Kylie Minogue – “Kylie Christmas: Snow Queen Edition”
A year on from “Kylie Christmas“, it was Christmas all over again as Kylie reissued the album with additional, newly recorded tracks making for a 22-track CD, titled “Snow Queen Edition”. So if it’s an expanded Christmas with Kylie you so desire, then listen on…
1. It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year
We kick off this album with Kylie’s version of Andy Williams’ 1963 yuletide classic that’s been covered by countless others. Here it’s presented in camp classic Kylie-tastic form with wrapping fully off and a backing of Christmas street carolers in fine Hollywood style. It’s like a 1950’s Christmas film brought to life Kylie style!
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Kylie offers the impossible next – a duet with Mr. Frank Sinatra! Frank recorded his version of this 1934 written track in 1947 and this version brings it into the 21st century with fresh backing from Kylie’s band and the inclusion of her own vocal. One wonders the possibilities if the two could of recorded for real when the great man was alive…
3. Winter Wonderland
Another 1934 written classic, “Winter Wonderland” has been recorded by over 200 different artists! Kylie adds her name to this list with a fanfare of trumpets and a few jigs no doubt. She brings sexiness to this latest recording of the track, very much in the style of her first Christmas recording “Santa Baby”.
4. Christmas Wrapping
Kylie comes back into more recent times now with this version of US group The Waitresses 1982 hit and joins forces with non other than the Godfather of Punk, Iggy Pop! It loses none of the style or listening of its original and Kylie spends most of the time ‘rapping’ the lyrics, the first time we’ve heard this since the “Rhythm Of Love” days.
5. Stay Another Day
Kylie covers East 17’s 1994 UK Christmas number one, as the first of the new added tracks, that begins with a church choir singing the chorus. Not the festive epic that too the four London boys to the top that year, but am orchestral, accapella version more in keeping with her “Abbey Road Sessions” album and yet it loses none of essence of the original. Kylie was in the chart with “Put Yourself In My Place” that year, but alas, she unable to reach the dizzying heights of this perennial favourite.
6. Only You
Kylie and actor/TV presenter James Corden tackle Yazoo’s 1982 chart topper and offer yet another different take on the song. Stripped of the electroness of the original and the barber shop version given by The Flying Pickets, this is a gorgeous piano ballad that allows both Kylie and James to demonstrate their vocals tenderly and with beauty. It was released as a single with a suitably festive lyric video and is very welcome at any time of the year, snow or sunshine.
7. At Christmas
Well if it’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You” you want to hear, then this is as good as you’ll get. Kylie does camp Christmas with lots of jingling, saucy lyrics and wraps the whole thing up with an infuriatingly infectious chorus. Is this what you want from Kylie…AT CHRISTMAS?!
8. I’m Gonna Be Warm This Winter
Off to the 60’s now as Kylie performs Connie Francis’ 1962 release in “Locomotion” style with almost identical backing music and vocals to the original. Maybe it’s meant to sound like this. She certainly pays homage to her contemporary with top class honours.
9. Every Day’s Like Christmas
Here comes the first original song co-written by Kylie for this album, together with Chris Martin of Coldplay. It’s epic in style and a very gentle, laid-back Kylie track. Don’t confuse this with any attempt to copy “All I Want For Christmas Is You” because it’s not. This is classy Christmas magic done Kylie style and it’s nowhere near as annoying as Ms. Carey’s offering. So why shouldn’t this be Christmas number one every year? Also released as a single with a proper video, sadly this track will always be remembered for featuring Josh Sasse, Kylie’s then partner – later fiance, in the video. If only things had of worked out for the best…
10. Wonderful Christmastime
Kylie joins forces with Mika now for their version of Paul McCartney’s 1979 yuletide offering that is dragged out every year for an airing in supermarkets and shopping centres all over the world. The song retains its electro plinkiness at the beginning and the pair jingle their way though telling us over and over that they are “simply having a wonderful Christmastime”.
11. 100 Degrees
Thirty years after they performed “Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves” on Australian television, Kylie and Dannii finally record together and produce this disco enthused Christmas anthem. It starts quietly and Christmasy but builds into a modern disco-dance stonker with festive thrills and chills that should shake any snow off your coat and hat and melt on the dancefloor. This was performed by the pair at Kylie’s first Royal Albert Hall show the previous year and was greeted with standing applause. Worth waiting for!
12. Let It Snow
Kylie recorded this 1945 classic back in 2010 for a short holiday album/EP released in Japan. It’s short and sweet and quirky and again loses none of the charm that the original offered. It’s like Disney and Kylie met and recorded it for the very first time!
13. I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday
Kylie now takes on Wizard’s 1973 Christmas classic that has appeared in the UK top 40 no less than FOURTEEN times since it made No.4 the first time around! Kylie performed this as the closing number for her first Royal Albert Hall show in 2015 and it went down so well that she recorded it for inclusion on this re-energised release a year later.
14. White December
The second original track on this album is co-written with long time collaborator Karen Poole and produced by Matt Prime. You can hear the tinsel shaking just as loud as the jingle of bells right throughout this track. With seasonal drumming and that essential saxophone to end all great Christmas jolly’s, “White December” fits in with its surroundings with ease and could almost be yet another cover.
15. 2000 Miles
Kylie takes on The Pretenders now with their 1983 festive offering, sadly written about the group’s guitarist James Honeyman-Scott’s death the previous year. Kylie brings in the strings and piano and wafts her angelic vocal over the top of it all. Tender and thought-provoking and her own tribute to this modern classic and to the memory of a much missed member of one of our best loved groups.
16. Santa Baby
So this is the song that started it all. Recorded as a B side to “Please Stay” back in 2000, it took until 2017 to peak at No.38 and has to date, sold over 290,000 copies, earning a Silver certification! Kylie wrings all of her sexiness and sassiness out in competition with Earrrrrrrrrtha Kitt’s 1953 original. Who will win? Only you can decide.
17. Christmas Isn’t Christmas Till You Get Here
Original song number 3 and Kylie joins forces with Karen Poole again together with album producer Steve Anderson for this jingling-along number. And, oh my, what a vocal performance at the end of this song! New heights, new scales achieved, Kylie can sing and hold a big note if anyone had ever doubted that. Presumably she was waiting for Mr. Sasse to “get here”. Oh dear.
18. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
The album closes with another old classic, this time from 1944 and originally performed by Judy Garland in the musical ‘Meet Me In St. Louis’. Kylie once again gives a superb vocal performance mixing sweetly sweet with the power of an angel, and she wishes one and all a “very merry Christmas” at the end. Timeless.
19. Oh Santa
So here’s another new track, co-written with Ash Howes and Richard Stannard, that is a natural successor to “Santa Baby” and sees Kylie oozing and schmoozing all over her ‘Santa’! Kylie tells us too what’s on her Christmas wish list (although I can’t quite hear my name mentioned!). The song is worked with the brass section of the orchestra to give it standing and status.
20. Cried Out Christmas
Kylie writes this number with Karen Poole and Matt Prime with electric guitar and tambourine playing throughout. Kylie suggests it would be a cried out Christmas without you. Who? Oh not ‘him’ again! Again this is a sultry number that sees Kylie purring her Christmas wish that we all join her this and every Christmas.
21. Christmas Lights
Just as Kylie worked with Chris Martin on “Every Day’s Like Christmas”, she now turns her attention to Coldplay’s 2010 seasonal hit with sincerity and love. Some heralding angels can be heard harking in the background and join Kylie for the final chorus. Perhaps it’s them that “light up the fireworks inside” of Kylie?
22. Everybody’s Free (To Feel Good)
Well here’s an odd inclusion! Kylie records her version of Rozalla‘s 1991 hit dance anthem to close this album with! And it gives her opportunity for one last time to let her voice run ‘free’. It starts as a ballad and jingles along for the most part but then catches fire a minute before the end before closing with just Kylie reminding us all that everybody’s free to feel good (at Christmas presumably?).
This expanded edition was released on 25th November 2016 and coincided with two more performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London, both of which were sold out within minutes of being made available. The album charted at No.41 in the UK, No.30 in Australia, No.8 in New Zealand as well as charting across Europe. To date, together with “Kylie Christmas” it has sold 145,000 copies in the UK and 280,000 worldwide. But as with any good Christmas gift, it keeps giving year after year after year!
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