Calendar be damned, it seems like Retail Christmas begins earlier and earlier every year. From home décor to clothing, marketers are clamoring for our dollars and the music industry is no exception. But hey, good music is good music, so we’ll cheerfully give them a pass. Though we’ll have to wait a couple of weeks for The Braxton Family‘s holiday album premiere, seasonal debuts from Mint Condition and India.Arie and Joe Sample have already dropped. Not to be outdone (or so it seems at first glance), producer/artist manager Jeff Robinson‘s MBK Entertainment has also entered the foray with A Classic Holiday, a joint venture with RAL/Sony.
When asked about the inspiration behind the holiday compilation, Robinson shared, “Holidays are about family, love and of course sharing. So it’s with great joy that I had the pleasure of pulling together my MBK Family to create this fantastic holiday album with love.” “And just who is in this ‘MBK Family’?” you might be asking. Well, it includes a diverse group of established music stars like Alicia Keys, Brandy, Tyrese and Coko; eclectic faves like B. Slade, Elle Varner and Bridget Kelly; plus up-and-coming talents like Livré, Justine Skye and Gabi Wilson. Whether you lean towards jazz, gospel, pop or R&B for the holidays, there’s a little something here for the whole family.
Sounds amazing, right?! But before you run out and spend your cash, be forewarned that this nice shiny package is partially a re-gift in disguise. Some contributions (from Keys, Brandy, etc.) date back to the late ’90s and sound dated. And while MBK’s recent roster additions add some newness to the compilation, it does little to salvage the overall project. Nevertheless, there are some standout tracks, namely Livré’s a cappella rendition of “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” and B. Slade revisiting his Tonéx days with the “Make Me Over/Total Praise” mashup.
Preview the B. Slade and Livré tracks while you peep the tracklist below. A Classic Holiday…Presented by MBK is currently available via iTunes and Amazon. Let us know if it gets you in the holiday spirit or leaves you mumbling “Bah, humbug!”
A Classic Holiday… Presented by MBK tracklist:
1). Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas featuring Gabi Wilson
2). Little Drummer Girl Remixed featuring Alicia Keys
3). Please Come Home For Christmas featuring Alex
4). One Voice featuring Brandy
5). Who Would Imagine A King featuring Anaysha
6). Sweet Little Jesus Boy featuring Tyrese
7). Last Christmas featuring Justine Skye
8). God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen featuring Livre’
9). O’ Holy Night featuring Bridgette Kelly
10). Mary Did You Know featuring Swagg R’Celious
11). This Christmas featuring Elle Varner
12). For Love/Deck The Halls featuring Daisha
13). Silent Night featuring Coko
14). Make Me Over/Total Praise featuring B. Slade