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Download Happy Xmas

by Eric Clapton
  • Release type: Album
  • Year: 2018
  • Tracks: 14
  • Duration: 56:29
  • Size, Mb: 129.52
  • Bitrate: MP3 320
  • Genre: Pop/Rock, Blues

Review

Happy Xmas, Eric Clapton's first Christmas record in a career that's spanned over four and a half decades, certainly bears its share of seasonal charm, but it's also of a piece with the warm, amiable music he's made in the 2010s. Like Old Sock and I Still Do before it, Happy Xmas relies on songs from other songwriters (he wrote only one tune, the slow-burning "For Love on Xmas Day") and cooks to a cozy groove that's grounded in the blues but also encompasses soul, reggae, rock, and a bit of vaudeville shuffle ("Xmas in My Hometown"). This homey atmosphere is certainly suited for the season, even if it rarely sounds like a typical holiday record. Chalk that up to Clapton studiously avoiding a reliance on shopworn carols. When he does play an overly familiar tune, he switches it up: he opens up the affair with a blues rendition of "White Christmas," "Silent Night" is given a reggae bounce, "Away in a Manger" has a soulful underpinning, and he turns "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" into a seduction. These clever interpretations are nestled alongside nice holiday chestnuts, turning this into a comforting Christmas listen -- so comforting that it makes the presence of "Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)" all the more bizarre. Situated in the middle of the album, "Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)" is a lite-EDM tribute to the late DJ and producer, a track that is perhaps more dexterous than Clapton's '90s electronica experiment T.D.F. yet feels wholly tacky as a tribute to Avicii. Worse still, in terms of the confines of Happy Xmas, "Jingle Bells (In Memory of Avicii)" doesn't fit the vibe and it carries only trace elements of the titular holiday standard, so it stops the party cold halfway through. Cut this track out and Happy Xmas delivers some cheery Christmas vibes.

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