Kenny Loggins clearly has mixed feelings about Christmas. In his liner notes to December, his holiday album, he twice refers to it as "bitter-sweet," and that sense is carried over into his song choices and arrangements. He picks only three real standards, "The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)," "White Christmas," and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," all ballads from the 1940s, adds a mixture of jazzy ("Christmas Time Is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas) and traditional ("Coventry Carol," sung with David Crosby and Graham Nash) material and some obscurities, and writes four new songs of his own. But in all cases, his approach is low-key and reflective, with slow tempos and restrained performances. While not specifically religious, he seems concerned with revealing "what Christmas really means," as he puts it in his own "The Bells of Christmas." The result is an unusually somber seasonal collection, perhaps more suited for the dead of winter than the run-up to the year's biggest celebration. Play this one just before you put the children to bed; it may calm them down.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann
feat: Mervyn Warren