This album may be the biggest surprise of the season. I’ll admit that when I first say the cover and when I first heard that Cee Lo was doing a Christmas album, I rolled my eyes and played it off as crap. But then I was listening to the previews on iTunes and I thought I might like it so I bought it and it turns out I love it!
1. What Christmas Means to Me – The album starts off with Cee Lo’s rendition of this holiday classic. Sometimes a little shouty, but otherwise filled with fun sing-a-along choruses that will get you dancing this holiday season.
2. Baby It’s Cold Outside – The first collaboration on the album is with fellow Voice coach Christina Aguilera. This cool, smooth duet is a slowed-down version of the classic holiday duet. For the most part, Christina even manages to maintain control of her voice throughout the song. No more shouting at the top of her lungs on this song. Cee Lo is a great compliment to her on this song.
3. This Christmas – This may very well be the unofficial “black man’s Christmas song.” I don’t mean that in a racist way at all, but it seems like every black singer who has ever released a Christmas album has included this song. Either way, it’s a highlight on the album. Definitely a fun, traditional take on the song and one of the songs that helps make this album great. (I posted the video during the countdown for the 50 Nights of Christmas here).
4. The Christmas Song – Cee Lo gets somber on this Christmas standard. Really, what Christmas album would be complete without “The Christmas Song”? Sometimes this song seems to drag because the tempo is slow, but if you’re in the mood for some smooth Christmas songs, this would be a great addition to your playlist.
5. White Christmas – Cee Lo picks up the tempo for this holiday classic. Another fun rendition of a Christmas tune we all know and love. I like to call this the last song of the “classics” part of the album. Don’t worry, there’s another “classics” part at the end of the album as well.
6. All I Need Is Love – Cee Lo gets a little help with Disney’s Muppets on this this original song. The result of the odd collaboration is a fun, uptempo song that is actually really catchy. Definitely something you’d want to put on for the kids, but adults would love it too.
7. You’re A Mean One, Mr. Grinch – This may be the perfect song for Cee Lo Green with his…interesting stage performances. He teams up with America’s favorite a cappella group, Straight No Chaser. Another one for the kids. It’s interesting because Straight No Chaser are the only ones performing the backing music. Definitely a must-listen!
8. Please Come Home For Christmas – This bluesy number is another surprisingly great Christmas number. Who knew Cee Lo had it in him? However the song can seem to drag at some points. It’s good overall, though.
9. Run Rudolph Run – Possibly one of the best songs on the album. The only suggestion I might make would be to raise the tempo a bit because it seems to fall between that awkward phase of fast-paced and not-so-fast-paced. Otherwise, perfect.
10. All I Want For Christmas – Cee Lo takes on Mariah Carey’s massive Christmas classic and he does, well, a very nice job. He clearly doesn’t have the same range as the diva, but that certainly doesn’t stop him from putting his own spin on the song and pulling it off very well.
11. Mary, Did You Know? – This is part two of the “Christmas classics” section on the album. After taking a break to do more contemporary songs, Cee Lo returns to close the album out with the standards. The song is actually very well done. I admire Cee Lo for breaking any misconception anyone had of him (myself included) by pulling off these songs. The only part I don’t like is at the end when he says, “Is the great…” he waits a little too long for my liking to say, “…I am…”
12. River – I don’t like this song. Not because of Cee Lo, but just because of the song. I think it’s depressing and not very Christmassy. With that being said, I don’t have much to say about Cee Lo’s version.
13. Merry Christmas, Baby – Cee Lo teams up with music legend Red Stewart for this holiday standard. They put together a great song. It’s fun and inventive and something that is obviously playing on the radio because it’s so freaking catchy!
14. Silent Night – Wrapping up the album is a soulful rendition of “Silent Night.” Definitely another highlight on the album. A great way to close out the album. Amazing.