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Moody Blues, The: December

It seemed inevitable that The Moody Blues would release a holiday related album, and though this one is a year old, 'tis the season to pull out all the CD's that help us get in the mood for the holiday season. While the Jethro Tull holiday CD is outstanding, and the Chicago one is simply out-and-out fun, this one from the Moodies falls somewhere in between. The band chose to record a few holiday original songs written by Justin Hayward and John Lodge, which are quite good, as well as do a few traditional covers.

The upbeat and fun opener "Don't Need a Reindeer" is perhaps the most upbeat cut on a fairly serious and somber collection of songs. This piece has some rock guitars, a killer chorus, and wonderful, rich vocals from the band. "December Snow" is another fun tune, also written by Hayward, while Lodge contributes the melodic and lovely "On this Christmas Day", a tune that reminded me a bit of of ELO a bit with the ringing chorus and layers of orchestration. The boys cover John Lennon's "Happy Xmas (War is Over)", a questionable decision I'll admit, but being state of the world these days it seems to work. Lush acoustic guitars and symphonic keyboards mix well together on this one, as they do on the Bach piece "In the Quiet of Christmas Morning". The most overly traditional piece is "White Christmas", which the band covers quite nicely, even including a nice twangy guitar solo from Justin Hayward.

The one complaint about December is that it stays on a similar mood throughout the CD and comes across as fairly bleak sounding, especially on the latter half. So if you are looking for a raucous "fire up the spiked egg nog" party CD, look elsewhere. However, if you want something to soothe your soul while you cuddle up next to the fire, sipping some herbal tea and admiring your just decorated tree, this will be the perfect companion.

Track Listing
1. Don't Need a Reindeer
2. December Snow
3. In the Quiet of Christmas Morning (Bach 147)
4. On This Christmas Day
5. Happy Xmas (War Is Over)
6. Winter's Tale
7. Spirit of Christmas
8. Yes I Believe
9. When a Child Is Born
10. White Christmas
11. In the Bleak Midwinter

Added: November 29th 2004
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Related Link: The Moody Blues Official Website
Hits: 2950
Language: english

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