The queen of winter has returned with a masterpiece. Idina Menzel released her second Holiday album, ‘Christmas: A Season of Love’, and it has immediately unveiled itself as the Holiday collection we have not seen as a nation since 2013. The aesthetic of the album sleeve discloses the precise aural experience the album has to offer: elegance, class, and wintery disposition.
Everything about Menzel’s delivery on the album is exquisite. Whether the hushed and dulcet vocal performance on ‘O Holy Night/Ave Maria,’ to the tender-hearted and homey ‘At This Table’ to the playful big-band ‘A Hand For Mrs. Claus’ featuring Ariana Grande. Menzel’s robust voice shines most, as always, on the pop-meets-jazz tracks, most notably ‘Christmas Just Ain’t Christmas,’ feasibly the most anthemic track present on the record.
The album’s production is what truly sets it into a league of its own. While Menzel’s voice lends itself like a glove to hand on each song, the album is a true sonic masterpiece. ‘The Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ effortlessly evokes crystal clear imagery of the snow globe scenery of small town America in December.
While Menzel has included RENT favorite ‘Seasons of Love’ on at least two previous recordings, the introductory and closing chords to the masterfully-executed arrangement on this album are those of ‘Christmas Bells,’ another musical motif from the same show, aiding in setting this version apart nicely.
Though Menzel’s Frozen-insinuated time in the limelight has subsided, choosing to release the album prior to the all-but-guaranteed success of Frozen 2, out next month, will almost certainly guarantee this album a hefty sum of buzz and sales.
It’s only October, but thanks to Idina Menzel, it’s now officially holly jolly time. Buckle up, elfies.