The moment the clock strikes midnight on Halloween and November begins, people begin listening to Christmas music, cherishing the 57 days they have to rock out to all the hit music of the holiday season. Bing Crosby, Bob Dylan and Frank Sinatra have made some of the most well-known holiday albums of all time, but will Blake Shelton’s country twist on Christmas classics in his new album “Cheers, It’s Christmas” be memorable enough to join to these famous holiday offerings?
With this being his first holiday soundtrack, Shelton collaborates with Reba, Kelly Clarkson, Michael Bublé and many other artists to create this 17-track album released on Oct. 2. The album opens with a holiday classic, “Jingle Bell Rock,” and Shelton puts his own twist on the late ‘50s song originally sung by Bobby Helms, turning it into a country-pop song. Shelton quiets the background music in order to allow the lyrics to shine through. More classics like “White Christmas,” “Let it Snow! Let it Snow! Let it Snow!” and “I’ll be Home For Christmas” are included.
“Home,” on which Shelton collaborates with Bublé, caught my attention as I listened to the album. The song is about someone wanting to be home with loved ones for Christmas and doing anything to have that memory of the holidays. With a cheerful melody and Bublé’s voice to accompany Shelton, the track offers a break from his strictly country genre.
“The Very Best Time of the Year,” a collaboration with Trypta-Phunk, is a slower yet refreshing look at country Christmas music. The storyline also follows a holiday love story, and talks about celebrating the holiday season through bright and happy lyrics. Trypta-Phunk compliments Shelton beautifully to create this fresh sound on a ‘60s favorite.
Personally, one of my all-time favorite Christmas songs, “I’ll be Home for Christmas,” lands on Shelton’s album as the eleventh track. He recreates the song in a classic, yet country tone with a complementary calm and soothing melody. As an avid country music listener, I was excited to see this classic song appear on his album, and it brought me right into the holiday mood. Shelton’s classic homegrown-country tone is perfectly accompanied by the guitar and piano. The guitar is showcased in its own riff, breaking up the song nicely for the listener. By slowing down the tempo of the song, Shelton stresses the importance of the song’s lyrics and its meaning as did Bing Crosby in the ‘40s, allowing everyone to fall in love with the holiday classic.
“There’s a New Kid In Town” follows the Bible story of the birth of Jesus Christ, told by Shelton and Clarkson in a slow yet meaningful melody. The song begins soft with subtle flute and piano notes that eventually turn more upbeat with the help of the drums.
Shelton’s uplifting holiday album is great for any country music fan looking for a new twist on holiday classics. “Cheers, It’s Christmas” is perfect to get any listener in the holiday spirit, and a great representation of a country artist taking on a different genre. Well done, Blake Shelton.