Aguilera,Christina ~ My Kind Of Christmas Like Whitney Houston, Christina Aguilera never met a melissmatic phrase (that gospel-like elongation of syllables) that she couldn't love. And she deploys more than her share throughout this 11-song holiday disc. Her excessive style is best-suited to "Merry Christmas, Baby"--complete with a surprise cameo by Dr. John. When she isn't blowing out her chords with embarrassing emoting, at times, Aguilera sounds like she's shouting. Still, you know that if you don't get this for your teenaged fan, it's you who will get that lump of coal in your stocking. --Martin Keller
This brand new CD/DVD compilation highlights Andrea's breathtaking performance in Portofino, Italy on August 11, 2012 and includes the already quintessential songs from Bocelli's January 2013 release Passione. See and hear as Andrea delivers a performance of a lifetime from the beautiful surroundings of the Pizzetta in Portofino. Playing to an intimate crowd at sunset the legendary tenor sings the most famous love songs in the world accompanied by 16-time Grammy Award winner David Foster and a 40 piece orchestra. This is an unmissable feast of emotion, gorgeous settings and unforgettable songs. On Tour 2013 Sat, Dec 7th - Las Vegas, NV - MGM Grand Garden Arena Sun, Dec 8th - Phoenix, AZ - US Airways Center Wed, Dec 11th - Brooklyn, NY - Barclays CenterThu, Dec 12th - Washington D.C. - Verizon Center WashingtonSat, Dec 14th - Tampa, FL - Tampa Bay Times ForumSun, Dec 15th - Atlanta, GA - Philips Arena
Manufacturer: Windham Hill Records
Brand: Windham Hill
George Winston ~ December December holds the distinction of single-handedly putting Windham Hill on the map and being the new age album most likely to find its way into music collections of all ilk. In spite of being relentlessly overplayed during the holidays, the solo piano recording has aged quite well. Winston shapes holiday war-horses and original compositions into a captivating contemporary statement. His spare, understated style captures the feel of the dark season, employing ample resonance to evoke a reflective spaciousness. The album's straightforward simplicity conveys both the celebration and quietude that characterize the best of the Yuletide spirit. --Richard Price
Brand: Rogers, Kenny & Dolly Parton
Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, two of country's most loved (or least liked, depending on how you look at them) stars join forces for a Christmas album that is surprisingly fluff free. There are the usual suspects here--a cozy "Winter Wonderland," a somber "Silent Night"--plus some touching curiosities, like "The Greatest Gift of All" and the title track. Of course there are the required romantic numbers since this is a duet album, but they're not as gratuitous as one might fear. Dolly does a fine job of keeping the yee-haw factor to a minimum, and Kenny doesn't try to compete with her on the singer-as-storyteller front. All in all their voices complement each other quite well, and the arrangements are first rate. Here's one holiday collection that might win a few converts. --Steve Gdula Dolly Parton and Kenny Rogers, two of country's most loved (or least liked, depending on how you look at them) stars join forces for a Christmas album that is surprisingly fluff free. There are the usual suspects here--a cozy "Winter Wonderland," a somber "Silent Night"--plus some touching curiosities, like "The Greatest Gift of All" and the title track. Of course there are the required romantic numbers since this is a duet album, but they're not as gratuitous as one might fear. Dolly does a fine job of keeping the yee-haw factor to a minimum, and Kenny doesn't try to compete with her on the singer-as-storyteller front. All in all their voices complement each other quite well, and the arrangements are first rate. Here's one holiday collection that might win a few converts. --Steve Gdula
Jonathan Antoine "Tenore"Breathtaking arias and well-loved classicsJonathan Antoine's solo debut, "Tenore," follows the success he achieved with former singing partner, Charlotte Jaconelli, which includes a top 10 debut on the Billboard Classical Crossover chart and over 200,000 albums sold worldwide. Produced by multi-Grammy nominated music producer, Anna Barry, the forthcoming record is a testament to Jonathan's rapid progression as a singer and recording artist. The recording is a tribute to Jonathan s will to learn and to aim for the stars, says Barry. Ever since he became a national sensation for his appearance on "Britain's Got Talent" in 2012, Jonathan has defined himself through his music. It gives me a purpose. It gives me point. When I sing, I can just be me, he says. "Tenore" is the result of combined natural talent and strong work ethic; it is our first taste of Jonathan Antoine s potential as he begins his promising solo career.Also available:"Perhaps Love" by Jonathan & Charlottejonathanantoine-official.comsonymasterworks.com
Manufacturer: SBME SPECIAL MKTS.
Brand: Kenny & Dolly Once Upon a Christmas
This country-music dynamic duo went pop Top 40 with this holiday hit in '84. Along with White Christmas and a medley featuring Winter Wonderland; Sleigh Ride , and other favorites, they sing Dolly's own Once upon a Christmas; A Christmas to Remember; With Bells On; I Believe in Santa Claus , and more!
Josh Groban In Concert is a special package, including a DVD featuring footage from his PBS Great Performances appearance and a CD including songs not available on his self-titled debut album. It tentatively features "Broken Vow," "For Always (from the A.I. soundtrack) and his exclusive Christmas song "O Holy Night," as well as selected tracks from the live PBS special. Additional footage includes a 20-minute conversation with Josh, David Foster, and John Williams and friends; a 5-minute Josh Groban home movie; and an exclusive Web link. Josh Groban in Concert has all the ingredients to be a long-running PBS staple: a young (21), good-looking performer with a golden voice; songs in Italian and Spanish for the crossover crowd (i.e., Andrea Bocelli and Sarah Brightman) and pop and movie songs for the mainstream; guest stars galore (David Foster, John Williams, Angie Stone, Andrea Corr, Lili Haydn); a large orchestra; and striking but not obtrusive visual effects. The centerpiece of this DVD-CD combo (also available in a DVD keepcase) is the 80-minute concert DVD, filmed in Pasadena in October 2002 and featuring numerous songs from Groban's debut CD, including "You're Still You," which catapulted him into stardom when he sang it on TV's Ally McBeal. There are also two new songs--the ballad "Broken Vow," with Groban accompanied by Foster, and "For Always," with the orchestra conducted by John Williams, who wrote the song for the Steven Spielberg film A.I.. The 37-minute CD offers seven songs performed in the concert (including the two not on the previous CD, "Broken Vow" and "For Always"), plus "O Holy Night." The DVD has excellent picture and sound (PCM stereo, Dolby Digital 5.1, and DTS), interviews, and backstage footage, and the combination with the CD is an excellent value. Groban's fans, of course, will consider it a treasure at any price. --David Horiuchi
International version of his third album features three additional tracks (17 total) plus seven tracks that are not on the US version, 'That's Amore', 'Ave Maria', 'Questa O Quella', 'Nothing Sacred, 'Pourquoi Me Reveiller', 'I Don't Know How I Got By' and 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. The US edition has four tracks that are not on here. It began with 'The Voice'... It was followed by 'Encore'... now, Russell Watson returns with his stunning third album 'Reprise'. Effortlessly gliding through his trademark assortment of operatic arias and popular ballads, Russell's fantastic voice just seems to get stronger and stronger. The many highlights include a powerful version of Bizet's 'Pearl-Fishers' duet, Schubert's 'Ave Maria' and a wonderful arrangement of Dean Martin's 'That's Amore'. 'Bohemian Rhapsody' and Mike And the Mechanics hit 'Living Years' round off what is without doubt his most polished album to date. Universal. 2002.