I’ve been waiting for Rod Stewart to record a Christmas album for years. With a voice that’s as warm as a cup of hot chocolate, I knew it would be terrific. Now that it’s here, is it? For the most part, yes. Rod’s in good voice, the arrangements are beautiful and there are a handful of special guests to keep things interesting.
David Foster produced this album, and it sounds great. That said, many of the arrangements – which are beautiful – are extremely mellow. Where the album really shines is the more upbeat tracks, such as “Merry Christmas, Baby” with Cee-Lo Green and “Red-Suited Super Man.” These two songs allow Rod to let loose and show off his soulful side. I also liked how “Auld Lang Syne” featured bagpipes and “Silent Night” included a children’s choir to liven things up.
Target is the only retailer selling the “deluxe version” of the album, which features three bonus tracks: “What Child Is This?,” “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” and “Silver Bells.” All three songs are wonderfully done and worth the extra money.
Overall, this is an enjoyable Christmas album that features an interesting mix of songs and special guests. If you’re a Rod Stewart fan looking for a great way to kick off the holiday season, you’ll be pleased with Merry Christmas, Baby.
If you buy the CD version of the album – instead of downloading it – you’ll discover an insert when you open the album with information on how to download Rod’s first single from his forthcoming rock album. Set to be released in spring 2013, this album will be the first to feature songs written by the raspy rocker since 1998’s When We Were the New Boys. The single is “Beautiful Morning,” and it’s easily the most infectious pop/rock song I’ve heard all year.
Below is a live performance of “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”