Album: Joe McElderry, Classic Christmas (UCJ)

 

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The Independent Culture

Joe McElderry's Christmas album exemplifies the worst aspects of the genre, with his simpering delivery of songs like "Mary's Boy Child" and "White Christmas" exacerbated by the gross sentimentality of the choral and orchestral arrangements.

With a lone piper strangled by strings on "In the Bleak Midwinter", the result is to pour syrup over even this most elegantly melancholy of melodies, while Chris Rea's "Driving Home For Christmas" has the cheesiest of cabaret orchestrations.

The duet "Holy Night" crystallises the problem: the contrast between the depth and power of Rolando Villazon's delivery and the insipidity of McElderry's is such that another layer of glutinous children has to be added, to make his voice appear not quite so weedy.

DOWNLOAD THIS: Adeste Fideles; Last Christmas

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