Kenny Rogers, who over a long career has released a staggering thirty-two studio albums, is hanging up his hat to spend more time with his family. Before he departs from the music scene, Rogers has left us with his sixth Christmas album – 17 years after the last one – Once Again It’s Christmas, to see us through the upcoming holiday season.
Christmas albums are hard to screw up, mostly because the songs are always going to be pretty cheesy no matter what you do with them. So as long as you can sing along and play it in the background at your Christmas festivities, it’s probably going to excel. Once Again It’s Christmas is no different, but the thing that sets it apart from other holiday albums is the wider range of new Christmas tunes, one of which Rogers himself co-wrote with some of his former bandmates.
Kenny Rogers’ version of Little Drummer Boy is arguably the best version of this song to date. This is one of those Christmas songs that is often overdone and can easily slip into the ridiculous, but this cover sounds grand and magical, thanks to a chorus of gentle voices that blend in with Rogers own smooth and husky tone. The instrumentation is also worth noting, as it is beautifully produced and without it, the magical feeling of this cover might not have come through quite as well.
Although Winter Wonderland is probably the most Christmas sounding song on the album, it also has this interesting swing vibe to it, because of it’s large brass section and it’s dreamy backing vocals. It’s a fresh take on a true Christmas classic that genuinely impresses.
As Christmas albums go, Once Again It’s Christmas is definitely a winner. It has a song for every holiday occasion and it ends on a really high note with The Light, which is a song co-written by Mr Rogers himself. The Light is serene, pure and a great addition to the Christmas songs we all know and love and sends out the album on a high.