Christmas albums are difficult to pull off, it’s a crowded market with a limited amount of songs to choose from. To Michael’s credit, he made some excellent selections to set this album apart from being “another Christmas album”.
While it includes obvious cuts like ‘O Holy Night’, ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ and ‘Silent Night’, choosing Chris Rea’s ‘Driving Home For Christmas’ and David Essex’s ‘A Winters Tale’ adds a nice change of pace and Michael sings them better than both of the original artists. ‘As Long As There’s Christmas’ is a fine duet with Elaine Paige and Michael’s vocal on ‘Ave Maria’ is spine-tingling. There’s even an original thrown in, penned by Michael and Brian Kennedy, called ‘Light A Candle’.
The downside to this lovely album is you can only really play it for a few weeks a year otherwise it just seems a bit weird!