Building on her well-represented holiday catalog, Christmas with Judy Collins is essentially a reissue of the folk artist's 2000 release All on a Wintry Night, padded with two additional songs. All 14 tracks from Wintry Night are featured here in their original sequence with the addition of a new single, the western-tinged "Angels in the Snow" leading off the album, and a stirring, largely a cappella version of "Amazing Grace" closing it out. Fans of Collins' rich, warm voice will enjoy some of the more stripped-down arrangements, which feature her singing to a simple piano accompaniment on lesser-known carols like "In the Bleak Midwinter" and "Cherry Tree Carol." On the other hand, the dated synthesizer sounds on tracks like "Come Rejoice" and "Good King Wenceslas" sound rather homogenous and the spoken intro over the faux-strings of "Away in a Manger" is far too heavy-handed to take seriously. Fortunately, the bulk of the album's 16 tracks favor the more minimalist arrangements keeping Collins' lovely voice at the forefront without much distraction.
2017 release. Together at last! Two folk legends of Laurel Canyon's countercultural music scene join forces on this gorgeous album of all new recordings! Features captivating versions of classic tunes by fellow folk icons Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen plus a few of their own compositions!
Judy Collins found herself in the Top 40 with her adaptation of "Amazing Grace."
Except for the three new tracks, this is not an album on which Collins is discovering or introducing otherwise unfamiliar material, as she typically does; instead, she is applying her lovely voice to good songs often known in renditions by others, such as Bette Midler's "The Rose" or Cat Stevens' "Morning Has Broken." Thus, she comes off more as a conventional interpretive pop singer than usual.
Soothing. Unique. Natural. These are clear adjectives used best when describing the style and grace of Judy Collins and her album Wildflowers. Her blend of folk and meditative music paints a tapestry of soft, nurturing colors that transcends the mind of the listener and seeks one's soul. Much of the material feels uplifting and full of spirit, or even spiritual to some degree.