The weekend of Christmas I learned that Norah Jones released a Christmas album this year.
A Christmas album! From Norah Jones!
And none of my so-called friends thought to inform me!
I heard cuts from it on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas on various programs on WRTI, Philadelphia’s jazz radio station, and Sunday evening, during Jazz Night in America I ordered the CD of I Dream of Christmas from target.com.
That’s me, buying new Christmas music after Christmas.
It arrived in the mail on New Year’s Eve, and it’s exactly what I’d want from a Norah Jones Christmas album. It’s a little bit jazz, a little bit big band, a little bit country. There’s a relaxed, playful quality to the album, and her cover of the Alvin and the Chipmunks’ classic “Christmas Don’t be Late” is a delight.
I bought the Target edition of the album because it had a bonus track of “O Holy Night,” a Christmas song I, an atheist, unironically love. The thing about CD bonus tracks, though, is that they’re never sequenced properly. They’re just tacked onto the end, after the album’s original, intended ending, and “O Holy Night” is a case in point of a bonus track feeling out of place. There’s a sequence of sorts to the album, taking listeners through December and the holiday season, ending with the one-two punch of “Christmas Time is Here” (the Vince Guaraldi classic) and “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?” “O Holy Night” after that feels like an attempt to turn back the clock. It feels too late. It’s out of place in another way as well; it’s the only explicitly religious song on the album. I’ll probably make a playlist in Winamp that resequences “O Holy Night” earlier in the running order, between “Run Rudolph Run” and “Christmas Time in Here.”
All in all, it’s a quality album, bonus track placement a mere blemish. I Dream of Christmas will be played many times in Decembers to come, and I’m liable to pull it out some random July afternoon, too, because that’s how I roll. 🙂