His stunning first solo Christmas album! Includes two new holiday standards, the title track and Christmasey (with lyrics by Jimmy Webb), plus brilliant renditions of Auld Lang Syne; Deck the Halls; The First Noel; O Holy Night ; new versions of the Beach Boys' classics Little Saint Nick and The Man with All the Toys , and more!
A new Brian Wilson record is always cause for celebration, even if it turns out to be an album of Christmas music, his third such venture in 40 years. What I Really Want for Christmas
features Wilson and the crack band he employed on Smile
putting their spin on 10 traditional favorites, plus new versions of the Beach Boys' "Little Saint Nick" and "The Man With All the Toys" and two originals cowritten with Bernie Taupin and Jimmy Webb. Though they don't rise to the level of his best work (admittedly the tallest of orders), the title track and "Christmasey" prove Wilson can still turn out a catchy melody when he wants to, and the disc as a whole shows his arranging chops are as strong as ever, if no longer as innovative. Like Smile
, What I Really Want for Christmas
sometimes suffers in comparison to the Beach Boys--Wilson dedicates it to his "beloved brothers Carl and Dennis who I miss singing carols with" (as do we)--but occasionally, as on "O Holy Night," one feels the old soul and spirit shining through. Though it may not merit a spot next to The Beach Boys' Christmas Album
and A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector
as a classic of the genre, it's still a joy to hear Wilson singing the songs he's loved since childhood. If this is your kind of music, this is your kind of album. --Benjamin Lukoff