Album Review: Merry Christmas, Baby – Rod Stewart

The thing I found the hardest to believe getting ready to write this review is that in a career spanning five decades, not to mention the Grammy’s and two time Hall of Famer status, this is Rod Stewart’s first Christmas album. He has released seven cover albums before this and this is the first time was have a Rod Stewart Christmas album.

When it comes to Christmas albums I generally much prefer the Christmas mixed tape I made myself because of the variety I collected. In my experience Christmas albums often all include the same songs because most artists will record a range of very popular Christmas songs, because everyone knows them and to top off the album include a few more obscure tracks. Sometimes you will even get lucky enough to have an original or two included as well.

That is pretty much exactly what you will get with Rod Stewart’s Merry Christmas, Baby. The CD opens with Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and Winder Wonderland one after the other. The arrangement of the songs remains very traditional  so they are quite forgettable, nothing really jumps out and screams for attention.

Rod Stewart’s voice is extremely distinctive and that is heavily present from the opening bars to the final chords, and is something that I think is going to be present in anything he records. His style has changed and this isn’t the rocker I remember from my earlier days but the voice remains instantly recognisable.

merry christmas baby

I am not one for full-on full-time Christmas songs, and I’m not one for the same CD over and over either so the fact that I’ve accrued an actual collection of Christmas CD’s goes a long way to saving my sanity. This CD was enjoyable if not extremely memorable on the first listen but on repeat it certainly began to grate – but what doesn’t.

Spreading the Christmas spirit alongside Stewart on Merry Christmas, Baby are Michael Buble on Winter Wonderland, Cee Lo Green on the title track, Ella Fitzgerald on What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve, Mary J. Blige on We Three Kings and a bonus track with Karise Eden.

The bonus track with Karise Eden is a second rendition of the Rod Stewart original Red-Suited Super Man.

This is certainly not the best Christmas CD I’ve listened to and it’s far from the worst. It is also far from the best or worst Rod Steward I have heard. This will make a great addition to the collection of fans everywhere, as long as you don’t expect old style Rod Stewart.

Track Listing:

Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
Winter Wonderland
White Christmas
Merry Christmas, Baby
Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!
What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve
Blue Christmas
Red-Suited Super Man
When You Wish Upon a Star
We Three Kings
Silent Night
Auld Lang Syne
What Child Is This
The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Silver Bells

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