Daniel O'Donnell - Christmas With Daniel O'Donnell

Published Sunday 21st January 2018
Daniel O'Donnell - Christmas With Daniel O'Donnell
Daniel O'Donnell - Christmas With Daniel O'Donnell

STYLE: Country
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 168053-26362

Reviewed by Dave Brassington

In a career now spanning 35 years, the Irish crooner has made two previous Christmas albums plus a couple of Christmas singles, one of which made the lower reaches of the UK Top 20 singles chart. It is apparent that a great deal of thought has gone into this new release with guests including some children, a dance group, the Mamisa string quartet, members of a local church choir for some final carols, but especially the very appealing Kilkenny Ladies Presentation Choir, complete with their conductor Veronica McCarron plus Daniel's own backing band and with frequent appearances by his long time singing partner Mary Duff. This Christmas extravaganza runs for the best part of two hours, hence the two CDs (minus some of the on stage fun) and a rather stunning DVD showing Daniel in his element. From time to time amidst all the on stage tinsel and glitter, Daniel refers to his Christian faith by making some quite profound comments on what the birth of Jesus not only means to him, but how it should affect us all. Tracks range from such Christmas chestnuts as "White Christmas", "Mary's Boy Child", "Little Drummer Boy", some he learnt from the late Jim Reeves, and the very country-tinged duet with Mary Duff of the Kenny and Dolly classic "I'll Be Home With Bells On". Particular highlights are "Christmas In Innisfree" which was his late mother's Christmas favourite, along with "The Gift" which Garth Brooks made popular. Mary Duff contributes several solo items, some fine renditions of "O Holy Night" and "Ave Maria". Listening to the CDs before watching the DVD, I was not particularly struck by "The Sound Of Music" section, but it works so much better on the DVD, when you see Daniel on his chair dreaming what to watch on Christmas TV. I particularly liked the segment towards the end when Daniel, Mary and a couple of backing singers get dressed up as if they were in church for some traditional carols like "The First Noel" and "Adeste Fideles". To sum up, as good a Christmas release as you are ever going to find, full of great fun and sentiment while still highlighting the true meaning of Christmas.

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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