Kristen Chenoweth has released a holiday CD. I have mixed feelings about this disc. Everything on this recording is beautifully arranged and sung. It’s all very lovely, but I feel that Chenoweth is going for a someone bland, mass-market sound. It will certainly be a CD that will be lovely to have on as you’re opening the presents round the tree.
However Chenoweth is an artist with such amazing gifts and point of view, that I’m personally disappointed that more didn’t come through. Thankfully, at least a duet of Sleigh Ride and Marshmallow World with John Pizarelli has a little personality showing through. But it also makes one wonder what this CD might have been.
The annual Carols for a Cure CD from Broadway Cares /Equity Fights AIDS has the opposite poroblem. For this annual collection, casts of the year’s various Broadway shows conceptualize and record a holiday song for the compilation. Sometimes the results are expected (an African-tinged Carol of the Bells from the cast of the Lion King), sometimes not (a basso choir version of O Tannenbaum from the cast of Young Frankenstein).
The results are inevitably a mixed bag, but there is certainly something for everyone in the collection. My personal favorite this year is from the Avenue Q crew with a song called The Eight Loneliest Nights of the Year featuring the lyric “My heart’s burning up like a shiny menorah, I only hold hands when I’m dancing the hora.”
For this year’s collection, BC/EFA has supplemented this year’s material with added tracks from previous years to make this a 2-disc collection*.
*So this post really should be titled “Three More Holiday CDs.” But then everyone would have wondered why I omitted the 3rd CD. You know, title writing isn’t as easy as it looks!