Skip to main content
  1. AXS Entertainment
  2. Arts & Entertainment
  3. Music

Christmas album review: 'Sending You a Little Christmas' by Johnny Mathis

See also

'Sending You a Little Christmas' by Johnny Mathis

Rating:
Star3
Star
Star
Star
Star

ARTIST: Johnny Mathis
TITLE: “Sending You a Little Christmas”
LABEL: Columbia Records
STYLE: Old-fashioned traditional pop vocal Christmas

NOTABLE: Any list of the all-time kings of Christmas music should include Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Perry Como, Frank Sinatra, Andy Williams, and Johnny Mathis. Mathis is the last king standing. Johnny Mathis released his first Christmas album in 1958; “Sending You a Little Christmas” is his sixth original collection.

At age 78, Mathis is one of the last vocalists of his era still actively recording and touring, but this is no nostalgia trip. Mathis looks great, and his distinctive voice is still as strong as it’s ever been. Guests on the album include Billy Joel, Natalie Cole, Jim Brickman, Susan Boyle, The Jordanaires, Gloria Estefan, Vince Gill and Amy Grant.

HIGH POINTS: Album is a nice balance of duets and solo Mathis performances. Highlights in the former category include a melancholy medley of “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” and “White Christmas” featuring Vince Gill and Amy Grant, a fine version of “Do You Hear What I Hear” with Susan Boyle, and a bright, Tex-Mex country-flavored “Home For The Holidays” with The Jordanaires.

Best of the latter include the title track (even though it’s billed as a duet with pianist Jim Brickman), a faithful-to-the-original cover of the Carpenters’ “Merry Christmas Darling,” and the album closer, “Count Your Blessings,” which features Mathis’ strongest vocal performance in the collection.

LOW POINT: Mathis is in fine vocal shape, and the collection is solid, but compared to the wonderful holiday music he’s already recorded, there’s nothing on “Sending You a Little Christmas” that would be considered a landmark recording. “This Is a Time for Love” is a mid-tempo ballad sung in multiple languages that never really hits the mark – and isn’t really a Christmas song, either.

With its orchestrated synths, the keyboard-heavy “Decorate the Night” sounds like it was recorded in 1989. Of course, if you love that era, that’s not necessarily a negative.

GRADE: B

***

Did you enjoy this article? You can receive e-mail alerts when new articles are available. Just click here to subscribe.

Advertisement

Today's top buzz...

  • Coachella
    The set times you need to know have been announced for Coachella
    Festival Buzz
  • Lamar Odom
    The New York Knicks are giving Lamar Odom another shot in the NBA
    Video
    NBA Buzz
  • Porsha Williams
    See why 'Real Housewives of Atlanta' star Porsha Williams posed for this mug shot
    Video
    TV News
  • NHL tickets
    If you're looking to catch an NHL playoff game in NYC, don't expect to do so on a budget
    NHL Buzz
  • Transcendence
    Review: ‘Transcendence’ fascinates, but does it rise above the field?
    Movies Buzz
  • Kobe Bryant
    Kobe Bryant has agreed to cooperate with an all-access documentary about his life
    Video
    Sports Buzz

Related Videos:

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about Examiner.com and apply today!