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EMILY SMITH - Songs For Christmas

EMILY SMITH - Songs For Christmas
White Fall Records WFRCD015

This is Emily Smith’s sixth solo album, and it’s a collection of traditional and contemporary songs with a Christmas / winter theme. It has been recorded as a result of the success of her annual Christmas show which, this year, Emily is taking on tour along with husband Jamie McClennan and multi-instrumentalist Anna Massie, with dates in Scotland (and a couple in England) throughout December.

Here we have some popular carols, such as God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman and Silent Night; we have a traditional American ballad, Heard From Heaven Today, with a great singalong refrain and chorus; we have a couple of Emily Smith originals which sit nicely with the others; we have more traditional songs e.g. Christ Has My Hairt, Ay and The Parting Glass; and we have other contemporary covers, the best of which is a version of John Doyle’s Merry Christmas To All And Goodnight – a fantastic song which should be more widely sung.

Emily’s voice is crystal clear and faultless throughout. She is accompanied by Jamie, Matheu Watson and Ross Hamilton on fiddles, guitars, bass, drums and backing vocals. The arrangements are well thought out and varied – some with a more Christmassy ambience than others (Little Road To Bethlehem has a strangely happy, summery feel which I am not sure works). There is variation too in the style of the tracks, some feeling quite contemporary and others more folky.

So if you are into Christmas music (and I am!) then maybe this is one to put on your Santa list.

Fiona Heywood

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This album was reviewed in Issue 116 of The Living Tradition magazine.