautiful.
'Silent Night' is another gorgeous number filled with tenderness, beauty and seasonal passion. The song starts almost like a lullaby with Annie and the piano in the 1st verse rising to to a choir and full orchestra in the second verse.
Absolutely wonderful, Annie!
This album for me has been the most perfect Christmas album I have ever encountered and will treasure for many many years to come.