With so many new and re-released Christmas albums coming out each year, covering a Christmas album is something I would shy away from doing. The problem is when listening to artists from Ella Fitzgerald to Michael Buble’ to Mariah Carey, what can be sung and said that hasn’t already been sung and said?
For me, a successful Christmas album has to have the tangerine effect. When I smell tangerines, it takes me to Christmas. Hence, every time I hear a legendary Christmas album, it should do the same thing. With her sultry sexy Marilyn Monroe/Edie Adams voice, Marlena sets the bar to the next level with her new album, May All Your Christmases Be White.
Opening with “White Christmas,” a duet with European Jimmy Armstrong, its clear Marlena was having a good time while recording this album. But, “Merry Christmas Baby” brings out her best. I love the keyboard on this piece. However, one might need a cold shower after listening to Marlena’s voice. “Last Christmas,” a George Michael cover, is another cool piece with an “old country” feel to it. I love the flugelhorn with “I’ll Be Home for Christmas.” Henry L. Longfellow’s “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day shows Marlena’s past with the church. Marlena’s last track, ties a Christmas bow on the album with a traditional version of “Have Yourself a Merry Christmas.”
Marlena has a distinct voice you will love to hear over and over again. Her jazz fusion approach is fitting for this Christmas album. May All Your Christmases Be White passes the tangerine test. I’m J.R. Miller with High Note Reviews, and this is Marlena hoping that All Your Christmases Be White.