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I love Christmas; it has to be the best time of year. All the yummy food, the presents, the good will and not forgetting the music. The last couple of days, I have been listening to lots of Christmas music to get me in the festive spirit (even though we haven't even reach December yet!). One of the albums is the one which I am going to review now.
8 Days of Christmas is a Christmas (obviously) album from American girl band Destiny's Child. This album was released in the United Kingdom in 2005 and so the CD has been out quite a while now, however it is not the kind of CD that will go out of date. The CD is currently selling from Amazon for around £1.60 which I think is excellent value for money.
~ * Tracklisting * ~
1) Winter Paradise - Sample Father Figure 2) Santa Clause Is Coming To Town 3) Jingle Bells 4) Frosty The Snowman 5) Have A Holly Jolly Christmas 6) Deck The Halls 7) Here Comes Santa Clause 8) 8 Days of Christmas 9) Winter Paradise 10) A "DC" Christmas Medley 11) Silent Night 12) Little Drummer Boy 13) Do You What I Hear 14) White Christmas 15) Platinum Bells 16) O Holy Night 17) Spread A Little Love On Christmas Day 18) This Christmas 19) Carol Of The Bells a.k.a Opera Of The Bells 20) The Proud Family
~ * What Are The Songs Like? * ~
Winter Paradise - This has a very different style compared to the majority of Christmas songs that I am used to. It starts off with a very hip-hop kind of theme, but then as the song goes on it gets more Christmassy.
Silent Night - Beyonce takes the lead here and really pulls it off. The backing music is simple and the song allows her to really show off her voice. It really shows off her 'deep' voice and she sounds amazing.
Do You Hear What I hear? - I really like this song and it really suits Kelly's voice.
~ * What About Their Voices? * ~
For me, Beyonce really stands out; she really is a fantastic vocalist and definetely the 'voice' of Destiny's Child. As for Kelly and Michelle...I like Kelly's voice and think that she should have had a few more lines on here. As for Michelle, I hate to sound mean, but I don't really like her voice; she has quite a rough sounding voice and it is nowhere near as good as Beyonce or Kelly's. When they each sing a line there is a huge difference between Beyonce and Kelly's voices and Michelle's. Sorry Michelle.
They have some great harmonies and have really perfected the songs (vocally) on here. Sometimes, however I do think that they (especially Beyonce) over-do the vocals a little bit, by being too fancy. I mean they are good and they can certainly do the 'fancy vocals' but some of the times it's too over the top for some of the simpler little songs.
~ * Lyrics * ~
I love the lyrics. They have really jazzed them up and I like how they have really modernised them. Lyrics include:
On the 8th day of Christmas my baby gave to me
A pair of chloe shades & a diamond belly ring
On the 7th day of Christmas my baby gave to me
A nice back rub and he massaged my feet
On the 6th day of Christmas my baby gave to me
A cropped Jacket with dirty denim jeans
On the 5th day of Christmas my baby gave to me
A poem that he wrote for me
- 8 Days of Christmas
As you can see the lyrics are really jolly and fun. I like how they are really modern too. They have given the carols a really modern twist which I think will definetely make carols appeal to the younger generation.
~ * What Else? * ~
I like how they have kept to the traditional Christmas stories etc, but have modernised and put their own R n B twist on the songs. It is very effective and makes it very different compared to all of the other Christmas albums out there.
I would definetely recommend this album this Christmas! It will definetely get you in the Christmas mood!
Thanks for reading!
xd-o-n-z-x / xdonzx
Their second album of 2001, "8 Days of Christmas" followed "Survivor" as the fourth album from the R&B trio Destiny's Child. Using the line-up that the group worked with from the point when they reached mainstream popularity (with Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams) it finds them bringing a Christmas-themed album containing mainly well-known festive tunes, as well as a couple of reworked ones and completely original songs.
1."8 Days of Christmas"
Here we have them kicking off the album with the titular track to this release and the biggest single from the original version of the album (with a latter edition going on to include "Rudolph the Red-Nose Reindeer" a fresh re-make of "The 12 Days of Christmas" and fill it out with the types of things that they would actually want to have. It is a banger of a tune and the perfect way to start things off.
We find that the act are backed up by some deep, grungy synth at the start of the thing to give it a Hip Hop-twist before they break into something that sounds a bit more conventional when it comes to Christmas songs. From here we see that they bring a nice and mellow song where they list off a variety of things that make Christmas what it is to force you to be taken into a feel-good mood that you won't be able to escape.
3."A 'DC' Christmas Medley"
Here we find that the trio are somehow able to compact six classic Christmas songs into just four minutes. They do it all over one continuous piece of production and although it may be a bit of a squeeze to make it fit on the odd one, I felt that they freaky Hip Hop-based beats were perfect to make these songs sound like they owned them. It is a nice way to bridge things as we go from the original ones into more of the typical works in this style.
We find that here they strip everything down into ballad form as they work with a song that you knew was going to come at some point during this album. Here we have Beyonce choosing to go things alone and leave the other two back on additional backing vocals (even though you can clearly hear that she has a role on that side of things too). Although I can see some being put off by the fact that she may have gone a little over the top with it, she simply kills off the song and leaves you expecting much bigger things for later on the record.
5."Little Drummer Boy"
Keeping things rolling with cover, we see that here we get them re-introducing the Hip Hop beats back into it and giving it an interesting edge that needs a little time to really connect with it. We find a nice little addition here as Beyonce's younger daughter (Solange, who would have been 15 at the time) coming to join them and doing her thing as they go off on a fly tune that they seem to have completely transformed.
6."Do You Hear What I Hear?"
This is another solo work, and in this case we find that it's Kelly's turn to take control of things as she goes off attempting another popular Christmas cut. I felt that she really did a good job with it all as we find that as she is backed with lots of flowery production she is able to take you into this festive mood again in the same way that was felt with the opening song to the record (as if it began again).
Lasting under two minutes, this is only a short one (one of two consecutive ones that have them doing just a snippet of another tune that you really can't know about around this kind of time. I felt that it was a nice brief blast of energy as you find that we get some Dirty South Hip Hop beats added to the thing for a short while to make it connect with their Houston hometown and the region which they represent as a whole.
Here we get the trio comign out with a song that takes on the same sort of characteristics as the opening track on the thing whereby they turn to a tune that all know, and give its lyrics more modern contents, and so "Silver Bells" is brought into 2001 and they come out with another brief, yet highly-impactful burst that you just have to take notice of as they grab your attention through familiarity and then twist this with their own unique take on it.
9."O' Holy Night"
Here we find that Michelle Williams gets her time do to her thing, and in expected fashion (considering the direction her solo career took) she opts for something that gives her the chance to connect much more to the Gospel side of the music that the act do, and she ensures that she stands out for the crowd in all that she offers. It's a strong one, but I woudln't say it competed with either of the others' solo efforts on this album.
10."Spread A Little Love On Christmas Day"
Here we get a track that has them finding a way to bring forward a song that gets them singing about lots of Christmas-y things, but managing to do so on top of your typical contemporary R&B beats from the 1997-2001 period in this genre. It is a fly one and another that sounds as though it would have done as a single and so deserves to get attention for what it gives them the chance to do here.
Here we see that the artists get the chance to work with some material that is known primarily for its association with the R&B genre, and so it seems to connect with them much more. Here we find that they go about things in a completely unexpected manner by throwing down their very full vocals over some Breakbeats. It reflects this experimental time in R&B and doesn't have the timeless feel of the others here, but as this was one of my favourite periods in the genre, I can't say that I had any issues with it.
12."Opera of the Bells"
"Ring, Christmas Bells" ("Carol of the Bells") gets a Destiny's Child makeover here and we see that they find a way to end things just as they were known to with other releases as they rid themselves of beats and do it all a capella to show just how effectively their voices come together in order to make music that I really can't see how anyone could say they don't enjoy. It tops off a very strong album well.
This is a strong a relatively consistent album from Destiny's Child (more so than any they had brought out up to that point). We find that they do a good job at re-making classics and bringing in their own original material. There aren't any clear weak points and it comes across as one of the best examples of an R&B Christmas album.
Disc #1 Tracklisting
1 8 Days Of Christmas
2 Winter Paradise
3 DC Christmas Medley
4 Silent Night - Beyonce
5 Little Drummer Boy - Solange (2)
6 Do You Hear What I Hear - Rowland, Kelly
7 White Christmas
8 Platinum Bells
9 O Holy Night - Williams, Michelle (2)
10 Spread A Little Love On Christmas Day
11 This Christmas
12 Opera Of The Bells
13 Proud Family - Solange & Destiny's Child