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This Christmas by Various Artists

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Reviewed on 30th October 2012.


This Christmas

By Various Artists

The duo at the centre of probably the best loved musical of all time, Grease, have made a Christmas album (any life-loving person should be rushing to the shops already).

John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John work their way through thirteen Christmas standards with special guest appearances from the likes of Barbra Streisand and Tony Bennett. The album begins with a clever role reversal of characters in 'Baby It's Cold Outside,' giving Travolta the female part, possibly a dig at the recent homosexual revelations of his personal life. Their ad libs are terribly cringeworthy however you wouldn't expect anything less from this kind of thing and they get away with it because, let's face it, it's John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John doing a Christmas album.

The quality of their voices hasn't faltered whatsoever over the years, Travolta's vocals give the arrangements a rich, solid bass for Newton-John's voice to sit perfectly on top as it did back in 1978 when Grease was released. The orchestration is masterful and performed with excellent technique by the musicians. 'Silent Night' is a particular highlight with a taste of celtic music in the intro, the arrangement is then stripped bare for Newton-John's vocal to dazzle us with this timeless Christmas classic. The arrangement's delicacy reflects the sheer emotion of the carol. 'Winter Wonderland' is probably the best track, as the jazz feel of the Count Basie Orchestra along with Tony Bennett captures the great sound 1950s Christmas songs. The recording of this particular track sounds much more authentic and free flowing.

No doubt 'This Christmas' will grace your ears at some point during the festive period and you'll be swept away with the magic of it. Adding to the festive spirit of the album, both Travolta and Newton-John are donating their earning to their respective charities. The album also contains an original Christmas song, 'I Think You Might Like It,' by John Farrar who wrote 'You're The One That I Want' back in the day.

Certainly one to buy for Mum to play while baking Christmas cakes as Dad gets tangled up in the Christmas lights on the roof.



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John Travolta