Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On First Listen: New Christmas Albums from Elvis Presley & Julianne Hough

Elvis Presley Christmas Duets

I'll start out by admitting that I find these posthumous duet projects to be rather unnecessary, and somewhat creepy. A duet should have, in theory at least, some sense of interaction between the artists involved and these recording can never achieve that. What we are left with is essentially celebrity karaoke - re-arranged classics turned into high priced sing a longs.

So here's Elvis and a bunch of his, occasionally quite fine, Christmas recordings tarted up with contributions from today's top female country stars. The gals do just fine but they never make you, or me at any rate, forget there singing along with the "late" great Elvis Presley.

There are apparently alternate international versions with contributions from various local artists.

Elvis fans, country fans, anyone else who isn't creeped out might well dig this - in fact the majority of listener reviews I've read have been overwhelmingly positive - but I'll probably stick to the original, unaltered, versions I've been listening to throughout the years.

Sounds of the Season: The Julianne Hough Holiday Collection (Target Exclusive)

I'm not that big a country music fan. every few weeks i'll go through a phase when I tune into one of the Satellite Radio's Outlaw Country or Roadhouse stations for a couple of hours and that feeds my need until next time. But when Christmas comes around , for some reason, a lot more country music finds it's way into my listening day.

I don't watch much reality TV, so I had no idea who Julianne Hough was until Google and Wikipedia clued me in. World class ballroom dancer tops her resume, though if this album is any indication se has every right to add first rate country singer right beneath it.

Now, as I've said, I'm no huge country music fan but I wouldn't be surprised if I find myself spinning this brief (only 6 vocal tracks plus an instrumental and short spoken word piece) disc quite a few more times between now and New Years.

Press Repeat: It Wasn't His Child/Mary Did You Know (w/ Phil Vassar)