sun 27/05/2018

CD: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - It’s a Holiday Soul Party | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - It’s a Holiday Soul Party

CD: Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings - It’s a Holiday Soul Party

Holiday cheer retro-soul style

Sharon Jones: lively enough to keep most people happy

Christmas albums have been part of the scenery almost since the invention of the gramophone. This has led to quite a motley crew of cash-in dross but also the odd hint of real gold. Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings’ multi-faith holiday album is certainly much closer to gold than the other end of the musical spectrum but as with many Christmas celebrations, there are times when things get just a bit too corny. Nevertheless, It’s a Holiday Soul Party does precisely what it sets out to do, with plenty of lively retro-soul tunes that will put smiles on faces and encourage hefty doses of Christmas spirit.

The album kicks off in a manner that might confuse the odd traditionalist with “8 Days (of Hanukkah)” – a suitably funky take on the Festival of Lights. Similarly, “Ain’t no Chimneys in the Projects” is a strident piece of festival social commentary. In and among the original tunes, however, lurk the inevitable reinterpretations of Christmas standards which are also inevitably a bit of a mixed bag. “White Christmas” is an adrenalin-fuelled take on ‘60s high energy soul and “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” becomes a jazzy foot-stomper that gives the original a complete shakedown. “Silent Night” and “Silver Bells”, on the other hand, turn out just that bit too cheesy for comfort. The most striking tune on It’s a Holiday Soul Party doesn’t actually feature Sharon Jones’ vocals, though. Dap-King’s Bandleader Binky Griptite takes on the singing duties for “World of Love” and belts out an Otis Redding-like Christmas cracker.

It’s a Holiday Soul Party is warm and lively enough to keep most people happy when they’re full of Christmas cheer. So, if you’re looking to rescue the stereo from easy listening tedium or boy band blandness after the turkey, you could do a lot worse than let Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings join the party.

'It’s a Holiday Soul Party' does precisely what it sets out to do


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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