Michael McDonald has maintained incredible popularity and has been awarded numerous accolades and honors in both personal and professional arenas. He has won an impressive five Grammys and earned innumerable chart successes and sales feats, yet all the while McDonald remains the artist's artist and an enduring presence in popular music. Michael McDonald celebrates the holiday season with the release of This Christmas, a collection of 12 Christmas classics and new holiday favorites.
Christmas is vocalist Michael Bublé's first full-length holiday-themed album since his 2003 EP Let It Snow. As with that album, Christmas features Bublé backed by small ensembles as well as his big band and orchestra, and includes a handful of classic Christmas songs. In that sense, the album is a rather old-school affair, with Bublé in prime Bing Crosby-meets-Dean Martin vocal style tackling such chestnuts as "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas," "Silent Night," and "I'll Be Home for Christmas." There are also some fine, contemporary, if still retro-sounding, pop moments here including Bublé's duet with the British female pop trio the Puppini Sisters on "Jingle Bells," and his inspired, slightly melancholy reworking of Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You." Ultimately, Christmas is a warm and inviting album that showcases Bublé's impeccable vocal chops.
Brian Henson, the son of Muppet founder Jim Henson, took over directing duties after the untimely death of his father for The Muppet Christmas Carol, a sluggish re-telling of the Charles Dickens tale. Michael Caine, surrounded by legions of fuzzy, felt puppets, plays it straight as the crotchety Ebenezer Scrooge, an old miser who could care less about Christmas and the joy the season brings. Working for the skinflint is his faithful employee Bob Cratchit (Kermit the Frog), who begs Scrooge for a day off for Christmas. Scrooge reluctantly agrees and goes home on Christmas Eve filled with bile at the holiday merrymakers. But then he is visited by the sprits of Christmas Past, Present, and Future, and Scrooge, after revisiting his sorrowful past, hate-filled present, and doomed future, turns over a new leaf and becomes the most generous and celebratory person in town.