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Christmas Interpretations - Boyz II Men

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Genre: R&B & Soul - Soul / Artist: Boyz II Men / Audio CD released 1997-09-15 at Motown

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    2 Reviews
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      17.12.2009 18:16
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      Boyz II Men's first Christmas album

      "Christmas Interpretations" was released in 1993 and came as a Christmas album from Boyz II Men (their first). It came direct off the re-released of their debut album (which originally dropped in 1991) and so acts as another way to kick-start the R&B quartet's career as they both cover traditional festive works and add to this by bringing a few of their own original tunes.

      1."Silent Night" (Intro)

      2."Let It Snow"

      After coming off a quick preview of where we are to be left at the end of the album, we see that here they bring a collaboration as they sing a remake of the song named in the title alongside Brian McKnight. They completely revamp the song beyond its original direction and come out with a little something that shows off the general feel of the album with a soulful and original take of familiar Christmas material.

      **Four Stars**

      3."Share Love"

      After hitting us with one of the singles from the album, we see that here they come out with another of them, not as popular as the last, this one finds that they come out with one that takes on much more of the Gospel end of their influences into account. Personally I wasn't really feeling this direction of the music, but I can appreciate that it is expected that they would come with such warming music.

      **Three Stars**

      4."You're Not Alone"

      Here we are hit with another soothing slow jam from the group as they come out with a smooth one and a tune that anyone who's into the slower end of R&B will appreciate much more, however I saw it as another track that I could feel, but wasn't really able to connect with in the way that I would have liked to. The Christmas feel to things is lost here as they attempt something with a true contemporary R&B feel, but it didn't do it for me.

      **Three Stars**

      5."A Joyous Song"

      After a fairly lengthy introduction, we see that here we have the act coming together to bring another slow one. I have to say that I personally wasn't really feeling this one at all and I felt that it sounded like the exact opposite to what I expected it to be as they really didn't make much of an effort to make the thing any more engaging or exciting to the listener and so drags things down yet further here.

      **Two Stars**

      6."Why Christmas"

      I have to say that I didn't really expect to see a track such as this one and it wasn't really the kind of thing I want to be hearing at Christmas as here we get a little something where Boz II Men come together in order to do a cold tune where they reflect upon the darker times in their life and why Christmas tends to bring up these memories much more than during the rest of the year. It was different, but I can't say that I thought too much of it.

      **Three Stars**

      7."Cold December Nights"

      We see that we get a little more of the same kind of thing as what was heard on the last track and I felt that it really wasn't a very pleasant time during the album as really for albums of this sort you would tend to prefer if they tend to keeping spirits high, but by pulling it right down with this kind of stuff just doesn't help at all with that kind of thing and I don't think that they felt right in here (although I expected others to value them more as a point of contrast).

      **Two Stars**

      8."Do They Know"

      With this one we see that they go back into more traditional work, not in the sense that they turn to some well-covered music, more that they twist the direction of the music to get back towards the true messages behind why Christmas is celebrated. I have to say that I felt that the only reason why I felt that this sounded like a bit of a bounce back for them was because of the coldness of the last couple, and really it did little for me again.

      **Three Stars**

      9."Who Would Have Thought"

      With this one we see that they come to offer a tune that sees them really making a tune that I could feel because they moved things back to the more pleasant material where the lyrics concentrate around the happier times (and away from the dark ones that came trough earlier on during the record) as we have a little something from them where they sing about falling on love on Christmas Day and just how special it feels for them.

      **Four Stars**

      10."Silent Night"

      They bring the album to a close with what they opened the record up with as we find that here they come with a short blast at a track that could have been predicted to have been included here. They do a great job at working with this material (the only on the album that wasn't an original track) and they go back to where they began things with their debut album as they get into some Philly-styled Doo-Wop.

      **Four Stars**

      I have to say that I really expected much more from this album and really nothing much came of it as we find that generally the thing stays on one level and doesn't lift up from it. There is no variation, other than the choices in where to take the lyrics in the original tunes and it was just basically average throughout with nothing in particular to say really made much of an impact.

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    • More +
      07.12.2009 00:56
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      Boyz II Men's first Christmas album

      **Introduction**

      Whilst this is not the only Christmas album that Boyz II Men have released, It is certainly the better known of the two. They released an album in 2005 called "Winter Reflections" which is a Japan only release and is exceedingly difficult to purchase over here for anything reasonable. Christmas Interpretations was released in 1993 as their second release and featured a mix of cover versions of well known Christmas songs as well as some original songs. Fans of Fresh Prince of Bel Air may remember the episode which featured Boyz II Men.

      **Christmas Interpretations**

      After the incredible success of Boyz II Men's debut Cooleyhighharmony they released this album less than a year before the second huge success II in 1994. Christmas Interpretations saw the group working with Brian McKnight on this collection of songs. I suppose you could call this album the building block of the future Throwback, Motown Hitsville and Love albums which featured Boyz II Men renditions of some of the greatest and most loved songs of the past few decades.

      1 Silent Night (Intro)
      2 Let It Snow
      3 Share Love
      4 You're Not Alone
      5 Joyous Song
      6 Why Christmas
      7 Cold December Nights
      8 Do They Know
      9 Who Would Have Thought
      10 Silent Night

      **My Review**

      Things start off with a short introduction which features a short burst of the winter standard "Silent Night" which sets us up for things to come. This is a really pleasant opening which just showcases the smooth vocal harmonies which are what they are all about.

      Let it Snow gets us into the first full track with a very catchy feel. This is a very strong song with Brian McKnight also on vocals providing a great touch as a fifth member. This is a very nice track which has a great winter ballad feel.

      "Share Love" opens with a soft part which then leads into a slightly more up-tempo sequence, This track sounds very early 1990's which is a slight drawback compared to their ageless classics of the early 1990's. This still provides a decent example of their amazing vocal flow.

      "You're not Alone" is up next and this is another gentle ballad which although it has a 90's feel is not dated. This track really gives you the listener a great example of the vocal talent they had even sixteen years ago when they were barely in their 20's. Very nice and smooth. This one has a really good flow.

      "A Joyous song" is up next and this is a slow starting song which once it has got going sounds rather like something they did on their debut album. This is a very nice ballad and has a very pleasant feel good vibe which is what you want at Christmas.

      Next up is "Why Christmas" which opens with a spoken part from Wanya Morris and Michael McCary. This track is about when you have a bad Christmas and why it had to happen at Christmas when it's supposed to be such a happy time of year. This is a very flowing track.

      "Cold December Nights" slows things down with a lovely sombre ballad about feeling lonely at at Christmas after a relationship breaks up. This is very well performed and is rather Good stuff. One of the best tracks on the album for sure.

      "Do They Know" is a gentle piano led track which is opened by Shawn Stockman with a lovely falsetto which brings you in. This is a lovely mellow ballad which just shows off the incredible vocal talent of Boyz II Men both individually and as a group. Great stuff.

      "Who would have thought?" is the penultimate track on Christmas Interpretations and at 6 minutes and 6 seconds it is the longest track on the album. It is also one of the best and stays at a lovely slow pace throughout the song and is a really beautiful track. Brilliant stuff.

      "Silent Night" closes the album with a full rendition of this hugely popular Christmas Standard. This just has such a great feel and should be played several times around Christmas, especially on Christmas Day, Brilliant closing track to the album.

      **Overall**

      This is one of the best Christmas albums you are likely to find. It has beautiful vocals, songs about joy and songs about heartbreak. Most people play Christmas albums at Christmas but one thing's for sure, This is good enough to make you want to listen to it all year round. Not many albums are good and varied enough for you to do that with. If you like this then try and find a copy of Winter Reflections as that is even better than this one.

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    • Product Details

      Disc #1 Tracklisting
      1 Silent Night
      2 Let It Snow
      3 Share Love
      4 You're Not Alone
      5 Joyous Song
      6 Why Christmas
      7 Cold December Nights
      8 Do They Know
      9 Who Would Have Thought
      10 Silent Night