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A Holiday Carole
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a baubled bangled Christmas Tree..."
So sang Carole King, whimsically, on "Chicken Soup With Rice" the highlight of her 1975 Maurice Sendak "Really Rosie" collaboration. That landmark children's album marked a spirited departure in style and performance from her earlier more somber Ode albums. It's with that same joie de vivre that Carole King performs the 12 songs on her just released "A Holiday Carole."
Too busy writing her memoir, "A Natural Woman," Our Miss King turned the creative "reins" over to her daughter Louise Goffin to not only write the original songs on the album, but, also oversee production. r Louise, a long celebrated singer/songwriter in her own rite, rises to the occasion and delivers us a Carole King album, that, even though there are no Carole King compositions and only a few tracks on which she plays piano is as true to the artist's vision as anything she herself would have produced.
I guess the fact that Louise was born shortly after Carole left a recording studio back in 1960, might account for the fact that she is totally at home in the recording studio. Louise proves to be as talented as her mom and pop (Gerry Goffin) in crafting and producing songs which perfectly complement her client's strengths. Louise takes out a whole new pallet of musical colors and makes this album sparkle and shine, as much as, well, a baubled bangled Christmas tree.
The more one listens to each track, the more you'll hear hidden sounds, instruments, and flourishes, which breathe new life into seasonal songs we've all heard a million times.
The first electric guitar rift of the opener, the classic, "My Favorite Thing" lets you in on the fact that you're about to hear a seasonal album unlike any you've heard before.Read more ›
Amazingly, King writes none of the songs here and relinquishes production duties to her daughter, Louise Goffin, who showcases King in a variety of settings from light breezy jazz (Favorite Things)to R&B Gospel (Everyday Will be Like a Holiday). The standout tracks, and there are many, include Goffin's compositions like Christmas Paradise and a multi-generational reading of the Chanukah Prayer set against an avant garde jazz vibe.King is in fine voice throughout and ends the set with a haunting track "New Year's Day" - writen by Goffin and Guy Chambers. This closing number will go down as one of the great Carole King classic performances. This holiday set is a long awaited gift for fans who can rest assured that King still has much to contribute well after the holidays are over.
The album is a family affair. Daughter Louise Goffin produces (excellent taste, excellent arrangments, excellent mixes) and she co-wrote three of the songs including New Year's Day which is a wonderful song about starting anew while remembering the old. Grandchildren appear in supporting roles and their performances are all top notch - vocals, drums and guitar.
My favorite songs are My Favorite Things (incredible arrangement, love Ms. King's phrasing, also The Chanukah Song, Christmas in the Air, Everyday is a Holiday and New Year's Day.
This is a first class album, from the excellent album art to the selection of songs, to the way Ms. King interprets the songs with her voice, to the high level of musicainship.
Put two previous Carole King albums together: Really Rosie meets Tapestry [in December]. And this wonderful work is what you get.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An odd collection of songs. I love Carole King, but this is not among her best work.Published 6 months ago by Shikantaza
Gifted. Receiver thrilled to receive this ! Carole always gives more than is expected. Always a blessing.Published 7 months ago by Texas CatWoman
Of a very large Christmas music collection this is quickly becoming my favorite. Carole's voice is like and old friend coming to visit for the holidays. Read morePublished 8 months ago by EricPDX
Packages arrived very quickly and was exactly as described. Very pleased.Published 18 months ago by Craddock Commentaries
wonderful music, soothing voice. Arrived promptly and in good conditionPublished 18 months ago by Jeffrey Smith Vagell
Beautiful holiday album. The songs are wonderful. Carole King did it again.Published 18 months ago by Holly