The Long-Awaited Christmas Album, "Holiday Wishes," from Superstar Idina Menzel – Review

For Idina Menzel, the last year has been a whirlwind; her Frozen hit “Let It Go” has reached quadruple platinum, she performed at the Oscars and the Tonys, opened If/Then on Broadway, and just released her first ever Christmas album, “Holiday Wishes.”

      

Fanzels everywhere have been going crazy over the release of this album – her first studio album since her overnight success in Frozen.  Despite what Ms. Menzel thinks, it is never too early for Christmas music (in my opinion)! And since I love Christmas so much, I knew that this would quickly become my favorite album from Ms. Menzel – and I was right.  
Staying true to her style, Idina performs some popular holiday tunes by adding her own unique twist.  “All I Want For Christmas Is You,” “White Christmas,” “River,” and many others.  She also does an awesome duet with Michael Buble on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”  
From the very beginning of the album, Ms. Menzel’s powerful vocals bring new life into “Do You Hear What I Hear?”  The opening track is definitely an invocation for her fans to enjoy the rest of the album.  “The Christmas Song” is another classic holiday tune, sung by performers such as Nat King Cole, Tony Bennett, Julie Andrews, and Big Bird (yes, that Big Bird).  Instead of sticking with the slow ballad format, Ms. Menzel’s version has a soulful aspect to it.  Normally, that would be weird, but it works for her performance.  Then again, us fanzels may be biased.
“Baby, It’s Cold Outside,” her duet with Michael Buble, is a cute, peppy tune.  I am one-hundred percent sure that listeners will quickly learn the words so they can pretend to sing along with their favorite Disney Queen.  And I have to say, this particular version is just as good as some of the original versions of the track.  “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “All I Want For Christmas Is You” are two tracks I was excited to hear.  “Have Yourself” is another classic tune that many famous crooners have been known to perform.  On the opposite end of the spectrum, “All I Want For Christmas” is a great tribute to Mariah.  The performance is especially exciting since Ms. Menzel’s producer on the album is Walter Afanaseiff, co-writer of the track.  The song also lets Ms. Menzel show off her incredible runs.
“What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve,” “River,” and “December Prayer” are the tracks that many of her older listeners will fall in love with.  As I listened to the tracks, I couldn’t help but think of these as her grown-up Christmas songs.  The tracks also go back to her love of singer/songwriters and also her desire to be a singer/songwriter.  “December Prayer” is a track which she debuted at her Radio City Music Hall concert in June, and it reminds me that she has come so far as a performer since her days as a wedding singer.   
“When You Wish Upon a Star” is a beautiful track that showcases Ms. Menzel’s vocal power.  Furthermore, I wonder if it is a tribute to her experience with Disney, as the song was written for the 1940 Disney film Pinnochio.  I also feel as though Idina is speaking directly with her fans, in an effort to inspire and give hope.  
“Silent Night” is another wonderful Christmas hymn, which has been given new breath of life.  “Holly Jolly Christmas” is another great peppy tune that will fill every listener with happiness and joy.  “White Christmas” is her beautiful benediction for the album, as she bids her listeners a “merry and bright” Christmas.
Of course, if you buy the album at Target, you can have two bonus tracks: “Mother’s Spiritual” and “Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow.”

Don’t forget the singer also has an awesome trailer for the album.  Check it out below:

If you haven’t already, be sure to get the album on iTunes, Amazon, and Idina Menzel’s Store.

Next time you are in New York City, take some time to go see Idina in If/Then.

Idina Menzel: Facebook | Twitter | Tumblr 

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