No Groening Required For This Simpsons Christmas Show
Jessica Simpson is as well known for her TV shows as her recording career but it is her pair of Christmas albums that we've come to admire the most. She had Christmas form before this however because in 2000 her fun duet with Rosie O'Donnell for 'Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree' illuminated O'Donnell's yuletide release titled 'Another Rosie Christmas'. Jessica's first Christmas album duly arrived in 2004 and 'Rejoyce: The Christmas Album' proved to be quite a family affair with Simpson's then husband Nick Lachey appearing on, quite predictably, a cover of 'Baby, It's Cold Outside'. Her sister Ashlee also contributed vocals on a dramatically contemporary 'The Little Drummer Boy' which promises an explosion of sound throughout before finally relenting.
'Rejoyce: The Christmas Album' included a rendition of Amy Grant's 'Breath of Heaven (Mary's Song)', an artist that Simpson had professed to have been a major influence on her especially during her early Christian music years. Amongst the usual Christmas covers like 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing' (with full gospel choir), 'Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow' and 'The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)' there was one original which was co-written by Simpson called 'It's Christmas Time Again'. It opened with tiny bell sounds before breaking into a Maria Carey type festive vehicle which is something to be applauded. 'Rejoyce: The Christmas Album' was marketed via a TV special called 'Nick and Jessica's Family Christmas' which was the holiday edition of her TV series at the time with Lachey called 'Newlyweds'.
All told 'Rejoyce: The Christmas Album' is a lively affair, with grand instrumentation and Simpson giving her pipes a thorough workout. Although she has dipped her toes into country Jessica Simpson is categorically a mainstream pop artist which means that 'Rejoyce: The Christmas Album' is slick, polished and produced to within an inch of its life. For these reasons it proved very popular and has sold in excess of 2 million copies worldwide. The album came in 2 editions with the deluxe version including all the songs from an EP called 'A Special Limited Edition Christmas Collection' which was only available from certain stores in U.S. This batch of songs matched much of what could be found on the main album but was notable for its inclusion of an acoustic version of Robbie Williams huge hit 'Angels'.
2010 saw the arrival of Jessica's second Christmas album 'Happy Christmas' with several duets thrown into the bargain including one with country legend Willie Nelson for “Merry Christmas Baby'. Although a little less boisterous than her debut Christmas album 'Happy Christmas' still had plenty to recommend it. One of the highlights was a new song that Simpson co-wrote called 'My Only Wish' which was released as the album's primary single and it was a truly joyful affair that recalled Phil Spector’s Christmas sound of yore. Jessica also got a writing credit for the other original on the album called 'Kiss Me For Christmas' which was a much slower considered affair. Elsewhere there was a noteworthy cover of John Lennon's 'Happy Xmas (War Is Over)', a lively medley of 'Here Comes Santa Claus/Santa Claus Is Coming to Town' and a slightly gothic version of 'Carol of The Bells'. The album was further enhanced by 2 hidden tracks (which for a Christmas album is quite a rarity) and 'Jingle Bell Rock' and 'Silent Night' did not disappoint.
‘Happy Christmas’ was launched via the Public Broadcasting Service TV network in the U.S. on a show called 'Jessica Simpson: Happy Christmas'. This 2010 programme contained songs from both of her yuletide releases and included contributions from a host of other artists including Willie Nelson and Carly Simon.Author: Kevin