Danny Donnelly - Christmas In LA

Published Monday 23rd October 2017
Danny Donnelly - Christmas In LA
Danny Donnelly - Christmas In LA

RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 161621-23955
LABEL: Independent
FORMAT: Digital Only Album

Reviewed by Brendan O'Regan

This is one of the best Christmas albums I've reviewed this year which is ironic as it was released in 2015! 'Christmas In LA' by California-based singer/songwriter Danny manages a near perfect balance between the familiar Christmas material and some fine originals. The classics are treated with respect but refreshed and reimagined, though some will still prefer a more traditional approach. Production values are fine throughout (Donnelly takes production credits) and vocals, both solo and harmonies, are consistently good. Instrumentation is tight and complementary, with the guitar work a particular standout. Donnelly isn't limited by genre and there are touches of pop, rock, jazz, folk and country. I was hooked from the start by a soulful and quirky version of "Go Tell It On The Mountain" - slow to start but in trad jazz territory by the end. In "Watchman" Donnelly has taken the 19th century verse of John Bowring and worked it into a slide guitar-led rocker, throwing snippets of "We Three Kings" and "Joy To The World" into the mix. It works! These two songs also get their own full tracks. Of the carol evergreens, I really liked "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen" sung with conviction and given a Southern rock vibe. By contrast the Donnelly original "Sweet Sweet Child" is a beautiful reflection with acoustic guitar to the fore. A fine end to a fine album.

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