HomeMusicDebbie Gibson - 'Winterlicious' review

Debbie Gibson – ‘Winterlicious’ review

Eighties pop legend, Debbie Gibson, has released a wonderfully festive album for the holiday season in ‘Winterlicious’. The fourteen songs, a mix of classic Christmas songs and original material, including a duet with New Kids on the Block’s Joey McIntyre, wraps you in sparkly cinnamon sugar, in the very best way.  

Approaching her third decade as a performer, Gibson’s eternal electric youth, her infectious, upbeat energy, is apparent across most of the album – half of which she wrote – which sounds exactly like New York City in December; the background vocals, horns and Gibson’s unique voice on the classic Christmas songs ‘Sleigh Ride’ and ‘Jingle Bell Rock’ sound like something out of the Radio City Hall Rockettes Christmas Spectacular. Disclaimer: you may also find yourself wandering to travel websites while listening to these two songs in particular. 

Winterlicious starts softly, a gentle drift of early snow, as Gibson opens with the classic ‘Let it Snow’ and an effervescent ‘I Wish Everyday Was Christmas’. The music then heads east for a reworking of the traditional Christmas song, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’.

Fellow eighties icon and musical theatre performer, Joey McIntyre, co-wrote the emotional ballad ‘Heartbreak Holiday’ with Gibson. The break-up song feels like a Christmas Hallmark movie in three minutes; why have the couple split up? What was the book she bought him last Christmas? Does he miss the sweater? How will their story end? Ah, we know, we know. We love the warm sentiment that courses through ‘Winterlicious’, which is amplified on ‘The Gift’, a ballad celebrating the presence of love. 

Throughout ‘Winterlicious’, playfulness and contemplation go together as effortlessly as morning and afternoon on Christmas Day; excitement sparkles on the uptempo ‘Christmas Star’ as wishes and bells celebrate the giddiness of the festivities finally being here. Later on the album, family joins Gibson as Daddy Joe lends his rich baritone vocals to a piano-based duet of ‘White Christmas’ that harkens back to a Dean Martin/Frank Sinatra kind of black-tie Christmas evening.

Final song, the reflective and New Year’s Eve-inspired ‘Cheers’, written after the last 31st December Gibson shared with her Mum, is a beautiful ending to ‘Winterlicious’. The whole album feels like a Hallmark Christmas movie binge, while you’re snuggled under blankets, hands alternately wrapped around hot chocolates and dipping into caramel popcorn. 

Is it Christmas yet? 

The ‘Winterlicious’ tour starts in California on 25th November, before closing in Florida on 17th December. Book tickets now.  

Rating 5/5 

Track listing: 1. Let It Snow 2. I Wish Everyday Was Christmas 3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen 4. Heartbreak Holiday – Duet with Joey McIntyre 5. The Gift 6. Christmas Star 7. Jingle Those Bells 8. The Candy Man 9. Christmas Dreams 10. Sleigh Ride – Remastered 11. Jingle Bell Rock/The Christmas Song 12. Illuminate 13. White Christmas – Duet with Daddy Joe 14. Cheers! Record label: Stargirl Release date: 21st October 2022 Buy ‘Winterlicious’ now

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