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A Christmas Cornucopia

4.3 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 16, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2010 holiday release from the Eurythmics vocalist, A Christmas Cornucopia is a collection of new, inspired interpretations of 11 traditional festive songs, rounded out by a new Lennox composition, 'Universal Child'. The music on the album was mostly played by Lennox, in collaboration with co producer Mike Stevens, and recorded in his southwest London studio - at the bottom of his garden. But to achieve the resonance and vibrancy that were integral to Lennox's ideas for these re-energized reboots, the pair also worked with a 30-piece orchestra at Pinewood Studios. And they travelled further afield too: to South Africa, to record with the African Children's Choir, a remarkable organization with which impassioned campaigner and activist Lennox has long had a relationship.

From the Artist

"All the income that I earn from Universal Child will be paid to the Annie Lennox Foundation." The Annie Lennox Foundation, the stars own charity, raises money for charitable projects supporting and educating women and children in Africa with HIV/AIDS.

"I've known these songs, these carols all my life, I've sung them since I was little," says the songwriter and singer of The Holly And The Ivy, Silent Night, The First Noel and other, less-widely-known songs such as Il Est Ne Le Divin Enfant, and Lullay Lullay. " They're just in me. They're a huge part of my life. So it's not an arbitrary selection. Those relationships with those pieces of music were there intrinsically before I approached the recording."

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 16, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • ASIN: B0043A0PXU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,404 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I'm a lifelong Annie Lennox fan and was excited about the release of this album. However, upon listening to it the first time through I couldn't help but think, "This is the ANGRIEST Christmas album I've ever listened to!" Another reviewer said Annie seems to be at "full throttle" throughout the album and that's a spot-on description. And yet I have already listened to the album several times over because the arrangements are interesting and different and INTENSE. Annie Lennox never ceases to fascinate the listener even if she is scaring the pants off you in a few songs. "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen" sounds like she's storming the ramparts and if you don't lift a glass to holiday cheer she's going to kick your ass. "Coventry Carol" also has that intensity, but it works. The way "Il est né" is repeated in an atonal fashion shows Annie can be scary and intense in French, too. It's only on the last three songs that the throttle is pulled back a bit. "Universal Child" is haunting, lush and touchingly tender. It's a relief after the vehemence of the rest of the album. There is definitely passion in this recording which makes it worth purchasing and enjoying. Just do as she says and back away slowly!
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Annie Lennox is an extremely talented individual who gives of herself more than many other artists out there. This Christmas collection is no exception. It is NOT for everybody however. Many of the selections are madrigal and obscure to the average individual. People who have taken voice, performance classes such as choral, and music educators would be the most likely to be ABLE to appreciate her efforts. Alas, the teeming masses yearning for Christmas make out music will need to look elsewhere. I found the unique twists on the songs to be very enjoyable and relaxing to listen to. I will be keeping this playing throughout the holidays.
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
True to her unique style of singing, Annie has come out with a new album that breaths life back into what has become a rather monotonous genre in the music category - the ever less varrying string of boring Christmas albums that are pumped out each year by artists whose time has long since past. Annie, on the otherhand, has put her all into this new album and released a wonderful array of beautifully rendered holiday classics. Her voice is still as vibrant as it ever was, and her unique style shines through on every song. I've listened to this album from start to finish, and I can honestly state that it is a masterpiece of music, with each song as unique as Annie herself, and with each song as satisfying to listen to as the last. Along with Enya's, and Sarah McLachlan's latest Christmas albums, Annie Lennox's newest album will definitely become an annual favorite of mine every holiday season going forward.
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Format: Audio CD
If you like traditional Christmas music, you'll love this album. If you like Annie Lennox, you ought to love this album, too. If you can imagine Annie Lennox doing traditional Christmas music in her own inimitable way, and if you've enjoyed her most recent albums, then nothing here should surprise you.

Some reviewers have absolutely trashed this album, insisting that Lennox's voice is shot. They've awarded the album one star and used words like "grating," "screeching" "strained," and "processed" to describe her singing. Two reviewers claim to have thrown the album straight into the trash. I'm not sure if they're listening to the same album I'm hearing, because Lennox's vocals sound just like they've always sounded to me. If anything, her tone may have deepened over the years, but as far as I can tell she certainly hasn't lost her chops. I think I'm being objective when I say that Lennox's singing is as powerful and as haunting on this album as it's ever been. As for the musical arrangements, I think she manages to stay reverent and appropriate to the material without compromising her own signature sound.

I can only guess that certain listeners are disappointed that Lennox would record these traditional Christian carols in favor of the secular material for which she's best known. One reviewer boldly claims that Lennox's original compositions "far surpass the quality of the compositions she has chosen for A Christmas Cornucopia." Is he referring to time-honored classics like "Silent Night" or "The First Noel?" Another reviewer claims to have enjoyed only the secular "Universal Child," Lennox's sole original composition on A Christmas Cornucopia--and, in my opinion, a forgettable piece by Lennox's high standards.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Not your shallow, commercial pop-holiday album here. This one's an awakening for soul and spirit, full of esoteric reminders of the true essence behind the celebration; that being the promise, labor and birth of Christ consciousness on the planet. The appearance of The African Children's Choir and African drums on some songs brings the experience right back to the cradle of civilization. A nice bonus is the included booklet containing Annie's message, the song lyrics and some very cool old-world visual art. It's spirituality without religion, so listen with your entire being!
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