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Review |  23 Dec 2010 10:39 |  By PavanRChawla

Music Review: Merry Christmas II You: Carey sparkles

By Pavan R Chawla, Editor – RadioAndMusic.com

MERRY CHRISTMAS II YOU

Artist: Mariah Carey


Music Label:
Universal

Price: Rs 395

This album is following a truly tough act – the gifted 5-octave singer's last super-successful Holiday special album, Merry Christmas. A task made even more difficult because of the fact that it appears 16 years after its predecessor, and at a time when in general perception,  her commercial prowess is believed to have waned, but Mariah Carey's brilliant vocal strengths and a variegated mix of tempos and moods on extravagantly produced tracks with good compositions helps Merry Christmas II You stand pretty much as tall as its predecessor.

The uptempo, energetic, well composed  opener, Oh Santa, is just the sort of track you'd want to jive to, and showcases Carey's remarkable highs towards the end, but the next three tracks (O Little Town Of Bethlehem, Christmas Time Is In The Air Again and The First Noel) -- all soothing, richly orchestrated choral renditions with Carey's brilliant vocals shining forth – really usher in Christmas mood in a rich but mellow fashion  The slow and stylish jazz-gospel funk of When Christmas Comes, with a rich but never overpowering brass section and excellent lead and second vocals has a rich groove; definitely one of the best tracks on this album  Then, riding a smooth bass groove on a tight beat, Carey emerges, hip-hop and all, with Here Comes Santa Claus (Housetop Celebration). However, All I Want For Christmas seems is a a straight-laced formula composition that uses an uptempo swing just to vary track tempos, but is nevertheless listenable because of Carey's vocals.

O Come Ye, with its rich symphonic music bed and extravagant backing vocals, has Carey in full operatic flow. The kind of track that makes you put everything on hold and revel in the richness of voice, music and melody that towers over everything else in this collection. The same brilliance shines forth in the traditional O Holy Night – taken from her live performance from 2000 in LA, it showcases Carey's vocals from her �younger' days a decade ago, in an even better way.

The entire album is a rich musical presentation of the Christmas spirit, dressed in a mix of Gospel, Jazz, funk, swing and R&B, and is definitely her best produced offering after her The Emancipation of Mini.

Great stuff.