Oleta Adams,
Christmas Time with Oleta
(Koch, 2006)

This debut holiday album of 10 songs by Oleta Adams is really, really good.

Oleta has an appealing voice, strong and pleasant, and a talent for songwriting although, this being a Christmas album, Oleta did not write any of these songs, focusing instead on some familiar songs of the season.

The collection of songs on this CD includes holiday compositions that are well known, such as "Silent Night" and "Let It Snow" (an old classic Oleta sings in her own unique way), as well as lesser-known titles such as "Breath of Heaven," which is Oleta's favorite.

The opening song, "Of the Father's Love Begotten," has been a nice surprise for me since it was the first time I heard Oleta's deep and clear voice. "Alleluia, Alleluia" and "Christmas Time is Here," which follow, are sung in a unique and remarkable way, while "I Wonder as I Wander" is a very enjoyable song as well.

I particularly liked "Winter Wonderland," which is an ode to her husband, John Cushon, who is on percussion. Oleta plays the majority of the instruments along with a number of guest musicians such as Lonnie McFadden, Ronald McFadden, and those who are on backing vocals.

Oleta has performed pop, jazz and R&B and has been a multiple Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter. I'd recommend Oleta for Christmas as this CD is different from the others I've heard up to now. It certainly is a new version of Christmas songs that will appeal to a wide audience.

review by
Liana Metal

15 December 2007

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