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Silver and Gold

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Album Review

From her earliest lush R&B ballads, Vanessa Williams' voice could conjure up a safe haven of warmth from the bluster of the world. Like Star Bright, Williams' previous holiday album, 2004's Silver & Gold evokes a roaring fire and shelter from a swirling storm, capturing the peace within the spirit of Christmas.

Williams opens with the Johnny Marks-penned title-track classic, a perfect fit for her voice, delivered sweetly and serenely. She quickens the pace on the next song, a lively version of "Joy to the World" that pairs her singing with the dulcet tones of Brian McKnight, followed by a host of standards performed with flair, particularly her almost haunting rendition of "The Little Drummer Boy." Later she changes the tone by bringing in the incomparable voice of veteran actor Ossie Davis to read Langston Hughes' words on "I Dream a World," the prelude to the new, jaunty R&B number "December Lullaby." Williams closes with the impeccable choice of the timelessly pretty "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas," a fitting end to a soulful Yuletide collection.

Biography

Born: 18 March 1963 in Tarrytown, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When Vanessa Williams began her singing career, she was known chiefly as the Miss America pageant winner who'd been forced to renounce her title for posing in Penthouse magazine. Williams not only put the scandal behind her, she all but obliterated it, turning out a series of slick, sophisticated hits that made her one of the most popular adult contemporary R&B singers of her time. In addition to her broad crossover appeal, she established a parallel acting career in both film and television, and...
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Silver and Gold, Vanessa Williams
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