Music Review: “Christmas with Nashville”


 

ABC’s hit country music drama, Nashville, premiered in 2012 and has been a favorite for fans of country music and the country music community alike. Albeit a little racier than real-life Nashville, the show has always put music at its core and that shows with the various volumes of albums they have put out featuring songs from the show.

Although it is unclear whether or not the show will put on a Christmas special to accompany the Christmas album, the album still shines on its own accord regardless. While some of the actors and actresses claim to be actors and actresses first and singers second (or, if you’re Connie Britton, you claim to not be a singer at all…) they still hold their own on these holiday standards. Clare Bowen, who plays Scarlett, kicks off the album with “Santa Baby” and Charles Esten (Deacon Clayborne) reminds us on “Blue Christmas” that this is a country Christmas album. Jonathan Jackson (Avery Barkley) takes on Darlene Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” while Hayden Panettiere delivers a sweet, although somewhat boring, rendition of “White Christmas.” The album goes jazzy and fun for Connie Britton’s “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (although it’s more of a singsongy, spoken track, it’s still fun).

The album slows down again for Sam Palladio’s “River,” which has always been the most depressing Christmas song, in my opinion (even beating out “The Christmas Shoes“). Connie Britton returns with Will Chase on “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.” Again, as the power couple on the show, it’s really no surprise that they’re singing this song together (and it also alludes to the fact that there will be a Nashville special, whether it be within the show or a concert special like last spring’s “Nashville: On the Record“). Aubrey Peeples sings “Merry Christmas Baby” while Chaley Rose delivers a sweet “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Lennon and Maisy deliver the only original Christmas song on the album with “Christmas Coming Home.” Will Chase sings “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and the entire cast wraps up the album with a surprisingly powerful “Celebrate Me Home.”

The entire cast gets air time on this album, so if you have a favorite character on the show, they likely have a song on here (although Chris Carmack is noticeably absent…). Throughout the album, each song retains soul (although Connie Britton’s songs are actually probably the weakest spots, I know you’re not a singer, but try a little girl!) while staying true to its country roots. Fans of the show will want to be sure to pick this up. Even those who don’t watch the show will enjoy this, although it is unlikely that they will buy an album with virtually unknown singers, but there’s a chance.

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