Clearly the guilt has been eating me up inside for far too long because I think its time to admit that I – a devoted fan of Kelly Clarkson – have never listened to her ~critically acclaimed~ Christmas album Wrapped In Red, released all the way back in 2013.
However, with the festive period upon us I thought it was the perfect time to finally give it a listen and give my verdict on each song.
As I take these sorts of things a lot more serious than anyone else I know, I’m in my room on a Saturday night and I’ve just lit a spiced cinnamon candle to really set the mood before I press play.
While everyone else I know is spending their weekend doing fun things with their friends, I’m getting ready to be sleighed.
Wrapped in Red
Okay, we’re off to a good start here with the title track. Inspired by a scene in the film Love Actually, which I also have never seen – I’m an awful person I know, Clarkson sets the Christmas vibe nicely and to nobody’s surprise her voice just soars.
Underneath the Tree
This one just hits you in the face from the start doesn’t it? This is the only song on the album that I’m already familiar with and it still holds up. It’s clear to see why it is considered to be in the same league as Mariah’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
Plus now that we live in a post Run Away With Me world a sax solo is forever a great thing.
Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
After the high octane thrill of Underneath the Tree I feel a little cheated that things have slowed down already by track three! But its a great rendition of a Christmas standard.
Run Run Rudolph
Okay, we’re back into the high octane stuff now but at the risk of sounding unpopular perhaps this song is a bit much? Don’t get me wrong I love over the top stuff, but there is so much going on here I’m finding it hard to focus.
That said, it hasn’t sapped any of my festive spirit which is now in full swing. I kind of wish I had tinsel at hand. Sigh
Please Come Home for Christmas
When I tell you I live for Kelly’s vocal acrobatics, I really L I V E. Literally give me every single run that is humanly possible and I am a happy man. Yell, scream and warble the word Christmas anyway you want.
Oh Kelly, I’ve been single every single Christmas of my life so I feel your pain on this one. Thanks for recognising us forever alone people during the holiday period.
Another song for the loners at Christmas (way to rub salt into the wound Kelly), though the piano solo is a proper treat.
Baby it’s Cold Outside (feat Ronnie Dunn)
Probably the most problematic Christmas song in the world. Not even Kelly can make me ignore the rape undertones in this song.
‘Say what’s in this drink?’
‘I oughtta say no’
‘Mind if I move in?’
But the scent of the spiced cinnamon candle I lit has started to take over my room at this point and I’m feeling super super festive!
Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song)
Kelly’s loneliness isn’t killing her anymore hurrah! I can only describe this song as grossly heartwarming which I hope comes across better than it sounds.
For context Brandon is Brandon Blackstock, Kelly’s then boyfriend at the time of the album’s release and now husband and this is her ode to him. Awwwwww!
Another Christmas standard. Again, Kelly’s vocals really shine on this one. Also after being engrossed in Kelly’s perpetual loneliness during the last few songs, it is a nice reminder that I am actually listening to a Christmas album.
My Favourite Things
I’m glad she chose to cover the Broadway version of this because you should never touch the Julie Andrews version if you know whats good for you. Also, that end note? MY GOD.
I could tell from the first few chords that this song first came into this world as a pop song and after doing some research I was right! Kelly describes it as a cross between Kitt’s ‘Santa Baby’ and Madonna’s ‘Material Girl’ and it was re-recorded to fit the album’s theme.
I wouldn’t be surprised if this song was recorded during the All I Ever Wanted sessions (btw, what an album right?)
Christmas or not, this song is a BOP.
Just for Now
YES to this. All the way YES. This Imogen Heap cover is giving me My December moody Kelly vibes. My fave Kelly.
Silent Night (feat Reba McEntire & Trisha Yearwood)
You can’t go wrong with a bit of Silent Night on a Christmas album. Also, Reba McEntire is stepmum to Kelly’s husband Brandon. Nice little bit of trivia for you there!
I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Not going to lie to you now, the intro to this one reminds me of the Coronation Street theme song. It’s one of two songs tacked on the end of the deluxe edition of the album and is from her iTunes Session extended play. It’s pleasant enough.
Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel
This is a bloody dramatic closer for the album, isn’t it? I had to Google this one because I clearly know nothing about religion. After a quick Wiki search I found out its the first stanza to the hymn by the same name.
God, you forget Christmas is actually a religious holiday don’t you?!
I can’t believe it has taken me three years to get round to listening to Wrapped In Red as obviously I was clearly missing out on something pretty damn good.
Kelly can really sing anything and I love that the album skirts between genres which, again after some further investigation via good old Wiki, was one of the reasons that made Kelly want to do a Christmas album in the first place.
Highlights for me are Wrapped In Red, Underneath The Tree, 4 Carats, Favourite Things, Winter Dreams (Brandon’s Song) and Just For Now.
Okay so there you have it. I have finally listened to Wrapped In Red. The abuse on social media can finally end!
Now if you don’t mind I’m going to listen to this entire album again (and again and again) as I try and find some tinsel and a tree to decorate!