3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is great, even if not their greatest.,
This review is from: Christmas Extraordinaire (Audio CD)
I guess I expect a lot from Chip Davis, from Mannheim Steamroller and from American Gramaphone. I have a delightful girlfriend as a result of Sunday Morning Coffee, so my expectations are quite high with these folks. I even have to say that their prior Christmas albums were, overall, better, but not by all that much. And still, I gave this five stars. Permitted, I'll explain.
I have to admit that there was a certain constant theme that seemed to prevail in the music that threatened to make it fall into the `recipe' category. Sure, it was beautiful, but the album overall lacked the surprises that the previous albums were rich with. White Christmas had a campy (does anyone still use this term?) feeling to it, but then I realized that this was the goal and somehow the kid that grew up in the fifties felt `back home' and opening that box with the matching set of cap guns and leather holsters that Roy and Hopalong would have traded their horses for.
This was good. As music, it was great. As music, so are the next several tracks; they're really great music, but they aren't surprising, and that's what Mr. Davis has addicted us to. Then came Fum Fum Fum. That was a real surprise! I loved it! It's the least Christmas track of them all and it's still delightfully holiday.
Now, O Tannenbaum would have been enough for me to give this album a superior rating. Sure, I'm a Johnny Mathis fan, but he didn't do it. To me, the song itself has always reeked with power, and never more than this rendition.
However, it was the last track that absolutely made the album worth the price (clever bunch, those steamrollers). In my childhood it was required to see and appreciate both sides of the New Year. Certainly, it is a new beginning; a time for hope, for setting new paths and expressing new hopes. It is the time for great optimism and high expectation. My grandparents also made me see it as a time for reflection on the year that has passed. It was a sad year in so many ways; a year full of necessary remembrances. I too had a friend in the World Trade Center. So many of my greats were gone like Chet Atkins and Harvey Martin and many more. I lost four personal friends this year - not a record, but still a heavy toll. What year is not? I can imagine nothing that so perfectly captures this melancholy, particularly of this year in these United States, as this rendition of Auld Lang Syne. If you're the kind of music nut I am who buys entire record sets to get one track, make this that one you do this year.