Review in Cabaret Scenes
By JOHN HOGLUND
December 15, 2017
That Christmas Feeling
There are many Christmas CDs flooding the competitive market out there. To hit the mark, one has to offer something different. On her new album, That Christmas Feeling, Katie Eagleson offers just that with a sweet mix of traditional and lesser-known songs. Singing in a choir-like mezzo with minimal vibrato and backed by a large, lush orchestra, this is about as satisfying an entry as you’re likely to find for the season. With excellent arrangements by Len Pierro, Eagleson has a lot to be proud of. Every cut is tastefully presented with minimal adornment in the vocal department. She is a straight-forward phraser, which works quite well for her classy style.
Particular standouts on the disc include a warmly delivered “Some Children See Him” by Alfred Burt. This carol is timely and deserves serious attention as it describes the diverse ways children’s eyes see Jesus: “.. some people see him almond-eyed, some children see him dark as they… come worship now the infant king. ‘Tis love that is born tonight.” It’s only one of several unique selections here. The title cut is a cheery Bing Crosby oldie by Johnny Burke and Jimmy Van Heusen (whose great-nephew sent her the chart). It’s a delight and given a terrific reading here. “A Cradle in Bethlehem” is from Nat King Cole’s canon of carols. This simple, melancholic ode to the Christmas story is a nice touch and recalls another era: “… a mother tonight is rocking her baby in Bethlehem.” Others cuts are more traditional and also well done, like a medley that fuses “White Christmas,” “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!,” and “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” “(There’s No Place Like) Home for the Holidays” and “Auld Lang Syne” cap off this interesting seasonal album that has some welcome surprises.