Album Review: Chris Young’s ‘It Must Be Christmas’

Chris Young hits all the right notes on his first holiday release, It Must Be Christmas.

Written by Chuck Dauphin
Album Review: Chris Young’s ‘It Must Be Christmas’
Cover art courtesy RCA Nashville

Over the next few weeks, you will see that I am a huge fan of Christmas albums. Obviously, that comes from the fact that I love the holiday season, and the warm feeling of reassurance that one has that “it” – whatever it seems to be, will be okay in the coming year.

There are various ways that one can approach making a Christmas album as an artist. One can adhere to the classics, singing them the wat they were recorded back in the 1950s or 1960s, or you can take a completely original style – a la Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton’s 1984 classic disc Once Upon A Christmas.

This year, many of your favorites will be releasing their take on the Christmas season. Chris Young’s It Must Be Christmas is one of the first to be released, and he went for a decidedly classic approach. One can almost see the fireplace in use during such fare as “The Christmas Song” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas,” where his vocal style is as warm and inviting as a cup of hot apple cider.

But, there are also a few interpretations of a few “modern” classics from the Yuletide section. “There’s A New Kid In Town,” a song written and recorded by the late Keith Whitley in the late 1980s gets a nice duet treatment with Alan Jackson lending his vocal talents. He also gets in a 60s groove with “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” which was originally cut by Darlene Love, and in 1993, by Mariah Carey.

Whether it be a “New” classic or an evergreen one, Young hits all the right notes on the album. Whether it’s the tenderness of “The First Noel,” a collaboration with Brad Paisley, or the uptempo swagger of “Holly Jolly Christmas,” this disc is a winner from start to finish. Young does go original on a couple of tunes, with the romantic “Under The Weather” sure to be a favorite of his fan base, and the sentimental title cut, which stirs the memories in children both young…..and a little bit older. A definite must-have for all Country fans this season!