It’s October, most people are enjoying the first few weeks of fall; drinking, baking or eating everything pumpkin spice and looking forward to the changing of the leaves but fans of country music are passing on the pumpkins and starting the Christmas tunes a little early this year. Of course I am not one of those normal people, I in fact am sitting in my room writing this by the light of my own Cowboy Christmas tree that has been up since last year.. LOL
2016 seems to be a big year for the genre in releasing Christmas albums but the first to release this year and one of the most anticipated has been that of Chris Young‘s. Young admits wanting to do this project since he joined RCA 10 years ago and jumped when the idea was brought to the table for him to cut one this season. While cutting a Christmas record in the middle of summer may have been difficult to manage for some, Young doesn’t waiver in vocally delivering emotion, romance, memories and tradition on this 10 track album.
Young’s unmatched voice is perfection on classics like “The Christmas Song“, “Holly Jolly Christmas“, “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” and “I’ll Be Home For Christmas“, while “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” displays his fun and lighthearted side on the jazzy tune. Some may remember a few years back in 2013 Young singing the jazzy Christmas tune while guest staring on a CBS Christmas Special. There’s no denying why the crooner has 8 #1 singles under his belt, Young continues to prove his vocal ability in each new project he releases.
If Young singing solo on this album wasn’t enough, the sultry country crooner mixes the perfect balance of collaborations on multiple tracks; siting the involvement from Brad Paisley, Alan Jackson and Boyz II Men. We all know Brad Paisley as the country singer that can tear up a guitar and entertain but his collaboration on “The First Noel” is another reminder of how Paisley also delivers vocally. One of my favorite’s, no doubt, is “There’s A New Kid In Town“, (Young’s duet with Alan Jackson). The song (originally sung by Alan Jackson and Keith Whitley and co-written by Whitley) hold’s a high standard to the original; it’s no secret Whitley is one of Young’s biggest influences and what a great tribute to 80s Country Artist we lost too soon. The final collaboration, with Boyz II Men, on “Silent Night” blew me out of the water. The harmonies are musical candy to the ears! I can only imagine what an experience it was for Young to have one of his favorite artists on this album.
Beyond the tradition and standards of the season, Young gives us two original songs that hold up to the same quality of lyrics and emotion as the classics. The first original on the album, “Under The Weather” (written by Young, Corey Crowder, Josh Hoge) is full of all the romance everyone wishes to experience during the holidays.
“It’s cold outside, you and I ain’t gotta go no where
I could start a fire, lay beside ya, all night right here
The snow’s comin’ down and it won’t be the only thing falling
so let’s stay here together
Under the weather”
and the bridge that makes everyone’s heart melt..
“I waited for this all year long
Something about turning on
Christmas lights for the first time
Watchin’ them shine in your eyes”
SWOON.. That’s gonna be the song bouncing around in every girl’s head from now til Christmas. The second original, final song and title track, “It Must Be Christmas” (written by Young, Johnny Bulford, Will Doughty), delivers every Christmas memory, feeling and emotion wrapped neatly in a gift wrapped package. Personally it reminds me of all the amazing memories of traveling 12 hours to see my Grandparents every year to North Carolina, the fun memories and deviant escape plans of getting out of bed early to see what Santa brought and the craziness of around 20 people all tearing open Christmas presents at the same time. This is the tear jerker, the song that will remind people of the loved ones that are no longer with us but who’s memories and legacies still live on, the song that everyone will relate to. I was blessed to get to hear this song with Johnny’s parents last week when the CD released, hearing Johnny’s mom point out the parts that reminded her of what her son and whole family experienced over the years was priceless. Such a personal song conveyed, not only by Young’s talent as a singer, but his, Johnny’s and Will’s as songwriters, its sure to be a tune that will remind every one of the priceless moments of the holiday. Cherish the moments now because one day they’ll be memories. This song needs to be a on Hallmark movie soundtrack! It would be killer to hear the inspiration for the song and background stories of the three men who effortlessly wrote a song that pegged all the feels of Christmas.
This CD undoubtedly will be on repeat a few times before the holidays roll in, I suggest you definitely grab a copy! Right now the album can be found online through Amazon and a few other retailers as well as digitally through iTunes..
It Must Be Christmas Track Listing
1. The Christmas Song
2. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)
3. Under the Weather
4. There’s A New Kid In Town (feat. Alan Jackson)
5. Holly Jolly Christmas
6. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
7. The First Noel (feat. Brad Paisley)
8. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
9. Silent Night (feat, Boyz II Men)
10. It Must Be Christmas