Kelly Clarkson kicks off the holiday season into high gear with an early Christmas gift, Wrapped in Red. This is Kelly’s first Christmas album, and it is a fine collection of festive tunes! Wrapped in Red offers a mix of traditional carols, modern classics, and original songs written by Kelly herself. Diversity is reflective of Kelly’s musical identity, and her vocal versatility is showcased strongly, as she incorporates a range of genres (Pop, Country, Blues, Soul, Broadway, and Classical) and sounds (gentle and soft, to big and bold) into her album.
In Wrapped in Red, Kelly intertwines a spectrum of colours (from red to blue, to silver and gold), to tell her Christmas tale of love, longing, and fond memories. With RED, the colour of passion, romance is in the air, as she sings about falling in love (“Wrapped in Red”), being under the spell of love (“Winter Dreams”, dedicated to her husband, Brandon), and celebrating love at Christmastime (“Underneath the Tree“, the album’s magnificent lead single, which is a throwback to the glory days of Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound and a guaranteed soon-to-be holiday classic). With BLUE, Kelly brings out the blues and the heartache on songs like “Please Come Home for Christmas (Bells Will be Ringing)”, “Every Christmas” (an original), “Blue Christmas”, and “I’ll Be Home for Christmas“. With SILVER and GOLD, she celebrates the sparkle and shine of the season, with a soaring rendition of “My Favorite Things” (from Broadway’s The Sound of Music), another original song, “4 Carats” (which is reminiscent of “Santa Baby” with its playful tease of the materialism and flash of the holidays), and an energetic and swinging version of the rock ‘n’ roll classic, “Run Run Rudolph”. With WHITE, Kelly croons about the winter chill on “Baby It’s Cold Outside” (a duet featuring Ronnie Dunn) and gives heartfelt, delicate, and elegantly-sung renditions of two sentimental favourites, “White Christmas” and “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas”. Her cover of Imogen Heap’s “Just For Now” dips into the somber side of the season, expressing the stress of holiday celebrations with dysfunctional families – it’s an unexpected choice for a Christmas album, yet very true to the reality of this time of the year. Closing out the album are “Silent Night” (featuring a triumphant trio consisting of Kelly, Reba McEntire, and Trisha Yearwood, whose harmonizing voices are a treat to the ears) and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” (a haunting version of the ethereal hymn).
With her clear, rich, booming, and sensational singing voice, Kelly was born to serenade people with Christmas songs! I am sleighed by how she brings the emotions and delight of Christmas to life with these songs. Wrapped in Red captures the true spirit of the holidays and is sure to become a seasonal staple for Christmases to come!
Kelly Clarkson’s Wrapped in Red is available on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, and other music retailers!