This Christmas Day

by: Jessie J

Months after delivering her four-part R.O.S.E. album project, Jessie J indulged her love of the holidays with This Christmas Day, a collection of faithful renditions of beloved Christmas classics. Soothing and nostalgic, the 11-song set pairs big-band glitz and jazzy swing with a '90s R&B touch courtesy of producers Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and Babyface, with additional glamour provided by David Foster on the show-tuney "Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town" and the gentle-as-a-lullaby "Silent Night." In addition to contributing production on a pair of tracks, Babyface also brings his familiar vocals and sonic touches to "The Christmas Song." Boyz II Men also drop by to harmonize on "Winter Wonderland." Of the highlights, Jerkins assists on the best of the bunch, backing Jessie J with a choir and orchestra on the sweeping "White Christmas" -- which benefits from a horn section as well -- and "This Christmas Day," an uplifting gospel number that is one of the rare moments on this traditional Christmas album when J truly makes the song her own (the other being the "Jingle Bells" coda at the close of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer"). As Christmas albums go, This Christmas Day benefits from Jessie J's powerful vocals and inspired arrangement from her team of iconic producers. Much like Kylie Minogue's Kylie Christmas or Mariah Carey's Merry Christmas, This Christmas Day is pleasant, wintry fun for pop fans in need of updated takes on songs they already know by heart. ~ Neil Z. Yeung

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