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Idina Menzel – Christmas Wishes album review

The Broadway actress and singer releases a Christmas album.

Idina Menzel

Idina Menzel is one of the most respected stars of the theatre world. Best-known for her role in Wicked on Broadway, Menzel enjoyed another huge profile boost thanks to her role in the box office Disney smash Frozen. Let It Go, one of the songs Menzel sang for the movie, has become a classic already and has been covered to death in less than 12 months. Turning her attention back to her music career, Menzel has released holiday collection Christmas Wishes (aka Holiday Wishes in the US).

For Christmas Wishes Menzel has teamed up with legendary producer Walter Afanasieff. The album is a collection of 11 festive classics and one original song (December Prayer). Opening with Do You Hear What I Hear, the album immediately makes you wish you were surrounded by mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas decorations!

As you would expect from anything that Menzel is involved with, Christmas Wishes is a classy affair. At the core of the album of course is Menzel’s remarkable voice, which is as powerful as it is emotive. On songs such as The Christmas Song she uses all the facets of her voice to bring passion and emotion to song ensuring she delivers her own unique take on the oft-covered classic.

Elsewhere on the album Menzel does a stunning version of our festive favourite Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, puts a fresh spin on the Mariah Carey classic All I Want For Christmas Is You, and almost brings a tear to the eye on the piano ballad River, originally recorded by Joni Mitchell.

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One of the highlights on the record is Baby It’s Cold Outside featuring Michael Buble. Menzel’s voice works wonderfully with Buble’s and the two create the believable chemistry that the song needs in order to succeed. We hope we’ll get to see them perform it live at some point this festive season.

The one original track on the album, December Prayer, was written by Menzel and it fits neatly into the tracklisting. If you hadn’t read the credits you would be forgiven for thinking it was a lesser-known classic you simply weren’t familiar with. The lyrics are heartfelt and emotive brought to life by one of the best vocals Menzel has on the record.

Christmas Wishes is a polished and enjoyable collection of festive classics. Menzel puts her own stamp on these frequently covered classics and they feel fresh. At the heart of the album is Menzel’s remarkable voice and when combined with Afanasieff’s production the results are stunning. This is one Christmas album you won’t want to miss this festive season.

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