Country music’s favorite duo, Sugarland, was riding on their high from the hit album, “Love On the Inside” when they put out “Gold & Green.” Typically those who are only putting out Christmas albums to capitalize on hit albums produce filler music, however the result of Sugarland’s Christmas album is surprisingly very good.
1. City of Silver Dreams – You wouldn’t expect a country act to be singing about the city that rapper Jay-Z and R&B singer Alicia Keys dubbed a “concrete jungle.” Even less expected is to call New York City a beautiful and peaceful place to spend Christmas, however this song does just that, and with class.
2. Winter Wonderland – Sugarland turns to their twang roots to bring their rendition of “Winter Wonderland,” and the result is fun and catchy. Something that needs to be more present on Christmas radio than the slow, drawn-out versions of this holiday classic.
3. Holly Jolly Christmas – Lead singer, Jennifer Nettles, takes a back-seat during this song, singing back up while the lesser-known half of the country duo takes the lead. This song has a hint of twang and feel-good approach that is perfect for singing to yourself while baking your favorite Christmas treats.
4. Coming Home – One of the many Sugarland originals on the album. With more of a bluesy/acoustic feel than a country feel, this is definitely one of the highlights of the album. Sugarland managed to create their own “I’ll Be Home For Christmas,” without creating yet another cover of the Christmas classic.
5. Gold and Green – The title track attempts to draw on the feelings of peace and homeliness during the holidays, however it falls a bit short with progression of the song falling awkwardly between too slow and too fast. However adding the chorus of “The First Noel” during the bridge of the song fit perfectly if nothing else did.
6. Maybe Baby (New Year’s Day) – Falling back into the country-vibe that comes so naturally for the duo, this song is a duet about young love during the holidays. Kristian singing lead vocals fits better on this song than on “Holly Jolly Christmas,” with Jennifer echoing his voice through the chorus. The harmony between the two is a perfect example of how much chemistry they have.
7. Nuttin’ For Christmas – Certainly the most twang-worthy song on the album. Country-twang haters should stay away from this song, besides that this song is a perfect, fun highlight on the album.
8. O Come, O Come, Emmanuel – Hands down, the best song on the album. Possibly the best rendition of this song ever. Backed mainly by a banjo strum and occasionally her singing partner, Kristian, Jennifer’s voice is perfect, emitting every emotion needed. The beauty of this song is that it doesn’t fit into a particular genre. It’s an amazing piece of Christmas music, and Sugarland sings it just as beautifully live (see below).
9. Little Wood Guitar – Singing about Christmas through the years while the little wood guitar is the only thing that remains the same…The song is not necessarily a highlight, but not a bad addition to the album.
10. Silent Night – Wrapping up the album is a traditional rendition of “Silent Night,” adding in a Spanish verse, which actually fits well. This song also doesn’t fit very well into any genre, it just is.
Pick up your copy!