Kylie Minogue, KYLIE CHRISTMAS (deluxe)

Christmas albums give singers and performers a chance to put their own spin on classic holiday songs -- and to hopefully make some seasonal album sales.  Kylie Minogue has largely focused on pop music with a strong disco influence -- but when she performed The Abbey Road Sessions, she showcased her vocal skills.  Kylie Christmas (deluxe) covers a wide range of styles.

Kylie Christmas has 16 songs (and the deluxe version has a dvd with video of the studio recordings of the songs).  The songs are all secular holiday songs (I'm not sure if "Only You" from Yaz counts, but it's here as well); most are traditional tunes, some are relatively more recent ("1000 Miles," "Christmas Wrapping"), and a few are written by Kylie herself.  (The latter tunes tend to have a sexual overtone, while the rest are more romantic.)  There are also guest vocals from Iggy Pop, James Corden, Kylie's sister Danni, and (through technological necromancy) Frank Sinatra.
The song styles are quite and nicely varied.  While there are plenty of traditional arrangements of the classics, there are also songs that could have come out of the swinging '60s, some with Kylie's usual disco influence, several with a risque feel (can anyone hear "Santa Baby"and not think of Marilyn Monroe?), and several with a standard pop feel.

While not everything works (especially Iggy Pop's spoken vocals on "Christmas Wrapping") and the dvd doesn't add anything to the songs, Kylie Christmas is an enjoyable holiday album.  Kylie Minogue's singing is in fine form here, fitting nicely into songs everyone knows by heart, quieter romantic ballads, or slightly risque tunes.  Kylie Christmas doesn't redefine what makes a great Christmas song, but it's an album that is equally fine for playing at a Christmas party or driving around during the holidays.

Overall grade: B
Reviewed by James Lynch

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