Skip to main content

Holiday Review: Sarah McLachlan-The Classic Christmas Album

Release Date: October, 2, 2015
Label: Legacy/ Rmg/ Arista
Sarah McLachlan is an artist that grabs hold of your emotions and doesn’t let them go. This compilation of holiday songs covers many years of her performances both of well-known covers and original pieces. All of them resonate in this season of love and light and I think that’s what I most appreciate about this artist. She takes the lonely moments under the holiday lights and makes them poignant and just as beautiful as the shiniest Christmas tree. Little things bring joy and sorrow, but every bit of our human existence is precious to behold. Other artists on the album are: Diana Krall, The Barenaked Ladies and students from the Sarah McLachlan School Choir.

“Wintersong” is the first song on the album and is an original piece written and composed by Sarah McLachlan and Pierre Marchand in 2006. Isolation and the silence of a solitary Christmas morning shine as cold as the winter sun while McLachlan reminisces about the past.   Emotional and moving, the piano strokes illustrate the lonely starkness of the scene and gradually warm with the memories of the past. Reminders of her love are everywhere but she finds joy in the tender thoughts of Christmas past.

“God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings” is a piece from 2006 performed by Sarah McLachlan and The Barenaked Ladies. A joyful song filled with strumming guitar movements and a sense of community and familial contentment, you can’t help but groove along with the percussive beat. Jazzy and buoyant, these two classic songs are blended together with seamless vocals and textured sound.

“The First Noel/Mary Mary” is a mashup of two traditional songs from 2006. The ethereal nature of the background music, complete with string and an echoing electronica and percussive elements give a celestial tone to this piece perfectly suited to the heavenly vocals. This is one of my favorite pieces on the album and one you don’t want to miss. What begins as sweet and lilting quickly shifts to an upbeat melody filled with holiday joy and hope.

“Song for a Winter’s Night” is a Gordon Lightfoot cover performed by McLachlan in 1994. This piece again looks at the brightest season of the year and the longing and loneliness that can creep in as we miss those who are closest to us. An empty glass, reading over and over but not comprehending as the urge to be with the one she loves becomes nearly overwhelming. The vocals are breathless, the music simple multi-instrumentation with a few guitar strums are a highlight but the center of this piece is by far the vocals.

Sarah McLachlan is an artist on my one click list. Her emotive vocals and capability to reach into the darkest parts of our hearts and lift out the joy makes me speechless every time. With every album she never ceases to amaze and this one is no different. Filled with an expanse of cover and original works, she brings old classics to life and gives us all a groove to drink eggnog to. Do your ears a favor and make sure this album is in your holiday stocking this year. You won’t be disappointed.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Wintersong, God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings, The First Noel/Mary Mary, Song for a Winter’s Night


01. Wintersong
02. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
03. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
04. I'll Be Home for Christmas
05. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We three Kings  -  Sarah McLachlan Music Outreach Children's Choir and Youth Choir
06. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)  -  Sarah McLachlan School Choir
07. Prayer of St. Francis  -  Sarah McLachlan School Choir
08. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day  -  Sarah McLachlan School Choir
09. Space on the Couch for Two  -  Sarah McLachlan School Choir
10. Find Your Voice  -  Sarah McLachlan School Choir
11. River
12. Silent Night
13. The O Little Town of Bethlehem
14. The First Noel/Mary Mary
15. Song for a Winter's Night
16. In a Bleak Mid Winter  - Diana Krall
17. Christmas Time Is Here  - Diana Krall

Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer
December 11, 2015
Review Provided By Write A Music Review


Popular posts from this blog

New Age Instrumental Review: Anaya Music-AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music)

Release Date: February 2, 2018 Label: Anaya Music Website
Around this time a year ago I had the experience of listening to Anaya Music and providing coverage of Eternity.  It was an uplifting experience and a memorable listen as I recall.
Now with February drawing closer AONKI – Gateway of Love (Cosmic New Age Music) will arrive.
Once again, the recording features several exceptional collaborations between Anaya Music and a live virtual symphony orchestra recorded in the heart of Prague, the capital of the Czech republic. The orchestra combines members of the finest ensembles in Prague, including the Czech Philharmonic.
I think they should rename the orchestra to “The Live Spiritual Orchestra.” If you have been exposed to Anaya Music you will understand what that means. If this is your first journey with this music you will find out very quickly. Either way, this is spiritually uplifting music that leaves a smile on your soul. It’s like the term digital footprint, there is an everlasting m…

Jazz Fusion-Rock-Pop-Funk Review: Project Grand Slam-Trippin’

Release Date: June 29, 2018 Label: Cakewalk Records Website
This will be my sixth voyage into the world of Project Grand Slam (PGS). So, what is this experience going to be like this time? I would expect the same great combination of jazz, rock, funk, and pop that I always enjoyed.

Just so you all know PGS is: Robert Miller (bass), Mario Castro (saxophones), Bayden Goyo (keyboards), Joel E. Mateo (drums), Guillermo Barron Rios (percussion), Tristan Clark (guitar) and the beautiful Ms. Ziarra Washington (vocals).

So, now we are Trippin’ into 2018 with PGS. And the first track titled “1972” was like turning on the radio and hearing the Average White Band or Tower of Power. Yes sir, on the AM dial, it came blaring through back in those days. 

The title track is a real gas too. This number has some great sax from Castro and a killer rhythm section courtesy of Miller and Mateo. It shines the spotlight on them clear and bright. Let me tell you, those two are like the dynamic duo, kind of like a p…

New Biography on The Cars Singer/Bassist Benjamin Orr by Vermont Writer Joe Milliken to be Published November 2018!

Bellows Falls, VT – Veteran music journalist Joe Milliken recently announced a publishing deal with the Lanham, Maryland-based publisher Rowman & Littlefield Publishers to produce his first book, a biography about the late Benjamin Orr. Orr was the co-founder, co-lead singer, and bassist for the platinum-selling rock band The Cars. Titled Let’s Go! Benjamin Orr and The Cars, a release date is set for November 15, 2018.

Often considered the band’s heartthrob, Orr possessed an incredible voice, diverse musical talent and rare stage presence, all balanced by a magnetic, yet enigmatic personality, striking good looks, and a relentless determination to reach rock stardom. Born Benjamin Orzechowski (aka “Benny Eleven Letters”) and raised in the Cleveland suburb of Parma Heights, Orr was, prior to becoming a world-famous rock star with The Cars, a “teen star” as a house band musician for the nationally syndicated television show Upbeat.

A few years later Ben met his musical partner and …