Rockin’ Little Christmas
2018 - Weblast Records. If you are hosting a social gathering this holiday season and you are looking for just the right music to set the perfect festive mood to create the best party, then look no further than this project. Deborah Allen’s 1950 style rock-n-roll vocals will certainly cultivate the perfect cheer especially with her choice of Christmas carols. Allen brings the Memphis country-rock characteristic into several classic carols as she gains help from her fellow entertainers. The Oak Ridge Boys lend their vocals in “White Christmas,” while The Bellamy Brothers bring the southern rock into a new up beat version of “Silver Bells.” Deborah gains help from Suzy Bogguss in a medley of “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “Jingle Bell Rock.” This vocal collaboration with Suzy makes me wonder why the two have not worked together on more projects. One vocal collaboration on this album that is not up to par. Deborah teams up with Larry Gatlin in a rendition of Silent Night. The two talented entertainers do not compliment each other; as Allen is more classic rock and Larry is trained in Opera. Listening to this version of this time-honored carol is like watching oil trying to mix with water. In other words, they just do not work well. Other renowned carols that this project comprises of include “Run Rudolph Run,” “Santa Claus Is Back In Town,” “Please Come Home For Christmas,” and “The Christmas Song;” all are remarkable versions. Nonetheless, it is the five fresh new carols, co-written by Deborah captures our attention. “Moody Bluesy Christmas” is perhaps the one song that captures the sentiment of the entire album. Allen embraces the simplicity of the season within her song, co-written by Dan Mitchell, in “Merry Christmas.” Where as “Walk All The Way To Memphis” lacks flow with it’s mix of lyric. The song has a great melody, however, it sounds like she was trying to piece two songs together. Allen teams up with fellow songwriter Bruce Channel in the title cut. This one is sure to get your feet stomping with its classic rock beat mixed with catchy lyrics. The album closes with “Birthday Party For Jesus,” a song where Allen shares her religious beliefs behind the reason for this season in this inspiring song. To be honest, I would love to hear Deborah team up with Paul Cardall on this song as I believe that the combined talents could do more for this carol. With its unique blend of music and lyrics, “Moody Bluesy Christmas” has earned a position on our list of Top Songs of 2018, while earning a nomination for the Spirit Awards. This project is not for everyone, but for those who seek fun within their holiday music. $$$+
(This review was printed in the November / December 2018 Issue of Strictly Country Magazine.)
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