CD Review: Rod Stewart – Merry Christmas, Baby

Each of the past few years, just before Christmas, Kim and I seem to pick up a new Christmas CD.  We’ve experimented with compilations, hard rocking sets, standards, even soundtracks from some of our favorite television Christmas classics.  Yesterday we picked up Rod Stewart’s new Christmas CD titled Merry Christmas, Baby.  We got home, jumped into the spa and gave it a listen.  The phrase really, really, really impressed doesn’t begin to describe how we feel about this holiday offering from one of rock’s legends.

Rod Stewart - Merry Christmas, Baby

After listening to the CD it’s quite apparent Rod didn’t put this disk together as a means to make some quick cash by putting out a Christmas album.  This disc is eloquently produced and arranged.  Rod is in top form here and proves that he can still hit the high notes.  His vocals are clear, honest and thoughtful.  Most of the CD is a smooth, bluesy trip into Christmas standards like Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas, White Christmas, Winter Wonderland, Blue Christmas and Let It Snow!  Let It snow!  Let It Snow!

One great surprise in this set is the Motown-themed title track,  Merry Christmas, Baby.  There are several guest appearances on this disk and Cee Lo Green steps in to make this tune memorable and with just enough spice to go with your holiday eggnog.

Other duets include Michael Buble on Winter Wonderland, and Mary J. Blige stops by to help out with a purely soulful version of We Three Kings.  One of several nice surprises on this disk is Rod singing with Ella Fitzgerald on What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?.  It’s a stunning technological achievement to bring Ella’s voice back to the canvas after she passed away several years ago.

One of my favorite Christmas songs is Silent Night.  It didn’t used to be until Stevie Nicks did a haunting rendition of it in 1987.  It’s still my favorite but now I’ve added Rod’s version to my list.  On this CD he has put together an expertly crafted take on this classic featuring a beautiful choir segment that isn’t over powering.  This arrangement will, at the very least, put a little lump in your throat and remind you of what the Christmas season is all about.  It’s a beautiful, emotional and elegant picture painted for you with Rod at his soulful best.

The end to this disk is both hopeful and appropriate with Rod’s insightful version of Auld Lang Syne.  Although born in North London, Rod’s Scottish roots are first gently integrated into the song, then allowed to come in with full force to close out this wonderful holiday set.  If you didn’t know all the words to this song before, you will after giving it just one listen.

Rod Stewart has done more with Merry Christmas, Baby than just put out a Christmas CD.  This piece is a glowing, polished gem and it will more than move you with holiday spirit.  He has really put his solid efforts into this package and whether you like him as a rock and roller or not, you will love decorating your tree with this CD playing.  You’ll enjoy it with a gentle, holiday fire with the one you love, and your kids will enjoy it for years to come as it becomes part of your own holiday tradition.

Blogger’s Notes:

Read Rolling Stone's Review of Rod - The AutobiographyIn November of this year Rod Stewart released his autobiography titled Rod – The AutobiographyRolling Stone says, “In a season full of books by or about aging rockers, this memoir turns out to be the most fun.”

On a personal note…back when I was in radio I had the honor of meeting Rod Stewart backstage in 1987 after one of his shows at Castle Farms in Charlevoix, Michigan.  Out of all the rock stars I met back when I was in that business, Rod was the most accommodating, gracious and genuinely kind.  He was one of the few that didn’t appear to feel put out by the whole media backstage scene.  His recent visit to the Jimmy Fallon Show again showed his true nature as a humble, grateful man who simply enjoys entertaining people.  Cheers to Rod on the success of his latest efforts!

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4 Comments

  1. Hi. Saw that song on TV. Not bad. I recomended another CD on my blog http://5xrde.wordpress.com , but put a link to yours.

    Reply
  2. Nicole Jacobs

     /  December 23, 2012

    Kurt, I have not purchased this CD because I am still enjoying Michael Buble’s Christmas disk from last year. If you have not purchased it it is one to have. Since I will be out today I am going to get Rod’s new disk based solely on your recemondation and the fact he was on the Michael Buble Christmas special and their duet was amazing. By the way it is my pleasure to be writing this because the last time I talked to your wife we were saying good bye before the end of the world. Have a very merry Christmas and I look forward to many more blogs in the new year. Love Nicole and the whole Jacobs tribe.

    Reply
    • KDawg

       /  December 23, 2012

      Thanks, Nicole. Kim has recently been turning me on to Mr. Buble so I’m sure some of his work will eef its way into our collection soon. I hope your goodbyes with Kim weren’t sad ones…I had a weird feeling we’d still be here today.

      Reply
  1. Hörtipp / CD Kauftipp Weihnachten « 5xr Blog

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