“I’ve been inspired for this record from a very young age,” Eldredge said in a press release announcing his first holiday album. “I dreamt of the day I could record all these classic songs that I’ve loved since I was a little kid. I recorded those classics in New York City and tried to give a tip of the hat to the ones that came before me – Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ray Charles – by adding that swing and that soul to the best of my ability.”
Eldredge more than gives a tip of his hat to Sinatra & Co. In fact, at times it’s hard to pick the two singers apart on his new holiday album. Channeling Sinatra on every song, Eldredge transports the listener to a small jazz club where Ol’ Blue Eyes is performing Christmas standards.
On some songs the resemblance to Sinatra is uncanny. Album opener “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!” mimics Sinatra with his sultry singing style accompanied by a mesmerizing horn section, both giving a Big Band feel throughout the two-minute track. The standout duet “Baby It’s Cold Outside” follows suit with obvious jazz elements including a horn section and light percussion that never gets in the way of the singers. Accompanied by Meghan Trainor, the soulful vocals of both singers are highlighted as Trainor does the back-and-forth on whether or not she should be on her way.
“I’ll Be Home For Christmas” features Eldredge’s smooth and yearning vocals with soaring strings and fitting piano accompaniment while the title track is a welcomed original song which Eldredge penned specifically for the album. On “Glow,” he discusses sharing a romantic evening by the fireside as his lady shines in the Christmas tree’s lights beside him. Throughout the song, he compares his love to all the best parts of the holiday season: mistletoe, caramel kisses and a field of snow.
“I always use the word magic when it comes to Christmas, but that’s the feeling that ‘Glow’ gives me when I hear it. So it just seemed like the perfect title for a Christmas album,” he explained.
While “Silent Night” shares the power of Eldredge’s tender vocals alongside a beautifully simple musical arrangement, “It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas” brings out the fun side we all know and love from the singer with a faster paced chorus and a little more personality.
Though it’s hard to breathe new life into the Christmas classics, Eldredge does his best by taking things back to Sinatra’s time. Those missing the Big Band days and artists like Bing Crosby, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Ray Charles will surely love these standards while others hoping for a country holiday album will be disappointed. All the while, Eldredge shows off his vocal chops and his ability to stand beside the greats like Sinatra in releasing a truly memorable and timeless holiday album.