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37
4.1 out of 5 stars
Christmas Collection
Format: Audio CDChange
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2001
Format: Audio CD
This Christmas cd is a bit of a patchwork, which Olivia owns up to in the liner notes. But mixing material from a Hallmark Christmas cd she did last year, along with tracks from Kenny Loggins "December" tv special, Olivia has put together a satisfying collection of holiday standards. Despite being dismissed (as by the Amazon reviewer) as a 70's pop star, Olivia's voice has grown in strength and assurance with age, as evidenced on her beautiful version of "Ave Maria." Her tracks with the London Symphony Orchestra are rich, and her more country flavored holiday tracks give the cd a nice variety. The only clunker is "Let it Snow!" with Kenny Loggins and Clint Black, which worked better on tv when you could see the 3 singers goofing around a bit.
Of course this cd is aimed as much as anything at ONJ's fans, who will probably complain that it's just another repackaging. But if you're looking for something special to slip into your cd player this season, you'd do well to make it Olivia's Christmas collection, which you just might find yourself continuing to play once Christmas has come and gone.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2001
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I've been listening to Olivia's music since I was 14 years old. I'm now 41 years old. I recently realized a dream when I was finally able to see her in concert. Her songs have been the back drop for most of the major events in my life. And now her songs will be the backdrop for my family's Christmas holidays as well. Her voice has matured, but still has that vulnerable quality that has always endeared her to her fans around the globe. The world seems to be a better place when listening to Olivia's music, and her tender voice will prove to be a soothing, yet uplifting accent to our Holiday Season. These past few months have been tremendously disturbing as we have all witnessed the terrorist activities in the U.S. We have seen more horrors than any of us ever thought we'd see in our lifetimes. Hearing a Christmas collection as sweet as this may help us all feel a little more normal this year as well as remind us all whose birthday we are celebrating. Do yourself a favor. Buy it.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I must say I was hoping for a new cd of new recordings, but this will have to do. Having said that, this doesn't mean that what we get is horrible. It's nice to see the songs from the Hallmark Cd getting a wider release. I love O's version of "Silver Bells"(love the opening). Of course there's the Christmas staples, like "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas"(from Kenny Loggin's TNN Special "December" Kenny sings this with Olivia) and Silent Night(another one from "December"), but Olivia brings her charm and warmth to these songs and I think her versions of Silent Night and What Child Is This are FANTASTIC! This cd leaves us wanting more though. I hope Olivia DOES record a new cd of Christmas standards...her voice is perfect for these songs and this cd will get a lot of airplay at my home this Christmas!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on December 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I absolutely love Olivia Newton-John. I've been a fan of hers as long as I can imagine, and I was thrilled when I heard she was releasing a Christmas CD. The results, however, are a mixed bag. Olivia has been on tour this year, leaving no time to go to the studio and record a brand new Christmas collection, so what you actually get on this CD, is a compilation of songs that have all appeared elsewhere, some good, some not so good. Several of the tracks included here were taken from a "Hallmark Cards" CD that she recorded last year with Vince Gill. Of those tracks, none of them really highlight her voice to it's full potential. The best of that lot was "Silver Bells". "O Holy Night" is terribly under-produced. It sounds as if her producer wouldn't let her use her entire range and kept her too restrained. A few of the other songs were lifted from a Kenny Loggins TV special from a couple of years ago,(the duet on "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" is one of the high points), plus a couple of other recordings she did for various projects, like the "Mother and Child" Christmas CD from 1995. ("Christmas Never Felt Like This", a very nice tune which Olivia co-wrote, is taken from that CD.) The low-point has to be "Let It Snow", which has Olivia clowning around with Clint Black and Kenny Loggins. It probably worked within the context of a TV special, but it just comes accross as goofy without the visuals to back it up. Overall, the CD is pleasant enough, but without any real surprises; the tracks just kinda run together. I really wanted to like it, and although I do enjoy some of the tracks, this is really for fans, only.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2001
Format: Audio CD
She's said to have the "purest pipes in pop" and this album will show believers and non-believers alike why this is true. Like the first track says, "Christmas Never Felt This way Before" - in ONJ's tempered readings, there is new meaning to the holiday season. Like Karen Carpenter before her, Olivia reaches places with her voice that few singers have ever reached. Instead of oversinging, she delights in simple interpretations that actually ring truer than similar versions from la Streisand or other more celebrated artists. What makes this unique and special is that we all know these songs through and through, so whenever an artist lends their own special presence to a song, it adds another dimension that energizes and excited the listener. The duets with Vince Gill, Kenny Loggins and Clint Black are sterling, and "Silent Night" is extraordinary in its simple phrasing. Olivia captures more magic with her voice than a Mariah Carey or Brittney Spears could ever hope to achieve, mostly by avoiding over extending her gift, and thereby keeping it accessible to all. I love this album, and like few other Christmas sets, it will please my family - and yours - for many years to come. Simply said, this is a MUST HAVE for your holiday entertaining!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
I'd be a Scrooge if I complained that this compilation of tracks from previous Christmas excursions by Olivia lacked originality or imagination. Or if the fact that Olivia sounds awfully complacent and apathetic in her vocal delivery. Or if the London Symphony Orchestra is too bombastic for Olivia's fragile voice. So no Scrooge. Olivia has always been one of my favorite singers. Her elocution and vulnerability have always made her recordings very unique and special. I wish she had come up with a whole new collection, maybe they would have sounded fresher and more inspiring. As they stand, though, they are pleasant enough renditions of some of our favorite songs and carols. They should provide excellent musical backdrop for a nice quiet dinner party or while trimming the tree, drinking hot chocolate and eating Chocolate Chip cookies. Olivia is one of our finest and this CD, while it will never be one of her best, is a holiday treat in itself.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Universal Music released earlier this year "Magic-The Best of Olivia Newton-John"...was for a better word, it was "MAGIC"!...this second album for the year is a collection of standard and new Christmas songs, Olivia shines with her warmth and innocence, approaching each selection as though you heard it for the first time, her tender sounding voice gives us and her fans so much pleasure.
Let's look at the stand outs ~ "HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS", featuring Kenny Loggins..."AWAY IN THE MANAGER", with Vince Gill...and the highlight has to be "SILENT NIGHT", no one I believe, has ever sung this with such emotion and feeling from within, brings a tear to your eyes!
Total Time: 43:12 on 12 Tracks ~ Universal/Hip-O 314-585-413-2 ~ (2001)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on December 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Overall I'm happy with this CD. Olivia's still sweet and lovely voice is well suited to traditional Christmas carols. However, her voice is simply too delicate to compete with the London Symphony Orchestra, and she simply shouldn't have attempted Ave Maria, which can really only be conquered by a classically trained operatic singer. (Oh Holy Night is a stretch for her, too.) Otherwise, the CD is fun in a sing-along sort of way, and I remain a loyal fan.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on October 31, 2001
Format: Audio CD
And what I got is a compilation of previously released recordings. I would have loved to have heard a couple of new recordings. Especially solo ones. The cuts from Kenny Loggins Christmas Special were not released on a CD or Album but they all, with the exception of SILENT NIGHT are duets or trios. The rest of the CD is songs from other compilations. How about some new recordings of Christmas Classics, not recycled ones.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 30, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Unfortunately this and the re-package 20th Century Masters are both out of print. Olivia at the time of this release never recorded a complete Christmas album and as the reviews state, it's a patchwork collection comprised of her appearances on television and outside studio work, the bulk from a Hallmark collection. The previously unreleased "The First Noel" has a cold feel to it, the instrumental backing is keyboard with a pop tempo and Olivia's voice simply overdubbed. For me the standout track is "Ave Maria" with the London Symphony providing the lush strings and Olivia's fragile lead supported but not overwhelmed by full choir backing. Had an entire album been recorded with this same quality Olivia would have had a resurgence in her career and this album would have remained in print.
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