Bocelli’s “My Christmas”: Worth the Wait

I’ve been waiting almost fifty years for someone to give Bing Crosby a run for his money on White ChristmasAndrea Bocelli not only rounds the final turn with Bing on the world’s best-selling Christmas tune, he goes neck-to-neck with the legendary crooner right down to the wire in his long-awaited My Christmas.  And then some.  (Check it out here.)

A delicioso collection of seasonal favorites old and new, My Christmas is a keeper. This album showcases the formidable talents of our favorite tenor, Andrea Bocelli, against an enchanting backdrop of sumptuous orchestration and arrangements featuring adult and children’s choirs, a Bocelli flute solo, gracious transitions, luscious duets, sudsing counter-melodies and performances that are as polished and pristine as new-fallen snow.

Some will say this  multi-lingual album offers something for everyone: sacred, secular, solemn and slightly silly.  Others may see My Christmas as an over-reaching attempt to please everyone, leaving no one completely satisfied.  (The inclusion of the vocally pleasing but humanistic I Believe seems a curious “pseudo-Christmas” selection.)

Whatever your opinion, My Christmas is a Thoroughbred.  Backed up by a full choir and orchestra, Bocelli’s Angels We Have Heard on High is as stirring as they come. Jingle Bells with the Muppets may be a little too cute for some, but others will find it winsome and whimsical.  Noteworthy are an incandescent duet with Natalie Cole in The Christmas Song, Bocelli’s soaring Adeste Fideles, his multi-lingual O Tannenbaum, and a playful Santa Claus is Coming to Town.  Other stand-outs include a soft-as-silk Silent Night and a towering Cantique de Noel (a personal favorite).  The album wraps up tightly with a jubiliant God Bless Us Everyone.   (Those of us who’ve been around long enough to remember Crosby’s original version of that famous Irving Berlin tune thank My Christmas producers for an insert and play list with print that’s large enough to read unaided!)

Like Christmas itself, this album is worth the wait.  If you like Andrea Bocelli, you’ll love My Christmas.

***

Apologies for a *late* review of My Christmas.  My CD was nestled under the tree and I had to wait until December 25 to unwrap it and give it a listen!

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