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4.1 out of 5 stars
4.1 out of 5 stars
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on December 26, 2003
Whitney's voice has matured and gained great depth and range. It is in terrific shape!! I have to admit that since I am not into x-mas music (I only know 2 of them), the album needed two listens to grow on me . Without further ado:
- The First Noel: When I listened to the sample I thought her voice was a bit airy, but now listening to the real deal, it is in great shape. The song is great, her delivery is great, and the music is good, (A)
- The Christmas Song: Great voice, well produced, and I loved the high note (flyyyyyy)... makes me wish for snow!! (A)
- Little Drummer Boy: Bobby Krista.. CUTE!! ... Whitney with all the tenderness in the world "sing baby... that's my baby".. I liked how the music picked up, and her voice is also in great shape!! (A)
- One Wish: The song started good, but then I lost total interest when she hit the chorus,, as several pointed out, the chorus needed some work, nonetheless her voice is very generous and the message is noble (B).
- O Holly Night: Faaaaalllll... Oh God the way she hit that note gave me the chills... this should be released as a special single "how to sing" sent to all those "singers" out there.
- I'll be home for x-mas: Something about the music I don't like, but otherwise the song sounds good, her voice is good, but I think the rest of the album overshadows this one. (B+).
- Deck The Halls/Silent Night: Amazingly, I LOVE this mix!!! Very nice, very energetic, nontheless, Whitney did hit those notes like nobody's business,,, sing it girl! (A)
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas: Talk about a timeless classic!! Good voice, but I thought the music was a bit loud at parts (i.e. her voice maybe should have been mixed a bit lowder). (A-).
- O Come Emanuel: OH MY GOD!! OH MY GOD!! This is the one, Amazing song!! Amazing voice!! and God knows that with no music she sounds legendary!! I loved the vocal runs and the falesto, Very HAUNTING can I add?? (A+).
Overall: A+!! Great holiday album, I see nonfans enjoying this as I did and probably even more.
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on January 5, 2004
Okay, Whitney has had her share of bad press over the past couple of years. What has this got to do with her music? After listening to this holiday album, you'll know the answer to that is nothing. Does she carry the same flavor or style of singing since her debut album in 1985? For the most part, yes. The only thing that's changed about her singing is that she has developed her own style. When you listen to her latest album, you realize she has matured and more importantly, has the ability to make any song uniquely her own. Her vocals are still as smooth as silk and range as high as Everest. Admittedly, she can at times get a little carried away with the melisatics. But compared to Christina Aguilera, Whitney is a traditionalist. I applaud her continued efforts and showing the critics she is here to stay for years to come. Compared to many of the fly by night performers out there, Houston has been well established now for 19 years. Music styles may change but this is one vocalist whose legacy will continue for generations like Aretha Franklin, Nancy Wilson & Ella Fitzgerald. You need to add her Christmas album to your collection!
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on January 21, 2004
Whitney's voice is still great, but the song mix, the style and polish you would expect from a superstar were just not there. I really feel like I just didn't get $15 bucks worth of music.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon December 8, 2003
With her last album, the disastrous "Just Whitney", I thought that I had given up on Whitney. I had had it - the damaged voice, the lukewarm production, the third-rate material, the failed attempts to make contemporary R&B music - enough was enough. I had been a fan through thick (her first two albums, the "Preacher's Wife" soundtrack) and thin (the disastrous "My Love Is Your Love"), but I was starting to feel quite let down by this former prodigy. When I heard that she was going to release a Christmas album, I changed my mind. I thought, "Christmas music is so good, and Whitney can sing so beautifully when she puts her heart into it", that it sounded like a can't-miss deal. So I bought it.
Sad to say, after a few listens, that Whitney has managed to miss... for the most part. Songs like "The Christmas Song", "The First Noel", "Deck The Halls / Silent Night" and especially "I'll Be Home For Christmas" are painful to listen to because of the way Whitney desperately avoids singing the right notes, bending and twisting her way around the real melody of those evergreens, using twelve notes in each word to hide the fact that she really can't hit just one note on the head anymore. Whitney used to possess the most beautiful voice in the world, rich, textured, expressive, emotional. Her singing on those songs is just plain flat, and as a former huge fan of hers, it's heart-wrenching to hear that even the studio wizardry cannot hide the fact that she has lost those magic vocal abilities. The biggest shock is to hear her child sing on "Little Drummer Boy" and feel that she sings better and more expressively than Mommy does. Ouch. The production itself is just plain lazy, once again pushing Whitney in a direction where she doesn't belong, meaning the diluted form of R&B that pretends to be contemporary black music.
So what saves this album from being an epic disaster ? Well, for once, there is an expressive and heartfelt version of "O Holy Night", featuring a more traditional arrangement, that proves that Whitney could still do it all over again if she really wanted to. Including two songs from the soundtrack of "The Preacher's Wife" is a shameless exploitaton of her fans, but those two songs are beautiful indeed. And the a capella version of "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" (featuring delicious vocal interplay with backup singers) is just sublime. They prove that, given the right material and the right production skills, Whitney can still reach your heart.
I wish she had recorded this album ten years ago, when she still had total control of her voice, and when she could still sing a straight melody without retorting to cheap vocal gymnastics. What a truly wonderful Christmas present it could have been...
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on December 9, 2003
The reason: "The Christmas Song" (track 2)
People can argue that her voice is messed up, that her life is a wreck, etc. But when you get older and do things that damage your voice, your vocal chords are not the same as they were when you were a teenager. So, if she can't hit the high notes like she used to, it's not really that much of a surprise.
But what is a surprise is how she makes up and seems to mispronounce words. "Tiny little tots with their eyes all aglow... will find is hard to SLEEVE tonight. Yaba Daba Laba Raba" This is where the song gets good. Then, she goes on to sing, "To see if REINDEERS really know how to fly." Then the ending is just a little creepy as she whispers merry Christmas.
Similar amusing vocal effects happen on the next track "Little Drummer Boy" and probably on the rest of the cd, I just can't get through it all.
This cd ends up being a caricature of Whitney and gives MadTv an overabundance of material to amuse us with. When she needed something to prove that she's a functional member of society and still a vocal powerhouse, a nonsensical woman has delivered a musical joke.
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on November 18, 2003
Have been waiting for Whitney to record a holiday album for the better part of 15 years and finally she has. My one wish is that she had done it earlier in her career when she was clearly on top of her game. But what she delivers is a very warm and soulful holiday album - worthy of her legend.
The brightests spots on the album are the appearance of Bobbi Kristina "The Little Drummer Boy" (so that's what Whitney sounded like as a child!); O Holy Night - she reaches for and hits the high note and the opening song "The First Noel." - "Joy To The World" and "Who Would Imagine A King" were both Houston masterpieces when first released. (Wisely, "Do You Hear What I Hear" is not included)
The only mis-step is the title track. Better to have stuck with classics than to add one original and decidedly uninspired track.
5 Stars - for giving the best she's got at the moment, taking some risks and for delivering what the faithful have been asking for.
Whitney on behalf of all of us who have begged for this album for years - thank you. Happy Holidays.
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on December 13, 2003
Recently Whitney Houston has recieved more attention for her personal life and turbulent marriage than for the release of her two latest CD's Just Whitney and the One Wish Holiday Album (which debuted at #58 ?!?!?!) I closed my eyes and put this CD in my CD player to grasp the emotion in her voice and the surrounding music without focusing on WHITNEY HOUSTON. The first track THE FIRST NOEL is the albums best. The vocals and simplicity of the production really make the beauty of the carol come through, but to the above average vocal listener . . . We notice that Whitney is struggling with her upper register (her higher full voice range) It's coming across throaty which for someone like Mary J Blige would add character and emotion to the voice. Because we are so use to Whitney's crystal clear belting, its a little disheartning. The next track . . . The Christmas Song is very nicely done . . . with a few grammatical errors (Everybody's mothers child is going to spy. . . .)The little drummer boy couldve have survived without her daughter but it is a nice thought anyway. Cantique De Noel/ O Holy Night is very beautifully done however . . . when you hold it up to Mariah's 1994 and Celine's 1998 and Christina Aguilera's 2000 versions . . . its very flat. Now thats not really fair since each of those vocalists were at the top of their vocal game (at those times respectavely) The rest of the album is pretty standard Whitney Houston Christmas Carols two songs stand out I'll be home for christmas (she sings this over an electronic keyboard no other instruments and it sounds wonderful wonderful wonderful --- even though there is struggling to get up in her higher range) O Come Emanuel is nicely done especially the last run/riff. I am pissed they included two songs from the 1996 Preachers Wife soundtrack because that made it in total only 9 new songs recorded for the album. Overall even though i seem overly critical in the review this is a Good Chrsitmas Album . . . we just expect Great work from Whitney Houston.
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on December 1, 2003
This cd is so good. The way she sings her songs touches me. The This cd is so good. The way she sings her songs touches me. The song choices are good. She has not lost her voice, it has changed but for the good. The deepness, the soulfulness, it's just all there. This is a cd for the ages.
First Noel- Beautiful arranged song. Her voice is so clear on here. Excellent production. She hits some lovely notes in this song.
Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting is what us black folks know it as lol)- Very good rendition of the song. She sounds very pretty and her voice floats over the track.
Little Drummer Boy- This song feat. Whitney's daughter and she sings very well. This song is a melodious take, Whitney sounds good with the drum sounds she makes at the end.
One Wish- My new holiday favorite! This is a new classic written by Whitney and Mervyn somebody lol this song is so good.
O Holy Night- An awe-inspiring song. She really takes the songs to another level.
I'll Be Home For Christmas- A bluesy Christmas love promise. She sounds very much suited for the song. She makes her voice do this weird adlib at the end.
Deck the Halls/Silent Night- Funky medley of two songs. She sounds so gospel-influenced on this song. This is one of my favorites.
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas- really nice song. She does this really cool adlib after she hits high note which reminds me of the gospel great Kim Burrell.
O Come, O Come Emmanuel- You feel spiritual when you hear this song. She really ministers the words with her voice. I love her voice at the end.
Who Would Imagine A King- Song off the Preachers wife soundtrack this version.
Joy To The World- Also off the Preachers wife redone...amazing song with choir.
This album was great! My only regrets were that it left me wanting more tracks. Butall in all this is a cd you won't want to miss. Long Live Whitney!
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on December 22, 2003
Anyone under the impression that Whitney Houston was washed up and over with needs to hear this album. It is a true testament of why she is one of the most influential R&B singers of our time. This album ranks up there with Boyz II Men's "Christmas Interpretations" and Mariah Carey's "Merry Christmas" albums. Whitney didn't just pick the typical "poppy" Christmas songs to record, she also chose the traditional songs. Such as "The First Noel," "O Come O Come Emanuel" and "Cantique de Nvel (Oh Holy Night)." One of my favorites has to be the stirring rendition of "O Come O Come Emanuel" that sounds like the group Take 6 was backing her up. The single released from the album "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" may be misleading to some because she's not singing at her full register, but the other songs on the album find her belting out the notes like the Whitney Houston we're used to. She even gets a little bit of help from daughter Bobbi Christina on "Little Drummer Boy" and surprisingly the little girl doesn't sound half bad. Whitney then takes you to church at the end of the CD with "Joy To The World." I got goosebumps when I first heard it. This is one of those albums that will go down as a classic, and if you're a collector of holiday music this is one that HAS to become a part of your collection. It sure has for me, and will be one of the only Christmas albums I'll be listening to this season.
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on November 26, 2003
I was one of the long-time fans who based on Whitney's history of great albums (with the exception of the awful "I'm Your Baby Tonight") purchased last years dimsal flop "Just Whitney" and quickly returned it to the store as I was horrified by the way Whitney's vocals had been destroyed by a well-documented addiction to drugs. It has been 12 months and things have not improved. I thought I would give her one more chance but I find myself equally dissapointed.
The cover featuring a photo of Whitney looking like she is once again on some wonderful crack chistmas vacation, lounging on a bed with a huge grin and stripper-like dead eyes did not instantly appeal to me but again for me, she had one more chance.
I've already returned the album to the store and dug out Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas (wisely recorded years before Mariah's voice turned to a whisper)
The single "One Wish" is a mess and Whitney's vocals on the track and the album are almost unrecognisable - deep and hoarse and often straining over unnecessary ad-libs that destroy the classics. In fact "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is downright awful.
The album reeks of contract filler especially with the addition of the tracks from the much-forgotten soundtrack to The Preachers Wife (possibley Denzel's most embarrassing moment). With her recent track record of flop albums, being dropped by awards shows, all night parties and strange behaviour in prime time interviews my "one wish" is for Whitney to wake up to herself and start to sing again otherwise she may just be dropped by her record company - afterall they did it with Mariah.
You want Whitney at her best? Pick up "The Bodygaurd" soundtrack and the beautiful "My Love Is Your Love"
This is not an album you can listen to at Christmas dinner.
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