Lady A released their Christmas album ‘On This Winter’s Night’ back in 2012 following their 2010 EP ‘A Merry Little Christmas’. Folding the six songs from that release into the album, the award-winning trio fleshed out the set with another six songs to make a full festive album. Certified Gold in the US, the album took the classic Lady A sound and gave it a Christmassy make over. The end result is an album that has endured and is a firm favourite in the Christmas music collection of many fans.
Eight years on, Lady A have unleashed a Deluxe Edition of the album with four additional tracks. The full original album is present so if you have the original version, you’ll know what to expect. The first 12 songs are mostly covers of popular festive tunes with original track ‘On This Winter’s Night’ nestled into the middle. I’m still not a fan on the trio’s downbeat take on Mariah Carey’s iconic hit ‘All I Want For Christmas Is You’ but the rest of the set is really quite lovely. ‘I’ll Be Home For Christmas’ plays to the band’s strengths, allowing the harmonies between the band members to shine, while the upbeat ‘This Christmas’, originally a hit for Donny Hathaway, demands you to crank the volume up.
Original track ‘On This Winter’s Night’ fits nicely into the middle of the collection, and given how hard it is to record a decent Christmas song, Lady A managed to pull it off with that song. Elsewhere on the record an acoustic-led version of ‘Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas’ is gorgeous, while ‘The First Noel’ is stripped-back and pure. The funky version of ‘Blue Christmas’ is a nice take on the well-known track and previous album closer ‘Silver Bells’ is stirring and affecting.
It’s the four new tracks that’ll be the draw here. First up is a cover of Sir Paul McCartney’s ‘Wonderful Christmastime’, a song I must admit I’ve hated for my entire life. That having being said, in the hands of Lady A it’s actually listenable but it’s not my favourite of the new additions here. New original track ‘Christmas Through Your Eyes’ is the highlight here with Hillary Scott’s vocal driving the melody and those harmonies kicking in on the chorus.
On their version of the Beach Boys’ ‘Little Saint Nick’, Lady A mimic the harmonies of the iconic band and they have a lot of fun with the jangly tune. The Deluxe Edition comes to an end with ‘That Spirit of Christmas’, a song recorded by Ray Charles, and it’s a beautiful end to the record. Charles Kelley really shines on the vocals and it’s a classy end to a classy record.
If you’ve already got the original release, it’s worth picking up this Deluxe Edition for the four new tracks. Lady A have that rare magic where they can turn anything they touch to Gold and Christmas suits them. Don’t be surprised to hear this record cranked up loud in homes all over the world this Christmas, I know it will be in mine!
Track listing: 1. A Holly Jolly Christmas 2. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 3. All I Want For Christmas Is You 4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas 5. This Christmas 6. The First Noel 7. On This Winter’s Night 8. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow 9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas 10. Silent Night (Lord Of My Life) 11. Blue Christmas 12. Silver Bells 13. Wonderful Christmastime 14. Christmas Through Your Eyes 15. Little Saint Nick 16. That Spirit Of Christmas Record label: Big Machine Label Group Release date: 30th October 2020 Buy ‘On This Winter’s Night’ now