Aussie popstar Kylie Minogue announced her plans to record a Christmas album earlier this year and we have to admit we were pretty excited by the prospect. The star’s last album was 2014’s Kiss Me Once, which despite getting rave reviews from the critics underperformed commercially and failed to give Kylie a hit. Still the album did enough to help her sell-out a world tour and earlier this year she headlined British Summer Time in Hyde Park with a fantastic live set. Now Kylie’s attention is on the Christmas season with the release of her first full-length Christmas album Kylie Christmas.
Over the years Kylie has teased fans with a couple of Christmas EPs and we’ve had our fingers and toes crossed that she would finally deliver a full-length Christmas album. Kylie Christmas sees the singer taking on Christmas classics and incorporating 6 originals too (3 on the standard edition of the album). The album opens with The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, which features a strong vocal from Kylie accompanied by a luscious big band arrangement and warm background vocals.
Over the course of the record Kylie mixes in well-known Christmas songs with those that may not have quite the same familiarity. The album’s lead single is a cover of Yazoo’s Only You featuring James Corden, which isn’t traditionally a Christmas song, but the arrangement here makes it into one. The 60s feel of I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter, originally a hit for Connie Francis, is an early highlight that we know will be getting repeat plays in our house over the festive season.
Elsewhere Kylie teams up with the late Frank Sinatra for winning version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town, enlists the help of Iggy Pop for the pop rush of The Waitresses’ hit Christmas Wrapping, and transforms The Pretenders’ hit 2000 Miles into a gentle piano ballad.
Of the original songs the one that will likely get the most notice is 100 Degrees, a duet with Kylie’s sister Dannii. Musically it isn’t what you’d call a traditional Christmas song and it pays homage to the Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand classic No More Tears (Enough Is Enough). It’s certain to be a dancefloor hit at Christmas parties this year and it’s always great hearing the two sisters singing together.
Chris Martin contributes the dreamy electro-pop number Ever Day’s Like Christmas, Kylie gets playful on the highlight Christmas Isn’t Christmas ‘Til You Get Here, and plays the sex kitten on the delightful Oh Santa (which makes a good companion for Santa Baby on the album). Things come to a close with the gorgeous bluesy feel of Cried Out Christmas as Kylie longs for her lover to join her for Christmas.
Kylie Christmas is a big, bold and classy Christmas record. We’ve seen some scatching reviews of the album but quite what they’re listening to is a mystery as Kylie Christmas is everything we’d want in a festive collection from Kylie. The album is playful and fun with plenty of great new songs included in the mix. We’d go as far as to say that Kylie Christmas could well become a classic Christmas album in years to come alongside Michael Buble and Mariah Carey’s iconic releases.