Tuesday, December 10, 2013

4 Carats

Song: 4 Carats
Artist: Kelly Clarkson
Album: Wrapped in Red

Above-average Christmas album from pop vocalist Kelly Clarkson, Wrapped in Red is the singer-songwriter's first holiday collection containing a little over half traditional tracks as well as a handful of originals, mostly co-written by Clarkson.  The album is solely produced by Greg Kurstin, whom had worked on Kelly's recent Greatest Hits as well as previous album Stronger.  It's the second time she's worked with a sole Producer since '07s My December (w/David Kahne) and the third time Kurtin has produced a full album for an artist after Lily Allen's It's Not Me, It's You (2009) and Sia's We Are Born (2010.)

Clarkson used Bing Crosby & Rosemary Clooney's soundtracks to the 1954 film White Christmas as inspiration, while Kurstin cited Vince Guaraldi Trio's A Charlie Brown Christmas and A Christmas Gift from Phil Spector and his famous "wall-of-sound" technique as touchstones.  The album is a mix of jazz, country, pop, and soul and does a pretty remarkable job of keeping things fresh over it's just-under-an-hour running time.

First single "Underneath the Tree" as well as opening, title track "Wrapped in Red" have a classic, yet modern feel that recalls Mariah's "All I Want for Christmas," no-doubt another inspiration as I'm sure they'd love a hit that size.  Both sound very 60s girl-group inspired, I'm also digging "Winter Dream (Brandon's Song)" and "4 Carats," which sounds exactly as you'd expect a Clarkson Christmas song would.  ("4 Carats" is co-written by Cathy Dennis & Livvi Franc.)

Enjoyed this and got me into the spirit a bit early this year.


4 Carats
Underneath the Tree
Wrapped in Red

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