I participated in this event on behalf of Wendy’s Bloggers for Verve Music Group. I received the A Mary Christmas CD to facilitate my review. The opinions in this post are 100% mine. You can read my full disclosure policy here.
Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like Christmas music. Our local radio station started playing holiday songs a week or so ago and that’s when you know Christmas is right around the bend. I can’t say I’m a fan of every song they play. Some are just…whoa. So I tend to have my own CDs that I love playing at home. Christmas music in the background while you’re baking cookies, writing out cards, and wrapping gifts is really one of my favorite parts of the whole season. Verve Music Group recently released Mary J. Blige’s first-ever holiday album, A Mary Christmas, and I’m totally addicted to it!
I remember first listening to Mary J. Blige when I was in high school. “Real Love” was one of my favorite songs. Fast forward a decade or so to “Family Affair” which is still one I sing to myself when I’m in the mood to dance. Shortly after that, in the mid-2000s I think it was, I saw Mary J. on Oprah and was so totally impressed with her. I had enjoyed her music for years but didn’t know a lot about her as a person. I learned that she’s a spiritual person, committed to giving other women a hand up and someone that believes in the power of education. Three cheers for all of that. I’ve listened to this new album, A Mary Christmas, over and over again and I think that person, that spiritual person, really shines through. The music is awesome because she’s such a talented singer, but more than that I find it moving…which is just what the Christmas season is all about.
This album is the first ever collaboration between Mary J. Blige and Chairman of The Verve Music Group David Foster. Clearly they loved working together and the album is so great, their partnership is a total success!
“Working with David Foster is a singers dream,” says Mary J. Blige. “I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to make this soulful classic Christmas album with him. David’s music has touched so many lives and I’m so proud of what we’ve created and I believe my fans will love it as much as I do.”
David Foster comments, “There’s so many things that I find inspiring about Mary, but I guess it always comes back to the fact that she has no limits and no boundaries. She doesn’t think of herself as black or white, or yellow or red, or male or female. She just thinks of herself as a singer and she’s a great singer.”
A Mary Christmas, available in stores and online now, includes 12 tracks:
- Little Drummer Boy
- Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
- My Favorite Things
- This Christmas
- The Christmas Song
- Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer
- When You Wish Upon A Star – Duet with Barbra Streisand
- Winter Wonderland
- Do You Hear What I Hear – Duet with Jessie J.
- Petit Papa Noël
- The First Noel – Duet with The Clark Sisters
- Noche de Paz – Duet with Marc Anthony
I love the CD and case! Mary looks so beautiful, doesn’t she? Okay, so the music is what’s really important! I have a few favorite tracks, though I really have to say they’re all good. Sometimes I find myself skipping over certain tracks on CDs because I just don’t care for them, but this is a CD that I can listen to the whole way through and really enjoy each song. The whole thing is pretty mellow, with the slight exception of Rudolph which has a little more ‘kick’ to it!
Some of my favorites:
- My Favorite Things: I used to play this song on the organ when I was little and my Mom always said it was one of her favorite songs. Mary’s version is so beautiful. LOVE this one!
- The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire): This is such a classic, one of my favorite Christmas songs. I really like to write out my cards to this song! Mary’s soulful voice is a perfect match.
- When You Wish Upon a Star – Duet with Barbra Streisand: I have to say, I never really thought of this as a Christmas song, but it’s got this magical feel to it that’s really just right for Christmastime. The combination of Mary J. Blige and Barbra Streisand is stunning! All I need is a ball gown and a husband that can dance.
- Noche de Paz (Silent Night) – Duet with Marc Anthony: Silent Night is a must-have on any good Christmas album but honestly, I’ve never heard a version that really stood out to me. They’re all pretty similar. THIS version, however, is really unique with Marc Anthony singing in Spanish and Mary’s voice overlapping his. I love it!
If you’re looking for some new holiday music to add to your collection, I definitely recommend A Mary Christmas. It’s perfect to play anytime during the Christmas season: in your car, at a holiday party, or while you’re trimming your tree. Each and every song is a winner and a classic. You’ll be able to enjoy it for years to come. Be sure to follow Verve Music Group on Facebook and Mary J. Blige on Twitter to stay up to speed with their latest news and releases!
Wishing you A Mary Christmas!
Verve Music Group and Mary J. Blige are very generously offering one of my readers an autographed (yes, personally autographed!) copy of A Very Mary Christmas. This giveaway runs through December 6, 2013. You can enter to win [HERE].