26 September 2023

The Christmas Present

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Reviewed by Ian Phillips.

By Robbie Williams, Columbia Records 2019.

It’s that time of the year again and, as usual, I have selected a Christmas album for you.

I know that Christmas albums are a divisive topic – my daughter comes out in hives whenever the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas invades her tranquillity – but one of my friends collects them, so this is for people like her.

This time it’s Robbie Williams’ turn. Apparently, this is his first Christmas album and, as far as Christmas albums go, it’s not too bad.

It’s generous in length at 28 tracks over two CDs that are divided into two parts; Christmas Past which includes a selection of classic Christmas songs and Christmas Future which includes a series of original tracks with a Christmas connection plus a few standards.

Robbie is joined by a selection of guests including Helene Fischer joining him on Santa Baby, Fairytales featuring Rod Stewart, and Bryan Adams joining him on Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) and I Believe in Father Christmas.

If you’re a Robbie Williams and Rod Stewart fan, the Deluxe edition of the double CD includes four bonus duets including the track It Takes Two which also appears on Rod Stewart’s new album. I will be reviewing this album in the coming weeks.

We haven’t heard much from Robbie Williams recently (at least nothing new has come my way) and considering how big a world-wide artist he was (is?) his absence has been noted. So, if lounge music is your thing, it’s nice to have him back.

it’s interesting to note that this is his 13th studio album. I hope it’s lucky for him.

One of the highlights is a duet with his father Peter Conway. They do a delightful rendition of It’s A Wonderful Life and the similarities in their voices is remarkable.

There’s a delightful spark to the track which suggests that they were having a great time.

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