Monday, December 25, 2017


Various Artists-Platinum Christmas (2000)


ORIGINAL POSTING DATE: December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas everyone! And I think somebody's Christmas just got merrier with this next holiday treat! There's a gazillion Christmas music compilations out there that feature some of the most popular artists in the music business contributing their takes on the traditional classics or supplying their own unique originals. I only have small a spoonful of that gazillion, but one in particular that I've happily devoured and savored every morsel of is this "Platinum Christmas" collection. Kinda hard to believe it was released already nearly two decades ago, yet so many of the songs here still sound as fresh as yesterday. And the thing I like about this collection the most is that there's plenty of variety to satisfy every kind of music listener. Pop lovers will enjoy basking in the bouncy and bubbly goodness that are Britney Spears' "My Only Wish (This Year)" (and that wish is true love), S CLUB 7's "Perfect Christmas" (and their wish is one thing under the Christmas tree) and STEPS' "Merry X-Mas Everybody" (the latter really makes you feel like singing along while the energetic Europop beat entices you to dance along). Boyban lovers will be pleased to hear the respective sublime harmonies of BACKSTREET BOYS' ""Christmas Time" (a very beautiful and cheery song, not to mention a perfect anthem for the season) and N*SYNC's "I Don't Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You" (the 'one wish' theme again arises with them only wanting to be with one girl). For the soul and r&b audience, enjoy hearty helpings of Monica's "Grown-Up Christmas List" (I believe this to be the only holiday cover song of hers I've heard), Joe's "This Christmas" (seems this classic gets the r&b treatment more than anything else), Toni Braxton's "The Christmas Song" (her sultry voice is always a delight, and especially on this elegant piano-led rendering of the seasonal staple) and my #1 favorite on this album, R. Kelly's "World Christmas" (I'm instantly captivated by the musical arrangement—the uneven tempo and the deep bass of the beat, then the sweet chords and the orchestra giving the music a shimmering glow—plus how the lyrics present it as an anthem for everyone of all nations to embrace). On the easy-listening/soft rock side, there's SANTANA's guitar-led instrumental, "Posada (Pilgrimage To Bethlehem)", which really does have that 'epic journey across the lands' feel (like something you'd hear in one of those ancient kingdom-themed movies), plus Dido's "Christmas Day" (her lofty voice is always so refreshing, and it's so right for the comforting story of the songwriter returning back home), Dave Matthews' humbling acoustic offering of "Christmas Song" (I'm touched by the way he sings 'only love, love, love' in the chorus) and JARS OF CLAY's "Little Drummer Boy" (haven't listened to this Christian rock band hardly ever, despite my eternal awareness of their existence). The lone hip-hop/new jack swing entry is TLC's "Sleigh Ride"—an old-school favorite that I also had the joy of hearing last year when I had another Christmas compilation CD playing in my car last year. I often miss hearing T-Boz on lead vocals and Left-Eye with her signature colorful rap deliveries. Although R. Kelly's "World Christmas" stands as my overall fave, the two selections that complete this collection for me are Christina Aguilera's bilingual take of "Silent Night" (always interesting how these Spanish interpretations aren't always word for word, but 'Noche De Paz'&mash;'Night Of Peace'—still conveys the same meaning) and the late-Whitney Houston's peaceful and dreamy, "Who Would Imagine A King?" (a memorable song from the soundtrack to "The Preacher's Wife", which I used to have both on cassette and CD until I quite literally wore both of them out from so many replays!). "Platinum Christmas"—a holiday album that totally deserves the official certified platinum status indeed:

1. Britney Spears - My Only Wish (This Year)
2. S Club 7 - Perfect Christmas
3. N*Sync - I Don't Wanna Spend One More Christmas Without You
4. Steps - Merry X-Mas Everybody
5. Monica - Grown-Up Christmas List
6..R. Kelly - World Christmas
7. Christina Aguilera - Silent Night / Noche de Paz
8. Santana - Posada (Pilgrimage To Bethlehem)
9. Jars of Clay - Little Drummer Boy
10. Dave Matthews - Christmas Song
11. Dido - Christmas Day
12. Backstreet Boys - Christmas Time
13. Joe - This Christmas
14. TLC - Sleigh Ride
15. Toni Braxton - The Christmas Song
16. Whitney Houston - Who Would Imagine A King? (From The Preacher's Wife)

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