Darius Rucker is a man of many guises. He first rose to stardom in the 90s with his pop/rock band Hootie and the Blowfish. In the early 00s, Rucker released his debut solo album which was a departure into a contemporary R&B sound. After returning to Hootie and the Blowfish for another album, Rucker went back to his solo career and switched genres again to country with the release of Learn To Live in 2008. Since then he’s stayed firmly in the country genre and it’s working well for him. In time for Christmas, Darius is releasing his first festive album Home for the Holidays.
Home for the Holidays is a collection of well-known Christmas songs with two original tracks in the mix. The album opens with Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow getting proceedings off to a familiar start before making way for a soulful rendition of Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.
Of the two original tracks Candy Cane Christmas is our favourite. The song sounds like a classic Christmas song and it has a lovely wintery yet jazzy feel to it. The lyrics are sweet and it really captures the excitement of Christmas Eve.
Elsewhere on the record Sheryl Crow lends her silky smooth vocals to Baby, It’s Cold Outside, Rucker is backed by gorgeous instrumentation on O Come, All Ye Faithful, and things get very jingly-jangly on highlight Winter Wonderland. The album draws to a close with a surprisingly upbeat version of White Christmas.
Our favourite moment comes on the bluesy Please Come Home For Christmas, which suits Rucker’s husky voice down to a tee. We also loved Rucker’s version of I’ll Be Home For Christmas, which really shows off his voice.
Home for the Holidays is a lovely collection of festive songs to get you in the right mood this Christmas. The two original tracks are a nice touch and the album as a whole will leave you feeling warm, fuzzy and ready for a glass of mulled wine. If you fancy something a little different from the over-produced Christmas tracks that are played to death at this time of year, you should check out this album.