As I said before, no Melissa under my tree, or mistletoe!
The Bottom Line:
This is one of the best albums of its kind. A solid piece of Christmas cheer with a message to it.
There is nothing I can think of that would be better than looking under the tree this Christmas and finding Melissa Etheridge. I am sure that this is not going to happen, so the next best thing would be to find this Yuletide treat that she has given to her fans.
Mixing her own compositions with traditional Christmas songs, Melissa has produced an album that will put a smile on your face, reach for a loved one and think about how you can make the world a better place. All in the course of 10 songs.
Like a cup of hot chocolate on a frosty December day, A New Thought For Christmas is a pure delight that is tasty going down and gives you a warm feeling all over as Melissa delivers a delightful bit of holiday cheer. With stirring renditions of blues classics like "Blue Christmas" and "Merry Christmas Baby", Ms. Etheridge tempts us with her smokin' hot vocals and also pulls out the electric six string to add even more heat to these scorchers. She is a blues lady at heart and she shows how big hers is here. While these songs set a certain mood that gives you a warm glow, she doesn't stop there.
Melissa gives you a delightful version of the Christmas classic "Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas". She adds so much soul to the song as she seems to be singing to each and every one of the listeners. She also tosses in a terrific little guitar solo on top of it!
Where this album really shines though is in the original songs that Ms. Etheridge composed for this disc. "Ring The Bells"is a duet with Salman Ahmad which is an anthem to peace that echos the spirit in which it was made. A beautiful song that relays the message with class and profound lyrics it strikes the nerves in such a way that brings back visions of John Lennon.
"Christmas In America"is just that. This is going to be a holiday classic as Melissa's stirring slice of life in middle America is one of her most touching and a masterpiece of storytelling. She turns on the rock and roll fires with this one and the flames burn bright. It is everything that I love about Etheridge's music. Riveting lyrics, dynamic rock and roll and the voice that just melts me every time I hear it.
Then there is the Melissa penned rocker "It's Christmas Time". Peace on earth is the message, rock and roll is the medium to deliver it. She pulls out one of her most fiery numbers here that is as edgy as anything she has ever done. This is just a good bit of foot stompin' rock with a meaning. Melissa gets you to hear what she is saying with her lyrics and her music. This one comes through loud and clear!
A real tasty morsel and a bit of a surprise to me is the album closer "O Night Divine". The traditional melody gets an almost Trans Siberian Orchestra makeover with Melissa playing the role of Chris Caffery and his magical guitar playing. If she adds pyro and lasers to her show, we will know something is up! She then adds a message at the end that kind of sums up her thoughts and ideas behind this album. It is a real cool touch by her and a blazing treat to the ears.
Although I am not partial to Christmas albums in general, there are a few that have something very special. Like the fore mentioned TSO. We can add Melissa Etheridge to that category. She has made a holiday album that is something special and will be listened to all year round. This is one of the master storytellers of our time doing what she does best. Only this time, Christmas is the canvas used to paint the pictures.
Track listing for A New Thought For Christmas:
1. Blue Christmas 2. Glorious 3. Christmas(Baby Please Come Home) 4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 5. Ring The Bells 6. Merry Christmas Baby 7. Christmas In America 8. Light A Light 9. It's Christmas Time 10. O Night Divine
For me there has always been the yearning to know as much about Melissa Etheridge as possible. She is such a fascinating lady and a terrific talent I am always first in line for any new release of hers. This album gives you insight on her that tells as much about the woman as her biography. You can see what drives her and what is important to her and she is not afraid to tell you! It is great to hear a person with strong convictions and for her to speak her mind. Especially when she uses her six string to back her up. This is an album that should be on the top of your list this Christmas.
Melissa Etheridge's Christmas album -- released in 2008, reissued in deluxe form the following year -- is faithful to her blues-rock beginnings while retaining a pleasant, relaxed, seasonal vibe. To Etheridge's credit, she devotes a considerable chunk of the record to originals, mostly slower, meditative pieces, but she kicks up the tempo on "It's Christmas Time," which stands alongside the bluesy shuffle of "Merry Christmas Baby" and "Blue Christmas" as the liveliest stuff here. Song List: Disc 1 1. Blue Christmas 2. Glorious 3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) 4. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas 5. Ring The Bells 6. Merry Christmas Baby 7. Christmas In America 8. Light A Light 9. It's Christmas Time 10. On Night Divine