MUSIC REVIEW

MY FIRST CHRISTMAS ALBUM
Review from ALL MUSIC GUIDE

www.allmusic.com

In 1992, Philippine female singer Kuh Ledesma released My First Christmas Album. The album contains 12 songs, six of which are famous American and European Christmas songs, and two are Philippine-composed Christmas songs. The remaining two songs are "The Lord's Prayer" and a remake of Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely." The opener, "Jingle Bells," starts with a little girl singing the words to the song, as a strong bass line enters and Kuh Ledesma sings the famous melody, giving the song a swinging, jazzy reading. She gives the chorus a flourish that isn't in the original version, and gives her version some zest. Kuh Ledesma sings "Have Yourself a Very Merry Little Christmas" at a slow, reflective pace, and her interpretation is sincere and heartfelt. The song also features a jazz-inflected piano solo on which the original melody is given enjoyable embellishment. She sings "(All I Want for Christmas) Is My Two Front Teeth" in an exaggerated, comical manner, which matches the tone of the song. The two Philippine-composed songs add much to the album. "Pasko Na, Sinta Ko" (It's Christmas, My Love) features a slow, sentimental ambience, while "Nakaraang Pasko" (Last Christmas) has a spirited, bouncy tone. Kuh Ledesma gives an intimate, sophisticated reading of "Silver Bells." "The First Noel" begins on a pretty string introduction, and Kuh Ledesma injects much heartfelt passion into her traditional rendition. Although Stevie Wonder's "Isn't She Lovely" isn't a Christmas song, it doesn't sound out of place here, and adds to the joyousness of this fine Christmas album. David Gonzales


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