Lotta Engberg's first-ever Christmas album, Jul Hos Mig, finds her teaming up with several fellow Scandinavian pop stars on a collection of 14 lushly produced seasonal favorites, nine of which are performed in Swedish and five in English. One of Sweden's most beloved pop stars with a career that goes back to the 1980s, Engberg hasn't released a solo-billed album like this in a long time. She released a lot of dansband albums over the years with Lotta & Anders Engbergs Orkester and Lotta Engbergs Orkester, to be sure, but not since 100% (1988) has she put out a proper solo album. After putting her dansband to rest after the swan song of Vilken Härlig Dag (2000), she took some time off before re-emerging in the mid-2000s, when she collaborated with Jarl Carlsson on the duets album Kvinna & Man (2005), and released several greatest-hits compilations such as Världens Bästa Lotta (2006). So while Engberg has been active in recent years, it's a fairly big deal to see her put out a solo full-length, even if it's a Christmas album. Jul Hos Mig may be a solo album, but there are enough guest features to make it feel like a duets album. Swedish actor Sven Wollter duets with her on "En Julsaga (Fairytale of New York)," Norwegian Eurovision sensation Alexander Rybak on "Baby, It's Cold Outside," Swedish group Nordman on "Julen för Mig," Swedish country star Jill Johnson on "Silver Bells," Swedish dansband star Christer Sjögren on "Blue Christmas," and Wollter gets a solo feature on his album-closing reading of "Tomten." Not only star-studded but also lushly produced with horns, violins, cello, keyboards, and more, Jul Hos Mig is a high-quality and thoroughly enjoyable Christmas album. Highlights include "Vår Vackra Vita Vintervärld (Winter Wonderland)" and "Äntligen December."
Jul Hos Mig Review
by Jason Birchmeier