December 14, 2007 by Mario Landerman

The Holidays are upon us. With all the hoopla surrounding us in the form of goods to buy, credit cards to bust, and children trying to be good (and mostly failing), is there some time for a warm, cozy evening sitting by the fire with some Christmas music playing on the stereo?

Yes, there is. And an absolute angel from down under is bringing his equally angelic voice to us, in order to feel the warmth and good cheer amidst the whole Christmas madness. None other than Olivia Newton-John.

That artist needs no presentation. She has been around since the sixties, but really came under the public eye in the seventies, with a string of hits, mostly involving covers of other artists' songs. In a country-pop flavour, she remained a darling of pop music even when she crossed genres, and her repertoire became mostly pop-rock. Grease consecrated her as a bankable actress, and another long series of hits followed in the eighties and early nineties.

Those last 15 years saw Olivia through many ordeals, but you can't bring such a wonderful girl down. She resurfaced with a more mature repertoire, which saw her successfully writing heartfelt songs.

This brings us to her latest opus, Christmas Wish. There was only one Christmas recording of Olivia available, but difficult to find on the secondary market. This new one will fill the gap, especially for all her American and Canadian fans. And what a gem this CD is.

Along with perennial favorites, like O Come All Ye Faithful, Silent Night, and Deck the Halls, Olivia give us a wonderful present in the form of the song Everytime It Snows, with Jon Secada. I predict this new song to become a modern classic in a few years.

Unfortunately, due to the idiosyncrasies of recording distribution in Quebec, you have to go to Ontario to get the CD, or order it online from a place like Amazon. I heartily recommend that you do so; you'll be glad you did.

Merry Christmas to all of you!

Special Guests:
Barry Manilow
Jon Secada
Michael McDonald
Jim Brickman
Jann Arden
Marc Jordan
David Foster
Humberto Gatica

All songs produced by Amy Sky

Track List:

O Come All Ye Faithful
Angels We Have Heard on High (Interlude)
Every Time It Snows (featuring Jon Secada)
Away in a Manger (Interlude)
We Three Kings
The First Noel (Interlude)
A Mother's Christmas Wish (featuring Jim Brickman)
Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring (Interlude)
Angels in the Snow
What Child Is This? (Interlude)
Silent Night (featuring Jann Arden)
O Come, O Come Emmanuel (Interlude)
All Through the Night (featuring Michael McDonald)
Little Drummer Boy (Interlude)
Underneath the Same Sky
O Christmas Tree (Interlude)
Little Star of Bethlehem
Deck the Halls (Interlude)
Instrument of Peace (featuring Marc Jordan)
We Wish You a Merry Christmas (Interlude)
Christmas on My Radio
A Gift of Love (featuring Barry Manilow)