Kelly Clarkson, the first American Idol winner releases her first Christmas album in 2013 named Wrapped In Red. The album will have been released worldwide as of December 6th. The album has already peaked in the top 10 on the US Billboard chart at #3 where it also got to #1 on the US Top Holiday Albums chart and #6 on the Canadian album chart. This week it just got released in the UK.
Minus 5 songs, the album is full of classic covers and has been completely produced by Greg Kurstin.
The first single from the album Underneath The Tree was first released on November 5th.
Clarkson has remarked the music of Wrapped in Red as a representation to explore different genres apart as a pop recording artist, which included jazz, country and Memphis soul, with an overall lyrical theme of the color red which to her represents love, lust, envy, pain, and beauty, apart as a holiday color.
Track by track review:
1. Wrapped In Red
Kelly starts the album with the title track. This song is very different to most traditional Christmas songs, it doesn’t have that signature jingle to what most Christmas upbeat songs have like this one. Unexpected start to the album. 6/10
2. Underneath The Tree
Real catchy and happy. Its great that this is an original song and not a cover because it has potential to become a modern day Christmas classic track. 8/10
3. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
A cover that sounds really romantic when Kelly sings it. A good job done. 7/10
4. Run Run Rudolph
So fun and care free. It has classic pop Kelly on this with a holiday season twist. This could have gone way over the top but it’s just right. 8/10
5. Please Come Home For Christmas (Bells Will Be Ringing)
Soulful Kelly like when she just started out. This sounds like something that could be on a Love Actually soundtrack or something. 7/10
6. Every Christmas
Here’s another original track. Its romantic but doesn’t stand out a whole bunch. Sounds like some other Christmas ballads she’s done on the record. 5/10
7. Blue Christmas
An Elvis cover done justice. This song sounds so great with her voice. Its so simple yet effective and not over the top. 8/10
8. Baby Its Cold Outside
The album seems to have a lot of Romantic numbers on it. This is another one of them. I feel that the voices of Kelly and Ronnie Dunn don’t actually go that well together. Its not a horrible cover, there just isn’t any spark to it. 5/10
9. Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)
This is no future Christmas classic that’s for sure, but its a personal song to Kelly which I give kudo’s her for because has delivered original songs and not just released covers. 5/10
10. White Christmas
Very beautiful. You can hear the passion she is giving in this one. 8/10
11. My Favorite Things
I was expecting a ballad for this one but no, she surprises me and releases an upbeat jazz cover of it. I’m glad she took a risk on this and delivered the unexpected. 8/10
12. 4 Carats
This song is super cute. Its very poppy and jolly that will put a smile on your face. Its very holiday sounding which you could see in a family Christmas film. 9/10
13. Just For Now
Kelly seems to be able to absorb all kinds of songs and make them her own. This Imogen Heap cover has been made her own. 7/10
14. Silent Night
Is any Christmas album ever not going to have this covered on it? Unfortunately I only like Kelly’s vocals on it. It gets a little confusing on who’s part it is and seems to be dragged out a little too much. 5/10
15. I’ll Be Home For Christmas
This song reminds me of Christmas Eve and that warm feeling inside your house. 7/10
16. Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel
Very mellow and relaxing. Her vocals are on point and the best we have heard them on this track. The only downfall is that it’s far too short. 7/10
Overall album rating: 6/10
You can tell that Kelly is very passionate about Christmas and that she loves the holiday season and that this wasn’t her releasing a Christmas album for simply money and because she has run out of ideas. The overall problem is that there are far too many songs which make all the tracks sound really long, when really the longest song is only 4 minutes 10 seconds. If the album was stripped down to about 10/11 tracks the album would flow really well and each of the songs would stand out. I like the fact that she has released new songs she has written as well as covers so there is a range and songs that we haven’t heard to look forward to and grow to love.