tue 16/07/2024

CD: John Travolta & Olivia Newton John - This Christmas | reviews, news & interviews

CD: John Travolta & Olivia Newton John - This Christmas

CD: John Travolta & Olivia Newton John - This Christmas

The chills ain't multiplyin' as the duo from Grease reunite for a seasonal muzak ordeal

A cup of tea and a snooze

It would be a fool who came to any Christmas album sternly expecting radicalism and the pushing of sonic frontiers, and an even bigger fool if they expected the same from one by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. Christmas albums revel, for the most part, in idealised nostalgia and ritualised celebration but, since it’s now de rigeur for anyone to have a go in this area, the deluge increasing each year, it seems reasonable to hope for a few twists to keep us interested.

We don’t get them from Travolta and Newton John.

The pair, who reached superstardom with Grease in 1978, reunited when it was noted their hit “You’re the One That I Want” had been proclaimed the best-selling duet of all time. To accuse their album of being predictable and bland is redundant, since that’s surely what’s expected, but it’s the degree of blandness and predictability, with a large side order of lazy twee, that’s shocking. There simply isn’t anything to even passingly amuse here, except for those who wish to relive interminable Christmas shopping expeditions pummelled by the most inane seasonal muzak.

Barbara Streisand, James Taylor, Cliff Richard and, God help us, Kenny G, are hauled in to add nothing much, various carolling choirs pop up to assist with “Silent Night” and “Auld Lang Syne”, the gorge rises on “Christmas Song” with its “tiny tots with their eyes all a-glow” line, and Travolta seems to be doing an Elvis impression on “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”. The pair are donating all income from the project to their own charities, but one peek at the video below for lead-off single “I Think You Might Like It”, with its line-dancing take on their Grease routine and endless home-for-the holidays schmaltz, will convince most people that they’d be better off simply chucking a few coins to the next worthwhile street tin-rattler they run into than lending an ear to this.

See how long you can stand "I Think You Might Like It"

It’s the degree of blandness and predictability, with a large side order of lazy twee, that’s shocking


Editor Rating: 
Average: 1 (1 vote)

Share this article


I wouldn't care if they sang the phone book, so fun to see and hear these two together again! and I DO like it!

Same here James - reviewers seem to lead very pathetic lives - pretty much all rude and uncalled for comments. I DO like it too!

The writer must be a grouch!!!!! How could you not like it?????

Add comment

Subscribe to theartsdesk.com

Thank you for continuing to read our work on theartsdesk.com. For unlimited access to every article in its entirety, including our archive of more than 15,000 pieces, we're asking for £5 per month or £40 per year. We feel it's a very good deal, and hope you do too.

To take a subscription now simply click here.

And if you're looking for that extra gift for a friend or family member, why not treat them to a theartsdesk.com gift subscription?


Get a weekly digest of our critical highlights in your inbox each Thursday!

Simply enter your email address in the box below

View previous newsletters