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Songs of December

Paul Anka

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Album Review

Christmas albums are often festive and cheery, but Paul Anka's Songs of December takes a different approach. It's certainly a warm and inviting listen, but this is the album to play in front of a crackling fire on a winter's night — Anka favors the meaningful ballad, with every note treasured, rather than the jingling carol with sleigh bells on every track. Helping him in this endeavor is a series of the best arrangers in the business, including David Foster, Johnny Mandel, and Chris Walden. Beginning with "Let It Snow," which is often taken at a brisk pace, Anka positively revels in a soft, slow, yet beaming chart. The strings are top-flight, with flutes and other woodwinds providing their flair. "The Christmas Song" and "I'll Be Home for Christmas" are similarly winsome and textured, and Anka never raises the tempo throughout the entire set, which completely radiates confidence and makes this a statement album (note the title) rather than just another Christmas album because management or label suggested it. Anka's in superb voice, as strong as singers one-third his age, but with the gravity and power of a man who's been performing as long as there have been Christmas LPs to listen to and treasure.

Biography

Born: 30 July 1941 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

One of the biggest teen idols of the late '50s, Paul Anka moved to the adult sphere several years later and became a successful performer, songwriter, music businessman, and recording artist, remaining so well into the new millennium. Born in Ottawa, Ontario, in 1941 to parents of Lebanese Christian descent who owned a local restaurant, Anka proved a child prodigy, beginning his show business life at the age of 12 as an impressionist. By the age of 14, he was stealing the family car to drive to amateur...
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Songs of December, Paul Anka
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