CD Review: OUR CHRISTMAS WISH (The Ten Tenors)

by Eve Meadows on November 27, 2017

in CD-DVD,Music

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CHESTNUTS EXPLODING ON A TENOR FIRE

I’ve always liked the tenor voice; from Pavorotti to The Three Tenors and everything in between I’ve been fortunate enough to have a wealth of choices. But then I was exposed to ten young Australian guys at a live concert over ten years ago, something changed because here was a group that radiated sexual , robust energy simply from the music itself, not by gyrating their hips or scratching their privates. Their voices were beautiful and powerful individually, but when combined they produced a titanic effect that was greater than the sum of the individual elements. Often, the music had a driving rhythm and many songs built to powerful crescendos.

Their brand of comedy, opera, and pop — all rolled into one charming velvety package — has made them a worldwide sensation. Their flair for the dramatic combined with great arrangements actually gives heft and significance to songs that don’t always deserve consideration. The real enchantment happens when the tenors turn their attention to more substantive material, as they do with their latest holiday CD, Our Christmas Wish. Time and again, the 14 tracks surprise: Even with a sleigh-load of Christmas chestnuts, the boys have managed to offer inspiration and, yes, sexiness.

The opening number — a stunning version of “The Little Drummer Boy” — could have been arranged by Elmer Bernstein or Dimitri Tiomkin, but it was producer Steven Baker who created that rousing Western CinemaScope attention-grabbing sensation (tell me you don’t picture a chariot race or a crowd of thousands listening to this). The lush Adeste Fidelis, builds, modulates and adds harmony until you scream, “OK, I’m faithful!”). “Winter Wonderland” gets a bouncy, light version with a rhythm that may bring to mind The Carpenters (the strings are a bit too synth-sounding for my taste, but they never dominate any song). And just when you think you couldn’t possibly hear another version of “White Christmas” that doesn’t include Bing Crosby, this cover jells into a crescendoed joy.

And speaking of joy, “Joy to the World” gets a delicious treatment that goes beyond pious into a pounding pleasure. And just when borderline bombast threatens to become the norm, a festive fun frolicsome “Sleigh Ride” gets a terrific trombone solo, and the Irish-tinged “Amazing Grace” ends on a solo lingering note. And the Manhattan Transfers-like jazzy a capella take on Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas” is really a hoot.

Aside from the rare moments of subtlety, everything escalates, upsurges, ascends and intensifies until you’re sung into submission. If listening to a Christmas tenor causes your legs to turn to jelly while getting a tear in your eye, then get thee a copy of Our Christmas Wish (and through the end of the year 2017, 100% of their net proceeds will be donated to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital).

Our Christmas Wish
The Ten Tenors
DMI Soundtracks
14 tracks | 53:10
released October 13, 2017
available on Amazon
for more info, visit The Ten Tenors

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